A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘drake

[NEWS] Fourteen links

  • By at least one metric, New Brunswick now lags economically behind a more dynamic Prince Edward Island. CBC reports.
  • NOW Toronto looks at toxic fandoms. (“Stanning” sounds really creepy to me.)
  • This CityLab article looks at how the particular characteristics of Japan, including its high population density, helps keep alive there retail chains that have failed in the US.
  • MacLean’s looks at Kent Monkman, enjoying a new level of success with his diptych Mistikôsiwak at the Met in NYC.
  • Can there be something that can be said for the idea of an Internet more strongly pillarized? Wired argues.
  • I reject utterly the idea of meaningful similarities between Drake and Leonard Cohen. CBC did it.
  • Toronto Life looks at the life of a Hamilton woman hurt badly by the cancellation of the basic income pilot, here.
  • Inspired by the death of Gord Downie, Ontario now has the office of poet-laureate. CBC reports.
  • Is Canada at risk, like Ireland, of experiencing two-tier health care? CBC considers.
  • A French immigrant couple has brought the art of artisanal vinegar to ile d’Orléans. CBC reports.
  • Shore erosion is complicating the lives of people along Lake Erie. CBC reports.
  • MacLean’s notes how Via Rail making it difficult for people without credit cards to buy anything on their trains, hurting many.
  • Michelle Legro notes at Gen that the 2010s is the decade where conspiracy culture became mainstream.
  • This essay by Robert Greene at his blog talking about what history, and historians, can do in our era is thought-provoking.

[URBAN NOTE] Five Toronto links, from nuclear war to the TTC to poverty to pop culture

  • Worrying about the relationship of Toronto and nuclear weapons seems very 1980s. What’s old is new again, as noted at NOW Toronto.
  • Steve Munro points out that talk of a fare freeze on the TTC ignores the underlying economics. Who, and what, will pay for this?
  • It’s nice that the Little Free Pantry is being supported, as Global News observes, but what does it say about our city that this is a thing?
  • Clifton Joseph notes the Toronto Caribbean Festival has never achieved its goals of emancipation. Cue Bakhtin …
  • Global News notes the new Drake music video promoting his OVO Fest store at Yorkdale. I should go.

[MUSIC] “Beyond the 6: Drake’s global vision”

At MacLean’s, Renato Pagnini reviews Drake’s new album Views. I like how Pagnini explains Drake as partly the product of Toronto and its various scenes, rooted in a multicultural reality perhaps not yet fully recognized by all.

Each project since Drake’s 2010 major label debut Thank Me Later has felt progressively more indebted to Toronto. The city and how it shaped him became more of a focal point in his lyrics (“My heart is cold, it’s probably ’cause I’m from the snow” he raps on 2015’s “6 Man”). Drawing from a number of hip-hop hotbeds, especially the sweltering haze of Houston rap, Drake’s sound grew into what is now known as the “Toronto sound,” an aqueous and reflective form that prioritizes wide-open spaces and sombre moods, the perfect backdrop for the Millennial angst that Drake has made his name peddling.

“Drake has been aggressive with his civic boosterism throughout his career,” says Jamieson Cox, a writer for The Verge and Pitchfork who has kept an eye on Drake since he first started making music after leaving his role as Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi: The Next Generation. “He’s really worked it into the fabric of his music in a lyrical sense, and now increasingly in a sonic sense too.”

Views feels like the culmination of his life-long love affair with Toronto, as well as his first serious bid for global domination. Drake’s always had one foot in pop music—his songs that have charted highest, “Best I Ever Had” and “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” are among his catchiest—but now there’s an increased focus on expanding the parameters of his sound, which was beginning to feel stifling. Moving away from the dark, muted sounds he’s been most comfortable with up until now, Views presents some of the brightest music of Drake’s career, working with livelier tempos and more colourful production.

The album sales tell the story: In just one day, Views sold more copies than Beyoncé’s recent album Lemonade, released less than a week before, did in its entire first week. Views is on target to smash Drake’s previous first-week sales, and insiders have speculated it might even move one million units in its first week, an occurrence seen with dwindling frequency these days as music sales continue to shrink, and subscription numbers of streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music continue to increase.

Plus, Views‘ album cover by Caitlin Cronenberg is spectacular.

Written by Randy McDonald

May 5, 2016 at 9:45 pm

[NEWS] Some Monday links

  • Bloomberg looks at the Vietnamese government’s response to a mass fish death, examines political instability in Iraq, notes a potentially problematic nuclear plant in the United Kingdom, and studies an illegal amber rush in western Ukraine.
  • CBC looks at the recent New Brunswick ruling on interprovincial alcohol shipments, notes an auction of Prince’s blazer from Purple Rain, suggests that a Facebook rant by a man convicted of neglecting the health of his son may not help him in sentencing, and looks at the retirement of Pierre Karl Péladeau as head of the Parti Québécois.
  • The Inter Press Service notes African support for West Papuan freedom.
  • MacLean’s looks at the Island’s preparation for Mike Duffy’s return to the Senate, notes Karla Homolka’s children will have to deal with their mother’s past crimes, and reacts to the new Drake album.
  • National Geographic interviews the author of a new book on abandoned cities.
  • NPR notes how Somali-British poet Warsan Shane has become a star thanks to Beyoncé.
  • Universe Today notes Russia’s first launch from its Far Eastern Vostochny cosmodrone and reports on the identification of an extragalactic neutrino source.

[URBAN NOTE] “Wait, How Are You Supposed to Spell the 6ix, the Six, or the 6?”

I was amused by this Torontoist feature on Toronto’s new nickname, courtesy Drake.

Torontoist is in the midst of revamping its house style guide, and while most style decisions have been fairly clean cut, there remains one for which our team cannot come to a consensus: the spelling of the 6ix. Or is it 6? Six?

There has been a great deal of variation in our publication alone. We have long referred to @norm as the 6ix dad, but our twice-monthly music column Sound Advice columns use “The 6” in their subheadings.

To try to reach a unanimous decision about this highly important spelling debacle, we had a frank discussion about the 6ix/Six/6.

Written by Randy McDonald

April 14, 2016 at 5:23 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “How Drake’s nickname “the 6″ made Toronto cool”

Writing at blogTO, Luke Corrado argues that Drake’s nickname for Toronto has helped make the city of Toronto that much cooler.

What’s in a name? A lot if you’re one of the biggest cities in the world. Even more if you’re a place that’s tended to struggle when it comes to a coherent identity that residents can get behind en masse. Toronto has never been short on diminutives — from TO to the Tdot to YYZ — but it wasn’t until everyone took notice of Drake’s “the 6” (or the 6ix, if you will) that the city finally had a cool nickname.

Don’t get me wrong. When Kardinal Offishall belted out the “T dot comin much hotta” and “I’m from the T dot Oh / Rep it everywhere I go,” there was loads of civic pride at work, but the reach of these songs and the nickname had no international. And, right or wrong, the best nicknames need to span beyond the borders of a place.

Toronto’s nicknames have never been all that inspiring. “Hogtown?” No one wants to be named for the pork trade. “The Big Smoke?” Maybe in the Canadian context, but when it comes to North America, Toronto doesn’t qualify for the title. “YYZ?” I always thought we could be more imaginative than an airport code.

Since “the 6” gained popularity, there’s been plenty of discussion as to its origin. Does it refer to the common number in Toronto’s two main area codes? As people are so quick to point out, the “4” is also common to 416 and 647. Here’s the thing: it doesn’t matter one bit what the nuanced etymology of the term is.

It only matters that Drake bequeathed the name to the city. Jimmy Prime was the first to use the nickname, but Drizzy made it famous.

Written by Randy McDonald

March 7, 2016 at 6:10 pm

[URBAN NOTE] RIhanna ft. Drake, “Work”

blogTO and NOW Toronto note that the video for Rihanna’s new single “Work” featuring Drake, seen earlier this month being filmed at east-end restaurant The Real Jerk, has dropped.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 22, 2016 at 10:30 pm

[BLOG] Some Sunday links

  • Centauri Dreams considers gravitational waves.
  • Discover‘s D-Brief notes our Neanderthal genetic legacy.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze looks at an inflated hot Neptune.
  • The Dragon’s Tales considers how much sulfur dioxide Mars had.
  • Joe. My. God. notes Dan Savage’s criticism of Log Cabin Republicans.
  • Marginal Revolution considers ways to be happy.
  • The Planetary Society Blog looks at Ok Go’s new zero-gravity music video.
  • pollotenchegg notes trends in urban population growth in Ukraine, the Donbas faring particularly badly.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer wonders, after Ross Douthat, about the durability of stereotypes of American militarism and European pacifism.
  • Strange Maps notes a map of xenophobia, tracking rumours.
  • Torontoist notes that Drake got the keys to the city of Toronto.

[URBAN NOTE] On the shooting of the Drake and Rihanna video “Work” at The Real Jerk

blogTO let me know last night that Toronto’s Drake and Rihanna were shooting the video for the song “Work” at east-end restaurant The Real Jerk. The Toronto Star had more today.

A local eatery received the kind of PR that money just can’t buy, thanks to some homegrown talent.

Fans of Drake and Rihanna flocked to the The Real Jerk restaurant located at 842 Gerrard St. E. on Friday night for a chance to glimpse the superstars. RiRi was reportedly in town filming scenes for her latest music video “Work,” featuring Drizzy.

The restaurant tweeted Friday morning that they would be closed until Saturday at noon, but did not specify why.

An open casting call was held in Toronto last week looking for dancers to appear in the music video.

Rihanna has previously released in-progress footage of “Work” to her Snapchat account, but Drake has not been seen, leading fans to speculate that his scenes will take place in The Real Jerk.

Written by Randy McDonald

February 6, 2016 at 4:19 pm