A little more information has come to light about two of the young year's most anticipated (or already bestselling) hip-hop LPs. Drake and Kanye West seem to have had an evolving plan for surprise releases on their respective 2015 records.
In a new interview on the New York hip-hop station Power 105.1, West said that his new album is "80%" done, and it will be much more uplifiting than 2013's snarling, noise-driven "Yeezus." He described the sound as "cookout music that just feels good," and that contrary to his reputation for antagonism, "This album is embracing the music, joy. Being of service to the people. I just hope people like it and enjoy it."
West said the release of the prospective new LP will come out of the blue, as a Beyonce-style surprise. But he did give a little background on his new song "Wolves," which he premiered on "Saturday Night Live's" 40th anniversary show. The track was supposedly intended as part of a possible album-length Drake collaboration, a la "Watch the Throne."
West also elaborated a bit more about his Grammy night fracas with Beck over the latter's album of the year win. West wants to reach out to Beck to talk about it all. "I got his [Beck's] number and I was supposed to call, but I just keep forgetting...I felt good for him."
But West still believes that "Morning Phase" was a misfire in the top category, and that his own protest was the real news out of Grammy night: "The person that won was Beck, because if I hadn't done that, his album of the year would've never been mentioned ... He should win an award for what he did, rock album, but he shouldn't have won that award."
Meanwhile, West's onetime "Wolves" collaborator Drake has topped the Billboard charts with his new LP "If You're Reading This It's Too Late." The surprise album sold nearly 500,000 copies its first week, good enough to top the Billboard 200 charts. The the album -- a stark and pointed affair by Drake standards --might have had a more circuitous route to release than even fans suspected.
In a new interview with the site HipHopDX, the founder of the mixtape site DatPiff said that he had been in talks with Drake's camp about releasing "If You Can Read This" as a free mixtape hosted by DJ Drama for his Gangsta Grillz series.
Kyle "KP" Reilly of DatPiff told the site, "Originally we were in talks to release it for free," he said. "However the label was not in favor of that and they struck an agreement to release the project the retail route and it would count towards one of his albums."
Drake has reportedly been looking for an exit from his longtime label Cash Money, and released the album as a paid download to expedite the end of his contract with them.
"It was a mutual decision since he wanted to give it away," Reilly said. "They [the label] said, 'Hell no,' not in those words, so they 'agreed' to do it this way as a middle ground and it would count towards his Cash Money deal album total. The label had zero input or creative control over" the LP, he added.
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