BACK IN THE STUDIO: Jay-Z Taps Drake For Possible Upcoming Album + Janet Jackson Dishes On New Project & Love For Kendrick Lamar
Looks like both Jay-Z and Janet Jackson are returning to the studio to create brand new projects. Check out how Ms. Jackson says she's celebrating 20 years after the janet album, and who Jay's cooking up music with in the lab...
Hip Hop Producer Lenny S (Kodak Lens) spilled the tea on some new music comign out the Roc Nation camp. And it looks like it's all for a new upcoming album from Mr. Carter.
Lenny posted a pic of Jay, rocking a Soulland brand "BOURGEOISIE" shirt, in the studio with Drake today working on some new music. He said, "Warning: Please be very afraid of the music we're working on. OVO x ROCNATION."
The two also collabo'd on "Light Up" on Drake's Thank Me Later album. We'll see how this new collabo sounds...
And last week, Lenny also posted a pic of Jay working with rapper Raekwon. Looks like some classic ish is on the way...
And in other comeback news, Janet Jackson is working on a new project. Woot! Nope, she didn't let her brand new (secret) marriage and recent muslim conversion halt her music career.
She told Billboard on the anniversary of her janet album yesterday about her new project, the artists she's feeling, and how she feels about being two decades in with one of the most iconic albums (7x platinum) of all time.
May 18 marks the 20th anniversary of "janet." How would you describe what that album captures about your life at that time?
I can’t believe it is already 20 years! I always write my music based on what is going on in my life at the time. I wanted to allow people in... I want my fans to really know me. The ‘janet’ album was sexual and I was beginning to really discover that side of me.
There are musical references and direct samples of janet. songs all over the place now, most notably on Kendrick Lamar's "Poetic Justice." Have you heard most of these re-interpretations (Moon Boots' "Sugar," which samples "If," How To Dress Well's cover of "Again," MNEK's "That's The Way Love Goes" etc?) And how does it feel to see your work have such impact on new artists?
I have listened to the music that is out there and I love Kendrick’s "Poetic Justice." There are artists, true performers that have come before me who have been a big inspiration to me. I hope I do the same for others.
Several of the songs on janet. and their accompanying videos were groundbreaking at the time for their overt sexuality. Why was it so important for you to express that part of yourself in your work, and how did you convince others around you at the time to let you take those risks?
Like I said before, I write about my experiences or things that touch me deeply. I was really beginning to get in tune with my sexual self. This is what I wanted to express so I did. The decision to move forward in an artistic way is mine. I didn’t need to convince anyone.
The videos and tour for "janet." featured some iconic choreography from Tina Landon, most notably on 'If.' Do you have a favorite dance or video from that period?
Tina Landon and Omar Lopez choreographed "If". I love "That’s The Way Love Goes," "You Want This" and especially "If." I don’t think people really realize what we were showing in that video that wasn’t available with technology then. The video featured futuristic technology, specifically high definition touch screens. I wanted the actors in the video to use these screens to communicate, and relate with each other in the clubs. Similar to what we all do with our smart phones and tablets today. As I look at our lives now, it seems that life is imitating art. I have seen different elements from all of these videos in lots of artists work and it’s a great feeling to know that you have inspired them in such a way.
Many artists cite you as a role model and a huge influence on their career and image. Which artists today do you admire?
I'm flattered that other artists consider me a role model. I’m really enjoying what Bruno Mars and Adele are doing, a lot of artistry there.
And she says about releasing her first project since 2008's Discipline:
“I am working on a new project now. We are creating the concept and initial thoughts on the music. I am excited about the direction we are taking. I don’t want to rush it… I don’t want to put a time constraint on the creative process.”
We'll be (impatiently) waiting....
Photos: @KodakLens' Instagram/Fame