Listen: Drake taps The Weeknd, Rihanna samples The xx, The Roots conjure Sufjan Stevens
It's no novelty for mainstream pop and urban artists to tap into the indie set. The week just seems to particularly heavy on it.
Drake's album "Take Care" has already leaked, but for those who crave the singer/MC bit by bit, there's new "Crew Love" and "The Ride" on which Drizzy takes advantage of melodies (and non-) from mysterious co-Canadian and singer The Weeknd. The former pushes the high end with the atmosphere and samples and takes it sweet time to get to Drake's initial verse. On the latter, Drake is confident there's not a sufficient amount of "feel" from fans and haters, as Weeknd's voice lilts and flits around loops in the background. It grooves less like a grandstand and more like a bedroom jam. It confuses me.
Meanwhile, it has become clear that Rihanna has worked in a sample from British rock sleepies The xx on her track "Drunk on Love" for her forthcoming album "Talk That Talk." That set is being previewed in seconds-long snippets, and the song in question (using "Intro") can be heard below.
Additionally, Sufjan Stevens may be inspired by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, but it seems Illadelph's The Roots are inspired by Sufjan Stevens. His "Greetings from Michigan" track "Redford (For Yia Yia & Pappou)" served as inspiration for The Roots' new album "undun" protagonist Redford Stephens. They included a track of Stevens playing the song, as a section of a "four-part movement."
“We’ve always loved the song ‘Redford’ from Michigan. So we close the new album with a cover of ‘Redford,'" The Roots' Questlove recently told Spin. "Part 1 is Sufjan at the piano performing it. And then Part 2 is a string quartet that we had interpret it. Part 3 is myself and D.D. Jackson, who is an avant-garde piano player. He’s probably one of the most dangerous pianists — I don’t know how he doesn’t have carpal tunnel now. But he just destroys, literally, destroys the piano. The final movement, which ends the record, is essentially the beginning of the story. But it’s the last thing you hear. It’s a very powerful piece of work.”
And, of course, Drake's "Take Care" title track borrows Rihanna for the hook and makes heavy use of Gil Scott-Heron's "I'll Take Care of U" as remixed by Jamie xx, of The xx. And the snake eats its tail, nom.
"Take Care" is due Nov. 15; "Talk That Talk" is out Nov. 21; "undun" hits shelves Dec. 6.