Published Jun 28, 2011When Lenny Kravitz first popped up in the late '80s, the singer-songwriter was pegged as a neo-flower child. His upcoming Black and White America reportedly still contains rock riffs, but collaborations with Jay-Z, Drake and Swizz Beatz are taking the soulful rocker in a new direction.
While he's touched on '60s rock, funk and soul in the past, an interview with Billboard revealed that Kravitz felt compelled to branch out even further on this latest disc, which drops August 30 on Roadrunner/Atlantic.
"As a person I am all over the place. I'm completely schizophrenic," Kravitz said. "I've tried to make a record that sort of has one sound throughout, and I just can't do it. When I go left, I want to go right; when I go up, I want to go down. I have so many musical styles inside of me. Growing up, I listened to every kind of music and it's in me and it's just the way I am, so the albums always come out like that, all over the place."
"Stand," "Rock Star City Life" and "Come and Get It" are said to be primed with hard rock riffage, but Jay-Z collab "Boongie Drop" features a reggae vibe. The joint venture with Drake, "Sunflower," features Drizzy's smooth flow. For the record, Drake reportedly jumped at the chance to go Kravitz's way.
"It's all music, you know?" Kravitz said. "I only go where the music takes me, so if I hear it in the track, I'll do it. I won't do something for the sake of, 'Well, this is hip now.' When I wrote 'Boongie Drop' I heard a rap in the middle, and I immediately heard Jay's voice and we had collaborated twice before, so I called him and when I went to New York I put him on the track. And then I got on the phone with Drake for ['Sunflower'] before he had even heard the track and he said, 'Yeah, I'll do it. I'm a fan and I love your work and I would love to be on it.' So that was cool."
You can peep a rundown of the songs below, though it's unclear if this is the proper tracklisting.
Black and White America
"Black and White America"
"Come and Get It"
"Into the Black"
"Rock Star City Life"
"Boongie Drop" (ft. Jay-Z and DJ Military)
"I Can't Be Without You"
"Looking Back On Love"
"Life Ain't Ever Been Better Than It Is Now"
"The Faith of a Child"
"Sunflower" (ft. Drake)