After his big 2013 of new production and hooks, we were all hoping that Pharrell would make his return with a new solo album, and today he confirms such to Complex in the cover story for the new digital issue!
Your verse on the “Pretty Flacko” Remix was one of the best of 2012. Do you still enjoy rapping? Sure. I love rapping. But—something’s coming, and I’m not rapping on it.
No? A full body of work with no rapping? No rapping. It’s focused. Like I told you, that’s the difference between 30 and 40. ’Cause I was 30, now I’m 40—and I’m not rapping.
Eminem covers Complex like it's 1998. I love it. All the way down to the beat up magazine aesthetic. Below is the cleaner, more modern alternate cover of the Dec./Jan. issue, and here is the cover story for what the mag is dubbing #EminemWeek. EIC Noah Callahan-Bever recalls hearing "Kim" in the studio 15 years ago and interviews Eminem with a nice series of introspective questions about those times, the time around Recovery, and of course the present-day. It's a very intriguing interview, with Em also showcasing his comedic side throughout. Plus, his favorite TV show is The Wire, and after hearing him become private about it, I can't help but wonder who's on Shady's Fantasy Football team, ha! A nice read so hit the link, sit back and enjoy.
Chance The Rapper sits down with Complex at CRC Studio here in Chicago and goes into detail about the idea, stories, and contruction behind every song on Acid Rap. You get to hear dope stories about how the mixtape came together and his thinking behind the entire process. After watching each interview you can help but respect Chance and his music even more. He's very open about each song and what they meant to him at the time of recording and how important they are to him now. If your a fan of Chance or just a fan of hip-hop and the creative process I'll highly suggest you watch each of the interviews. Also there is a cool interview about Chance's thoughts on aliens and what a day with an alien would consist of.
Good Ass Intro
Pusha Man / Paranoia
Cocoa Butter Kisses
Interlude (That's Love)
Everything's Good (Good Ass Outro)
S/O to Complex for a great interview, and is it just me or do you guys also feel like Chance and his manager Pat have these types of conversations on a daily basis.
Complex unveiled two new covers for their forthcoming October/November issue and the cover stars are two rappers who have seen quite the rise in 2013: Chance The Rapper & Iggy Azalea.
The cover stories and photoshoot videos are made available here for Chance and here for Iggy. It was fun reading the cover story on Chance, who was being followed around on tour, and further talked about aliens (and collabing with them) in the video.
Kid Cudi is on the road right now with the Cud Life Tour featuring Big Sean, Tyler The Creator, and Logic and what has undoubtededly raised the eyebrows of many tour goers thus far is Cudi's attire. That's nothing new, but what is new is Cud's attire: a space suit.
In a new interview with Complex's Joe La Puma this week, Kid Cudi explains how the custom space suit came about and the inspiration behind it. Simply put, this is all pretty bad ass. One of my largest irks of hip hop is the lack of originality in live visual art. It's 2013! We should be evolved beyond standing in one place kickin' rhymes, much less with all your homies on stage too. Thankfully, there are leaders like Kid Cudi who are carrying the flag. Can't wait for the Cud Life Tour to stop in the Chi next week!
C: What made you decide that this tour was the right time to have a customized spacesuit? KC: Well, when I look back at the Indicud album coming out, I realize that it was a big transition for me as an artist. I wanted to absorb the music and take my live show to the next level.
With that train of thought, I took a step back and started to think about ways I could bring an experience to the kids at the show. Leading up to the storyline of Man on the Moon III, I feel like everything that’s happening up to now is the prelude. With the way Indicud left off, it was like I went back to the moon to gain some peace of mind. I jumped back in my ship and left Earth after I was resurrected from the death of Mr. Rager in Man on the Moon II.
C: So this is part of the warm-up for Man on the Moon III?
KC: This is me thinking about the trilogy and the theme of the story to show what Man on the Moon III is going to be, subject-matter wise. I thought it would be cool to give people some type of Moon Man visual, which I’ve never done before. It’s always been metaphorical, but coming up with the suit idea just hit me.
The full interview, revealing the designer and how the collab came about (plus a hilarious secret compartment to the suit), can be read here.
The Weeknd's first Complex cover, if I'm not mistaken. And it's a poppin' one; love the colors. Weeknd doesn't do any interviews (this being his first) so for any fan of his, the cover story is a must-read. He details the creative process with Drake on the Take Care album (plus their current friendship), his upcoming album Kiss Land being that of a horror story, admiring R. Kelly and Portishead, and more.
Weeknd samples the latter's "Machine Gun" for his new song and video "Belong To The World", which premiered on MTV today as well (seen below). Portishead's Geoff Barrow tweeted that The Weeknd didn't have permission to use the sample, however. We'll see how that plays out business-wise.
But for the song and video itself: I rock with it. I think it's stronger than the "Kiss Land" title track as the Portishead sample really adds a pulsating feel to the track. The chorus stands out... and then there's the video. It was shot in Japan by Anthony Mandler and has a cinematic intro to add to the story. In brief, I like the video a lot too and "Belong To The World" is an instant *Tibs Fav. all around. Watch it for yourselves below!
"Now, as all of this is happening to you, man, is it real to you? Is it real?" asks Complex's Reggie Ossé in an interview with modern boom-bap wunderkind Joey Bada$$. It's a fitting question to ask; within the last year or so, Mr. Bada$$ and his Pro Era crew have gone from obscurity to notoriety, thanks to well-received mixtapes like "1999" and numerous features with high-profile artists. Clearly, from an outside perspective, this sudden fame is very real, but Joey remains cool and collected about it.
"I'm still trying to figure that out," he answered. I'm pretty sure this guy is still 18, yet he is talking and rapping like a vet already. It's not only refreshing but somewhat relieving to hear a talent like Joey is making it to the big leagues.
Interview highlights include speaking on getting acquainted with Mac Miller, recording his verse for A$AP's "1Train," and various/hilarious meanings behind the P.E. acronym.
Look for Joey's new mixtape "Summer Knights" to be released July 1.
In case you missed, not one, not two, not three, *LeBron voice* but seven new covers of Complex from Rihanna yesterday - well, here's one more to boot. It's not of her, but of Kid Cudi, who will share cover duty with Rihanna on the flip side of their upcoming February/March issue.
Per usual with Complex covers, you get some strikingly powerful imagery. You can also read the cover story, entitled "Life After Death" here.
Alicia Keys will be joining A$AP Rocky as the latest cover subject of Complex as she graces the December 2012/January 2013 issue above. Accompanying the cover is an intriguing story that chronicles some events of the past few years for Alicia, while also doubling as an in-depth preview of the concepts behind each song on the upcoming album, Girl On Fire. It's a nice read that you can peep your eyes on here.
Also, Complex has been tweeting some real nice quotes from Alicia and her cover story. Perhaps they'll serve as thought-provoking motivation this morning and reel you in even further...