2016 has been a phenomenal year for Canadian music. All of the major Canadian artists have released a studio album in the past 12 months. Stratford’s Justin Bieber released his 18 track album, Purpose,which had 3 songs that hit number 1 on the Billboard charts. While, Hip Hop icon Drake had his biggest year of his career as he crushed countless records. His song One Dance was Number One on the billboard charts for nearly 52 weeks. This broke a record set by the Beatles. His new album was originally called Views for the six (The Six represents Toronto because of the 416 reference), but he changed it to Views. Lastly, Scarborough native, The Weeknd, released his second studio album Starboy. This is second album he released in the past 2 years.
Drake is currently in the peak of his career so this years’ album had to be his best to date. Although the hip hop artist went a different route, and changed his style of music to please a different audience.He went from hard core rapper to shift to a huge hybrid of Pop Rapper.
In April he released his album, Views, an 20 track diverse album. It received some criticism because it strayed away from Hip Hop, but the pop audience loved it. It destroyed records:
Records that the album broke:
- Views has been on the top of the Billboard charts for nine weeks straight. The last album to do that was Ushers’ Confessions in….2001.
- Views has received over 1 billion streams across streaming applications.
- The entire album was placed on the Billboard 100 charts a week after its release.
- It had 245.1 million streams in the first week …. only in the USA.
I know what you’re thinking. How can you be comparing The Weeeknds’ album after this list of jaw-dropping stats. I’m not analyzing the stats I’m examining the music.
One of the hardest things artists have to maintain in the music industry is to be true to yourself and your fans. Sadly, Drake didn’t do this, and went in another direction to keep his stardom.
The lack of lyricism throughout the album, has the world question if Drake has lost his touch. Although the production throughout the album was flawless. In the end, rappers can’t be relying on great production to cover their lack of rhymes.
He will always be remembered for changing his style just so he can keep his fame status.
While 30 minutes away from Toronto, the Scarborough bred, The Weeknd, released his 3rd studio album, “Starboy”. He his fresh from releasing his historic chart topping album Beauty Behind the Madness. This new album distinguished if Weeknd is a one-hit wonder or of he’s ready for the real spotlight. He began working with the ever so talented djs Daft Punk. Weeknd began experimenting with the electro- pop genre, and his voice sounded phenomenal over the squeaky pop sounds. Although the critics knew this album would never better than his previous album. The bar was set so high for that album, and sadly he couldn’t reach yet. Nonetheless, it was a great album, as Weeknd fails to produce a bad project.
This album showcased that The Weeknd had qualities of Michael Jackson. When listening to this album from front to back, you can hear themes of MJ. That fact is truly amazing. We would never imagine if we would see another artist like Mike. Now luckily, we could see the next MJ born in a city in Ontario.
So, Weeknd and Drake made two great albums that weren’t their best. Although Weeknd’s album edges Drake a little bit for being true to himself. Weeknd didn’t change his way to aim for success, but Drake made his album for the larger audience. The Weeknd made this album to hopefully show traces of his idol Michael Jackson. Nonetheless, most respects for both artists for displaying Toronto across the border. I wish them more and more success.