Drake recently divulged his preference for R&B to rap and his hope to make a R&B-only album soon. The first vocal artist signed to Drake’s OVO Sound records is Canadian singer Partynextdoor. (He had previously signed some producers.) Partynextdoor released his self-titled mixtape in July to a positive critical response. Like Drake, Party intertwines singing and rapping (though Drake is known as a rapper that sings, and Party the opposite). Highlights on the ten song mixtape include Wild B@tches, Tbh, and Wus Good/Curios. Drake stops by on Over Here to let the world know OVO Sound is “the new Cash Money, the new Rocafella,” a boast that may come true if he continues to sign and develop artists with the potential of Partynextdoor.
Kiss Land, the first studio album by TheWeeknd, another Canadian and frequent Drake collaborator, debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 earlier this September. Weeknd created a huge underground buzz by releasing three R&B mixtapes in 2011, which were remastered and re-released as the Trilogy project in 2012. His falsetto usually spins tales of girls, drug abuse, or both. For example, he raps on the song Glass Table Girls on his first mixtape House of Balloons: “I heard he do drugs now, you heard wrong, I’ve been on them for a minute.” Another notable Weeknd song on Trilogy is his cover of MJ’s Dirty Diana, first released on the mixtape Thursday. The new album sticks to the same topics over the foggy, lean-inspired production of DannyBoyStyles and Jason “DaHeala” Quenneville (the Weeknd is also listed as a co-producer). The album is inspired by being on tour, which The Weeknd labels a “terrifying experience.” The explicit content (of both of these albums) may be too much for some listeners, but is any of this worse than Game of Thrones? I was sold by the seventh track, Wanderlust (check the Pharrell remix!), where Weeknd borrows Meat Loaf’s (and others) “good girls go to heaven, and bad girls go everywhere.” A video was recently released for the song Live For, which has the album’s only guest feature–by none other than the Canadian MC Drake. // Owen Crowther