Focal Points – Drake’s ‘More Life’ playlist, NME, Bonkaz

Credit: Courtney Francis
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What’s happening people. Courtney Francis here and I’m back with another edition of Focal Point. Shout out to the readers and those who share this on social media. I really appreciate it.
Here’s a question. Are the type of person to watch and enjoy a video on YouTube but not click the like button? If you are, why? Anyway, that has nothing to do with anything. Just a question I asked my friend over the weekend.
Now, I understand that Drake has dropped an album. Sorry, a playlist. Whatever that means. Hopefully, it means that music will be added continually as time passes. That would be pretty cool. What that also means it is I would never own a physical copy of More Life.
Ask yourself, when was the last time you bought music? Streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music have brought 30 million songs to your fingertips. Whether I feel like listening to Gill Scott Heron or AJ Tracey, having the ability to play whatever song I think of in a few seconds is technologically amazing. The caveat is, you don’t own anything. A subscription is paid every month to have access to the music but basically, you’re renting the audio.
Back in the day, I used to download everything. Popular sites like Napster and Kazaa were in my favourites and was regularly accessed. I used to download albums and if I really liked them, I would go to Mare Street in Hackney and buy the CD. I still do the same thing but swapped the download folder with an app on my phone. However, the latter results in not having the files. After bringing this topic to a few friends, it didn’t seem to make a difference. People aren’t really bothered about not owning music. As long as they keep on their monthly subscription payments, they’re happy with being limited to only having access to music and to be honest, so was I.
So if Drizzy decides to make updates to his More Life playlist, physicals are out of the question. That’s cool, the Rick Ross CD is available.
In the world of printed media, NME did a mad ting and put Stormzy on the cover of their magazine. Now, the fact that they used a photograph of Stormzy as their cover technically isn’t the issue. Pictures of public figures are owned by the photographer and can be used online and in print at their discretion. It is proper to make the public figure aware that this is happening as a mark of respect. After all, it’s their likeness that will be used to shift copies on the streets. The problem here is that NME reached out to Stormzy and was turned down. In what seems like a power move to show some sort of dominance, going against the wishes of Big Mike, they put him on the cover without consent. Even worst, the image used was taken from a photoshoot from another magazine and the quotes that were used were from a separate interview. So even with Stormzy decline to feature, the decided to be foul and find another way to take advantage of his popularity. The bloody cheek of them. What they didn’t factor into this scenario is that Stormzy is a young reformed from the roads of south London. Not being tied down to a record label (He is signed to his own #Merky records) he jumped on Twitter and sent for them in true Grime fashion.
I found it strange that people were telling Stormz that he should be happy to be on the cover of such a well-known magazine. It’s like we should be happy when a light is finally shone upon a scene that has been neglected by these publications for so long. Nah bruv! People need to understand that these big publications are a business. More time, they don’t give a shit about the Grime scene. But since Grime is the ting now, there are jumping all over the culture. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I was slyly gassed when my images were featured in NME a couple of months ago but that was because my New Gen friends who I took pictures of were getting some great promo. These notable publications are just practising business techniques that have been in place for decades. I’m very happy and proud of my bro Stormzy who had the strength and fortitude to use his social platform and put them on blast. Big up!
It’s that time again when I recommend some music that I’ve been listening to. We’ll start with a cool one from the new project from Bonkaz. Quality Control 2.0 dropped last Friday and continues to show the growth of the artist. The standout track for me is Don’t Forget ft Ghetts & J Warner. In this UK music thing, Ghetts is a veteran. He continues to impress me and when he jumps on features, he doesn’t hold back from his mission to spin a man out of his shoes.
My next song is a bit left field to the average Link Up viewing but stick with me. Thundercat, an American multi-genre bass guitarist, producer and singer from Los Angeles recently released an album named Drunk. One song, in particular, I have been reloading is A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song Suite II). Along with the instrumentation that is just the epitome of cool, his lyrics speak about freedom that can be aligned with something out The Lion King. Also, the drums at the end of this song are nang.
Well, that’s it from me. Thank you for reading another edition of Focal Point. If you would like to discuss anything with me, holla on twitter – @CourtneyFPhoto – Until next time, bless up.