The return of Blur
has left the music world stunned . After a twelve year absence, the London based band has announced a new album, The Magic Whip
, slated to arrive late April. While the announcement of new Blur music comes as a surprise, yet another project from musical mastermind Damon Albarn
is expected. The man is a workhorse, an unstoppable genre blending musician. He's released five musical projects in the last four and half years spanning a multitude of genres: afropop, experimental electronic acoustics, and never overlook the trip-hop pop bred Gorillaz
. What's more, his music is often based in some form of political or societal commentary; Plastic Beach
was openly peppered with themes of environmentalism. Watch any Albarn interview and you will find a humble man who speaks calmly and plainly on different issues he finds important. There are no grand statements that are instant meme material, nor offensive self-inflating comparisons to past iconic artists. Damon is a soft-spoken man in touch with the world around him, and teeming with a desire to enlighten others about issues they may or may not even realize exist. In other words, he is the exact opposite of fellow contemporary genre blending workhorse Kanye West.
Repeatedly, Kanye is found at fault by the masses for his egotistical, rude behavior. He is labeled an 'asshole' or 'ignorant'. People love to hate Kanye West, but why? Some would say he is uneducated, though they would be wrong. While West may be a college drop out, Albarn did not even attend college. Could it be a race issue? Whether calling out blatant racism in the fashion industry or citing racism as a "distraction to humanity," his platform has consistently focused on racial issues. Maybe Kanye believes the only way a patriarchal based society will give him a platform to speak on is if he forces their attention with grandiose statements and behavior. Regardless of the methods, it works. A frequent topic of conversation in all pop culture, Kanye has mastered marketing to the point where everything he does needs to be covered by all media and music sites. His obsession with ensuring his wedding photo was the number one picture of all time on Instagram has been noted all over the media. The man may use his voice recklessly, but he does use it.
This comparison is not to fault Kanye for his behavior or scold Damon for his lack of star appeal. Instead, it is a call for the both to sit down and collaborate. Both artists have repeatedly shown an appreciation for all musical genres. Imagine the mind-blowing creativity this legendary duo could come up with in only a week in the studio. Albarn has already worked with a myriad of rappers from Snoop Dogg, Pharrell, and Andre3000. Chances are he would have no issue trying to get a hold of Kanye. There would be no need for an outside producer, as West could bring his newfound love for electronics to the table, and Albarn could handle all the live instrumentation. Furthermore, Kanye could teach Damon to loosen up, show his celebrity, and bring a rock star vibe to his music, while Damon could teach Kanye when to calm the hell down and let the music do the talking. With very different fan bases, the whole world would be watching. Not to diss the legendary De La Soul, but imagine Kanye rapping some hilarious bars on Feel Good, Inc. The pop culture references would never end. Kanye West and Damon Albarn don't seem the type to back down from the hype so what the hell are they waiting for? Both artists stand to gain a lot both publicly and professionally from one another.