Published Nov 23, 2015Early next year, art rock mainstay David Bowie will return with a new album called Blackstar (a.k.a. ★). Despite its title, the album was not inspired by the famed late '90s rap duo of Talib Kweli and Mos Def, but it still has some major hip-hop influences according to a new interview.
Rolling Stone just published a behind-the-scenes look at the album where the publication interviewed the producers and players on the upcoming LP. Among the many tidbits leaked was that the album was inspired by the vast musical reach of Kendrick Lamar.
"We were listening to a lot of Kendrick Lamar," producer Tony Visconti said in the piece. "We wound up with nothing like that, but we loved the fact Kendrick was so open-minded and he didn't do a straight-up hip-hop record. He threw everything on there, and that's exactly what we wanted to do. The goal, in many, many ways, was to avoid rock'n'roll."
The album did manage to attract a high-profile collaborator in former LCD Soundsystem dude James Murphy. He reportedly plays percussion on two tracks, but was initially brought in to be a third producer alongside Bowie and Visconti.
"At one point we were talking about three producers for the album: David, James and myself," Visconti said. "[Murphy] was there for a brief time, but he had his own projects to go off to."
As Stereogum observes, this could possibly support evidence of an LCD Soundsystem reunion in 2016.
Bowie drummer Mark Guiliana added that even in his brief time there, Murphy contributed a lot to the recording session. "His role was never really defined. He brought in some synths and some percussion and had a ton of ideas."
Blackstar arrives on January 8, which is also the artist's 69th birthday. You can watch the video for the album's title track below.