You’re Dead!, a cartoon-esque jazz-hip-hop hybrid, is the latest creature to be released from renowned producer Flying Lotus. The album came out last Friday, sprinkled with cameos from rap stars Kendrick Lamar and Snoop Dogg. It’s his fifth album, took almost 2 years to make, and has been hailed as “perhaps his best” by Newsweek and nabbed a coveted spot on Pitchfork’s ‘Best New Music’ list. Yet, Flying Lotus isn’t completely satisfied. Truth be told he’s still a little hung up on a guy that just won’t call him back- Yeezy himself. It’s not exactly surprising that Kanye West is one to pull on FlyLo’s heartstrings, but it is somewhat surprising he’s never decided to cash in on Flying Lotus’s genre-bending maximalism.
Flying Lotus addressed the Kanye question in a recent interview with Newsweek: “I should have been on it. It was kind of weird that I wasn’t. Just being totally real, not on some ego shit… I was like, ‘They didn’t even call!’… That’s my favorite one of his albums. I really wish I was part of it. There’s a few things that came out that I really wish I was on. I wish I was on that. I wish I was on the Earl [Sweatshirt] album, the Doris album.” Maybe it was just another miscommunication between managers, maybe Yeezus is holding out, who knows. Though it’s almost a shame. FlyLo’s unique fusion of bass, jazz, sometimes schitzophrenic beats that could have worked with the abrupt, chopped song structures on Yeezus.
The most surprising appearance on You’re Dead! is probably Snoop Dogg. FlyLo says of the collaboration: “It was kind of a cool full-circle moment. Especially with the title being You’re Dead!—if I died, Snoop would probably be the gatekeeper in that kind of quintessential death experience. He was my hero when I was a kid… He was like, “Yo, man, I did some shit like that on my first album called Murder Was the Case.” I was like, “Of course!”
As for Kendrick (who’s still working on his sophomore album): “he’s a mad genius of a man. I’m really fascinated by him. Because I think he’s the best rapper out there. I don’t think anyone’s f—ing with him rapping.”