It’s been just about four years since Drake’s name has been credited alongside Future’s, since the What A Time To Be Alive days to be exact, but the collaborative drought has ended with “Life Is Good,” so pop the champagne and let it bubble. A sharp exposition of Drake and Future’s synergy, the earlier LP yielded the pervasive cuts “Jumpman” and “Big Rings,” and “Life Is Good” appears destined for the same sort of ubiquity.
The hip-hop mavericks’ latest outing rebels against the conventional song format in which rappers fluidly trade verses over the same sustained beat. In contrast to this stylistic standard, “Life is Good” is essentially two singles bundled under its titular umbrella, one supplied by Drake, the other, Future.
Drake handles the opening duties, and with a decisive switch of the beat, passes the verbal baton to Future, whose flow is characteristically voluble. “Life is Good” is accompanied by a music video that sees both artists assume various service roles as 21 Savage, Lil Yachty, and other artists make cameos.
At just 17 years old, Billie Eilish has released Spotify’s most listened to album of the year, becoming the first female artist to ever claim the title. The California-based singer/songwriter amassed a walloping 6 billion streams for the year, and if her recent audio exposé “Everything I Wanted” is any indication, it seems like Eilish’s artistic discovery may be just beginning.
Spotify’s Most-Streamed Artist of 2019, however, goes to the universally adorned Post Malone, who leapfrogged his way to the head of the pack in the 12 weeks since the release of Hollywood’s Bleeding, the genre-bending vocalist’s third consecutive LP to seem destined for the upper echelon of critical acclaim. Streaming royalty Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran take the third and fourth spots of most-streamed artists for the year (with Eilish nabbing second).
Drake has had a light year in terms of releases, but it’s still strange not to see the crowned King of The Stream making any of the yearly lists. Fear not though, as the Canadian rapper wears his crown comfortably atop the Decade’s Most Streamed Artists, below.
By now, you’ve heard that Drake appeared as the surprise headliner at Tyler, The Creator‘s annual Camp Flog Gnaw, and was subsequently booed off stage by overzealous attendees expecting Frank Ocean to cap the festival. Well, if anyone’s in their feelings, it certainly isn’t Drake. The 6 God took his bad night in stride, responding to attendees on Instagram with the type of casual energy only the biggest pop star of the decade could muster. It seems Tyler, The Creator extended his offer pretty considerably—naming Drizzy as Flog Gnaw’s resident headliner for the next 10 years. Drake broke the news via Instagram, claiming,”Plot twist…just signed a 10 year residency at Camp Flog Gnaw sorry kids see you EVERY SINGLE YEAR till you are 30.”
Drake’s historical track record with public beef often finds him getting the last laugh, and with an artist of his stature, at this point it isn’t surprising. Put it this way, if the revelation of a secret child three weeks before an album release can’t stop that record from going five-times platinum, a bunch of salty concertgoers are barely a blip on Drake’s radar. Simply put, the man is likely too powerful to be stopped now.
If the rumor is to be believed, then the sonic worlds of Martin Garrix and Drake will soon collide—likely resulting in an explosive new collaboration. A leaked screenshot of DM exchanges with a photographer affiliated with producer Murda Beatz sparked speculation that the Canadian hip-hop royal and the “Summer Days” producer were at work together on a forthcoming tune. “Nah, it’s crazy the world will shake,” says the Murda Beatz affiliate in the private message exchange as “Mr. from the 6” is revealed to be the collaborator Garrix is currently linked with.
Martin Garrix recently gave an interview with 538 Radio at Tomorrowland in which he imparted that he has now worked with the most prominent artist of his career to date, suggesting that the photographer’s claim could in fact be credible. “I’ve been in the studio with someone, I can’t say with whom yet, but that [it] is perhaps the biggest name ever,” Garrix told 538 Radio.
Check out what he said – “I’ve been in the studio with someone, I can’t say with whom yet, but that is perhaps the biggest name ever.”
Rolling Stone has succeeded its May announcement of Rolling Stone Charts with the first slew of chart placements. Lil Nas X‘s “Old Town Road” is the first single to occupy Rolling Stone’s 100 chart, while The Raconteurs’ Help Us Stranger is the inaugural album to weigh in on the authority’s top 200 albums chart.
The self-proclaimed “6 God,” Drake maintains his reign in the context of Rolling Stone Charts. The “God’s Plan” hitmaker further evidences his white-knuckle grip on the contemporary music market in his possession of the number one spot on Rolling Stone’s roster of the 500 most preeminent artists. Meanwhile, Seaforth’s “Love That” proves hot given its position at the top of the Trending 25 chart.
The Rolling Stone Artist 500 reflects the most-streamed artists, while the Trending 25 follows the tracks that denote the most rapid chart movement based on metrics. Finally, the Breakthrough 25 encompassed newcomers that enter the charts for the very first time.
Rolling Stone visualizes Rolling Stone Charts as a streamlined method of tracking rising releases, and a potential driver of further brand pervasion. “PMC’s (Penske Media Corp., the owner of Rolling Stone) strategy is to constantly evolve our brands and products across media platforms,” CEO Jay Penske, said. “What’s imperative and exciting about our new Rolling Stone Charts is that it will present a transparent, granular, and real-time quantification to accurately reflect listeners’ evolving interests and give insight into worldwide trends.”
Rolling Stone Charts places Rolling Stone in a position of direct competition with Billboard’s branded charts.
What Drake promises, Drake delivers, hence The Best in the World Pack. The two-track offering is the direct result of the Toronto Raptors’ recent triumph over the Golden State Warriors. The win earned the Raptors their very first NBA championship title.
“The chip to the 6,” Drake wrote in an Instagram post that he shared shortly after the Raptors arose as the victors in the matchup. “See you 2mrw with a 2 pack.”
The Raptors’ win proves fortuitous for fans of the Canadian team and Drake alike: The “Nice 4 What” rapper comes through with “Omertà” and the Rick Ross-assisted “Money In The Grave.” A fitting acknowledgement of the Raptors’ accomplishment, The Best in the World Pack will pave the way for another summer of inescapable Drake songs.
A celebrated staple of Drake‘s 2017 playlist, More Life, “Passionfruit” saw the rapper corner his romantic sentiments, and express them in the silky vocal tone that’s always provided a smooth contrast to his more rugged, fervently spat verses. The languid pace of the production and its inviting yet unimposing melody made for a minimalistic R&B construction that enabled Drake’s barefaced but dulcetly delivered lyrics to become the core focus. Indie pop singer-songwriter, ellie d., and independent producer, Rando, re-visualize “Passionfruit” in a chilled out cover that sees ellie d. and Rando electronically inflect the More Life inclusion.
Twinkling chords provide a pillowy opening to ellie d. and Rando’s re-imaginative effort. ellie d.’s wispy vocals ebb and flow atop an undulating, undergirding electronic construction. The pair’s take preserves the viscous pace of Drake’s original. A lush collection of chords gently rise near song’s end, to comprise ellie d. and Rando’s most intensive revision to “Passionfruit.” ellie d. and Rando’s approach evidences the duo’s ability to gently and organically convert “Passionfruit,” from one genre, to another.
Before Las Vegas became the mecca for blockbuster DJ residencies at posh mega clubs, Atlantic City reigned supreme. The East Coast entertainment and tourism hub’s rich history began well before it became the first city outside of Nevada to offer legal gambling. Though over time, Atlantic City’s booming commercial appeal faltered, and at point of the city’s steepest decline, Vegas caught on to the global EDM boom, and the world’s top rap and dance talents all started vying for valuable residency slots at some of the hottest club properties in the country.
Atlantic City, once the home Caesar’s Palace, Bally’s, and more, may have fallen on hard times, but that doesn’t mean that the enduring entertainment hotspot has not hung on. Now, it seems the little engine that could may be picking up some steam once again. The city has remained an East Coast entertainment center point behind clubs like Hard Rock’s emerging DAER concept. The new indoor/outdoor hybrid, championed by the Hard Rock brand’s deep musical legacy, has been drawing in top-tier talent since it opened in June 2018, programming a state of the art venue that manages to capture big room energy and an intimate feel all at once.
DAER, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, has staked its claim on the national club circuit with major bookings including Drake, Tiësto, Alesso, Travis Scott, Above & Beyond, and more in its first months in business. The secret ingredient to DAER’s success though comes from venerated industry talent that has quietly migrated away from current social hotspots to head back to the East Coast and ignite Atlantic City’s resurgence. Former Hakkasan figures have brought their know-how to New Jersey and Atlantic City’s restoration seems to be underway. If DAER is the comparative barometer for what the boardwalk could eventually go back to, things are going to start looking up for the East Coast club scene. DAER hasn’t even had a full trip around the sun yet, but a recap of the club’s first six months in operation shows Atlantic City’s exciting comeback starting to materialize, largely behind what could likely become one of the most in-demand clubs in the country.
Drake‘s 2009 mixtape, So Far Gone, has made its way to streaming services for the first time, in honor of the seminal project’s 10-year anniversary. With a decade now in its rear-view, So Far Gone is newly available on all major streaming platforms. Drake paid homage to the 17-track offering’s milestone anniversary with a retrospective Instagram post that recognized the mixtape’s many contributors.
“@kanyewest a decade ago I rapped over your beat cause you just made the best shit and even though you stay wildin on Twitter these days I will never forget what you contributed to the game and my career,” Drake said. Drake notably rapped over the beat from Kanye‘s “Say You Will” on So Far Gone inclusion, “Say What’s Real.”
The 2019 “Best Rap Song” Grammy Award winner also name dropped producer, Boy-1da, Trey Songz, Ben Baller, and Lil Wayne, among others. “@liltunechi a decade ago you took me out of Toronto and gave me the biggest blessing anyone has ever given me,” Drake wrote. So Far Gone touts a number of OG fan favorites, including “Best I Ever Had,” “Houstatlantavegas.”
Travis Scott was electric at 2019’s Grammy Awards, performing a selection of tracks from his latest album Astroworld. To kick things off, the Houston-born phenomenon rattled off “Stop Trying To Be God” with featured artist James Blake. They also had assistance from Earth, Wind & Fire members as well as producer Mike Dean, who aided in creating a smooth, melodic aura that was quickly interrupted by the intro for Scott’s “No Bystanders,” panning to a large cage containing an elevated Scott. It’s safe to say that utter craziness proceeded to ensue, as a mixture of fans and stuntmen charged the stage for some mosh pits and cage dancing to close out.
The 26-year-old rapper received two nominations for single “SICKO MODE” featuring Drake and one for best rap album. Scott is also featuring on Blake’s latest project Assume Form, which Dancing Astronaut reviewed here.