November 1, 2011 JUKEBOX ⁄  QUIET WEEKND


A whisper is sometimes more powerful than a shout. The Weeknd and his OVOXO collective are probably the hottest purveyors of this philosophy at the minute; they have become the masters of ‘minimalist hype’. With neither word nor warning they drop absolute bombs, then in the ensuing hysteria they decline interviews and withhold commentary before disappearing into the shadows again. They let the tension creep in rather than crank it, the absence of a PR machine has the public constantly talking because they’re not getting any answers. It’s genius.

To accompany this minimalist approach to hype-making, Omari Shakir unleashed his latest dazzler, the aptly named ‘Different’, which is best described as ‘minimal rap’. Shakir’s double-timed rhymes and snakecharming melody of oriental strings are the main elements of this spars and moody number. Aside from the odd effect, it’s rounded off with a subtle clattering of sticks and the odd filtered, thundering kick that sounds like the muffled footsteps of a tyrannosaur. It breathes fresh life into an old dog that we thought was all out of tricks.

Let’s hope Drake’s dubious star power doesn’t mean they’re now chasing the hype, instead of making it.

[Aleks Eror]