We’re a hot minute away from Drake’s forthcoming – recently announced – fourth album Views From the 6 but it seems the project has already sprung a leak as the LP’s title track has surfaced. It’s unclear as to how the song found its way online, and its leak has already prompted featured rapper E Batt to dismiss that it had anything to do with him. On the upside though – it’s pretty exciting how strong this is sounds; I doubt it’s the final version, but #HiRihanna.
I don’t think anyone can release a better album this year than Shabazz Palaces, at least not for me anyway. Everything about Lese Majesty is supreme – from the endless influences they pack into every inch of their material, to their eccentric themes of tribal afro-futurism – it all works like a wonderfully chaotic symphony. Enter then their new video for ‘#CAKE’, masterfully directed by Hiro Murai – a beautiful post-apocalyptic visual that weaves in and out of kaleidoscopic urban landscapes, desolate locations and performance shots. File this next to their Kahlil Joseph directed ‘Black Up’ video (which incidentally was my favourite music video of 2011).
London is gearing up for the biggest and baddest weekend of the year – come rain or shine – and Carnival looms, our girls JUCE have come forth with a beautiful prelude with their new video for ‘Burning Up’. A sun soaked salutation to our glorious city, the video was shot on 16mm at Brixton Splash a couple weeks ago and was directed by Jess Colquhoun, and features a whole host of typically London character portraits. Notting Hill Carnival soon come, but in the mean time – press play and get ready.
With his King of the Fall tour fast approaching, The Weeknd unveils his brand new music video for ‘Often’, marking the third video created with director Sam Pilling. 5 star hotel rooms, beautiful women, girl on girl action – it’s all in there, so perhaps don’t play it in eye shot of your boss. I’ve never considered this to be Abel’s strongest offering but Pilling’s cinematic approach and camera technique builds enough of an atmosphere for me to reconsider my position. Watch up top.
Futurist Kelela and hip hip radical Le1f team up for a new spaced out duet titled ‘OICU’ produced by P. Morris. The track pays homage to both their respective styles: Le1f’s fierce baritone cuts through the thickly textured atmosphere, while Kelela’s pristine vocal soars above it – the result of which is a hazey, eccentric melodrama disguised as undercover slow jam.
Master of alt-soul Bilal teams up with Adrian Younge and the great Ali Shaheed Muhammad on ‘Sirens II’ for a sterling new slow burner filled with rich live instruments, lush (and familiar) samples and of course, a vocal odyssey courtesy of one of the best vocalists we have (and no, I don’t consider that an exaggeration). Taken off Bilal’s as yet untitled new album which is due for release early next year – this new one has me buggin’ for whats to come.
Flying Lotus returns with animated and fully psychedelic new album teaser featuring some of the mind-altering new material from his forthcoming album You’re Dead! Dubbed as a pioneer from the get go, it’s rare to see an artist live up to their buzz like FlyLo has and is. Known for fearlessly blending the golden traditions of hip hop, electronica and jazz, this new project feels even fuller and more established than his previous releases – which considering his catalogue is quite the feat already.
Summer in London is a beautiful thing, it is arguably one of the most beautiful things this city can offer. But summer isn’t really summer for Londoner’s until Carnival weekend comes around – and this year we’re celebrating 50 glorious years of this historic event.
As line up’s are steadily announced many heads look to RBMA’s Carnival Party to see what they have in store. Last year they had the Marley’s – which was beyond! This year, and perhaps somewhat surprisingly, they’ve opted to recruit Basement Jaxx as headliners, supported by record label Mixpak (Popcaan, Dre Skull & Sticky), bashment leaders The Heatwave, as well as Protoje & Yaardcore, Tropkillaz and Kalbata & Mixmonster.
Ticket registration for the party opens on August 11-15th, and are free, head over to redbull.co.uk/carnival for more info.
The only other party you need to know about is Deviation, but more news on that a little later. Although you might want to buy tickets now because they won’t be around for very long. Trust us.
Oh, wait – you thought Beyonce’s was done? Nah.
Queen Bey calls upon the lyrical excellence of Nicki Minaj to accompany and help rework her hyphy single ‘Flawless’. In keeping with Yonce’s new found freedom “to speak her mind”, she raps about that elevator incident, as well as her rumoured divorce from husband Jay Z. Of course Minaj brings her own levels - no one can touch her when she’s grilled up like this. As remixes go – this may be one of the best ones Bey’s released so far.
Following their recently released single ‘Hot Love’, London’s We Are Shining push forward with another cosmic production – this time in the form of ‘Breaks’, featuring Andrea Balency and written by FKA Twigs. Far more celestial then the exotic influences that warped ‘Hot Love’ into the spectacular that it is, this single serves as slightly more mechanical insight into the multiple layers that comprises this duo.