February 14, 2014

Drake is "disgusted" that Rolling Stone "took my cover from me last minute and ran" with Philip Seymour Hoffman.

He tweets: "RIP to Philip Seymour Hoffman. All respect due. But the press is evil."
"I'm done doing interviews for magazines. I just want to give my music to the people. That's the only way my message gets across accurately."
I feel like siding with Drake here. I mean, he sounds self-absorbed and uncaring.  Philip Seymour Hoffman died! But Philip Seymour Hoffman killed himself with drugs. Why channel all honor to him? The man left 3 young children fatherless. Meanwhile, Drake is staying alive, giving music to the people. Where are our values? Why are we morbidly drawn in to Hoffman's self-waste? Show us somebody who's doing something good, offering new, positive things that make life worth living.

I haven't been keeping track of Drake, however, and perhaps he's awful for some reasons that haven't crossed my path, and I can't remember whether his music is any good, musically or message-wise. That's not my point here. I'm just taking him to be a living artist with new material who got eclipsed by our absorption with the way a dead artist would never give us anything new ever again.

56 comments:

Shouting Thomas said...

Dead band members are always good PR. Best if their death makes a big splash.

Whenever a musician died tragically in his youth in a band I played with, the media worked it for months afterward, with the result that attendance doubled or tripled at our gigs.

We musicians have always joked that we should kill off our band members sequentially for the good of our art.

Temujin said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shYbs2f-VgA

broomhandle said...

Who's this we, Kemosabe? I'm not drawn to Hoffman's self-destruction at all and neither is anyone I know. I see it hyped and marketed at supermarket check-outs, chewed over by the terminally bored on the Internet, and I don't doubt, genuinely lamented by his colleagues. But most of us have somehow managed to move on.

Michael said...

Try this, professor. Listen to an entire Drake albumn and then decide if you want to encourage people to listen to him or to revisit the Hoffman movies. Listen to any single cut and decide.

Sorun said...

by our absorption

Ever since the OJ trial (or maybe before) I've been wondering who this "us", "we" and "our" is.

Ron said...

If PSH had traveled somewhere while he was wearing shorts and THEN committed suicide, Althouse would have been triply offended!

Brennan said...

Damn! I got bumped from the Rolling Stone cover for teen heart throb Dzokhar Tsarnaev.

Conrad Bibby said...

Didn't Rolling Stone put the Boston Marathon bomber on its cover a few months ago? NOW Drake is outraged?

Bob Ellison said...

I was scheduled to sing at the Superbowl half-time, but they dumped me for people who were better at lip-syncing.

Bob Ellison said...

Also air-guitar.

traditionalguy said...

Hoffman was a long suffering emotional type that is a rare bird among male actors. So he had created some serious audience identification among women and effeminate upper class men over a good career. Too bad he self medicated himself to death.

As for the overreaction, his fans need tp mourn, and writers on a deadline love an easy tear jerker in our age of all bad news everywhere all of the time thanks to King Obama's rampage destroying the USA.

John said...

Only the Good Die Young. Drake's turn will come, he just doesn't want it enough.

MadisonMan said...

Dear Drake: Next time get the promise of a Cover in writing, with a substantial penalty if it's yanked away for someone who has the temerity to die.

Pogo is Dead said...

Who does he think he is?
It's not like he's gay or anything.

Tibore said...

Drake got bumped from the cover because Hoffman's death is breaking news relative to a simple interview with the music star that can appear in any other issue. Really, the real question is why he's surprised that an actor who's that respected by his peers and many fans would manage to bump his way onto the cover of a magazine dedicated to entertainment.

Now mind you, I'm not saying this is right. The Professor has a good point here: Why be hagiographic about tragedy and self destruction? Nothing would make a better statement than saying that someone who set a crash course on his own doesn't get front-page and mag cover press. That would be the ideal. Above and beyond that, it would be a good thing; it's a message that legacy is not enhanced by self-destructiveness, but rather is tarnished. It would send a message that there's nothing romantic about self-destructiveness, that it's really, truly shameful. The problem is, that's simply not the reality of the entertainment reporting profession today. They'll report it, readers will consume it, and too many will romanticize it as yet another case of a person who got consumed by an addiction.

The reality of the entertainment news industry is miles away from the ideal. That's just the way it is. Drake is nothing more than an unfortunate victim of that attitude.

Scott said...

An overwrought post on an overwrought complaint by a no-account rapper.

And anyway, when I think of "Drake," I think of Nick Drake, who did have massive talent and who wasn't some dumbass rapper.

Pogo is Dead said...

If it bleeds, it leads.

Drake was filler for a slow news day. Bumped.

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

who got eclipsed by our absorption...

Oh no, please do not use the hegemonic "we" for PSH. Or Drake.

madAsHell said...

Rap music must be some kind of entitlement.

John Lynch said...

Rolling Stone doesn't seem to do "off the record."

Scott said...

Oh no, please do not use the hegemonic "we"...

LOL

Ann Althouse said...

Okay, here's his new album — at Amazon, where you can listen to samples from all 15 cuts. NSFW. I had my speakers on mute, and when I noticed and hit unmute, the first word I heard was the N-word, and that word kept recycling. I don't like that. I notice there is one cut that doesn't have the "explicit" warning. #8. Try that.

EMD said...

And anyway, when I think of "Drake," I think of Nick Drake, who did have massive talent and who wasn't some dumbass rapper.

Ha, Nick Drake killed hisself too!

EMD said...

Nick Drake didn't get a cover, though.

Ann Althouse said...

"Dear Drake: Next time get the promise of a Cover in writing, with a substantial penalty if it's yanked away for someone who has the temerity to die."

Yeah, I thought that too. Either he needs better lawyers or he lacked the bargaining power to get this term. I suspect the latter. Rolling Stone needs to be in a position to react to the news. That would be a lot to give up.

What I'm responding to here is OUR fascination with death, the way we give what seems like extra credit to those who die young, including those who are responsible for their own early exit.

Pogo is Dead said...

It's better to burn out than it is to rust.

Laslo Spatula said...

Makes me think of Rolling Stone's 1981 cover story of the long-deceased Jim Morrison: "He's Hot, He's Sexy, He's Dead." Not exactly breaking news even then, but someone was probably bumped from the cover for it. Maybe even Bob Dylan, promoting his "Shot of Love" album.

Nonapod said...

I watched some of the skits Drake appeared on in the recent SNL he hosted a few weeks back. While they weren't great, most of them weren't horrible either. I find it difficult to fully dislike someone who is willing to put on a sweater and portray a dorky dad character on live TV.

jacksonjay said...

Capote Oscar!

N-word spewing rapper!

Gay trumps N-word!

Must have been a tough decision!

Michael said...

I listened to the entire album. Not good. Rap is now tiresome, redundant, sick.

phx said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Skeptical Voter said...

Drake never hit my radar or my ears, so I could give a flying flapdoodle about his "loss" of the cover of the Rolling Stone.

Of course there is an old rock 'n roll song by Dr. Hook about "The Cover Of The Rolling Stone" from back in the 1970's. That's about the last time that any intelligent life cared what, or who, was on the cover of the Rolling Stone.

harrogate said...

All positivism without a drop of Goth makes for a fucked up worldview.

lemondog said...

I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.
Along with the sunshine,
There's gotta be a little rain sometimes.
When you take, you gotta give, so live and let live,
Or let go.
I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.


Happy Valentines Day to another self-absorbed Canadian.......and here I thought this was the exclusive province of Americans.

St. George said...

Drake needs to learn the #1 thing to know about newsstand sales.

When John Lennon was killed, People rushed out a memorial edition, the first time it had done that. Result? Huge sell out.

Result? You know the rest of the story.

Here are the "Laws" dictated by People's then Managing Editor...

Armed with some of the richest data imaginable, People’s founding editor, Richard Stolley, developed Stolley’s Law of Covers in the late ’70s and has kept them updated since. Bear in mind the subject matter: laws that work for People may not work for, say, Cat Fancy.
1. Young is better than old. America, as we’re constantly reminded, is a youth-obsessed culture.
2. Pretty is better than ugly. No matter how notorious, off-putting subjects hurt sales.
3. Rich is better than poor. Stolley sums up this rule by asserting that our culture is more interested in Daddy Warbucks than in Little Orphan Annie.
4. Movies are better than television. Stolley believes this has flipped since People was founded in the late ’70s, when TV had the edge.
5. Movies and television are better than music. He acknowledges that music has its hot spells, however.
6. Movies, TV, and music are all better than sports. People sells in supermarkets, and most supermarket shoppers are neither male nor sports-obsessed.
7. Anything is better than politics.
8. Nothing is better than the celebrity dead. Stolley wrote:

"I did not understand this when Elvis died in 1977, a blunder not repeated when John Lennon was murdered in 1980. That cover was People's best-seller until Princess Diana's death in 1997.

"The top 10 People sellers of all time also include the unexpected deaths of Princess Grace and John F. Kennedy, Jr. For any magazine, cover success with this grim but fascinating subject is as inevitable as … well, you know."

Uncle Pavian said...

"Meanwhile, Drake is staying alive, giving music to the people. "
No, he's not. He's selling music to the people, and making a pretty good living. Which is not the same thing.

surfed said...

No shortage of good actors. To carry on as if they were on some endangered species list. Unseemly.

Bob Boyd said...

"We keep getting richer, but we can't get our picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone."

Youngblood said...

Althouse,

I am in the same boat. I would much rather seen Rolling Stone celebrate a living musician than an actor who both destroyed himself and not only left his children penniless but straight up fucked them over. And I say that having no particular love for, enthusiasm for, or interest in Drake.

Howard said...

I'm taking Drake with crap old and new material, is jealous at being eclipsed by a real artist who's material remains fresh PSH gave everything of himself to entertain and enlighten *us*. How PSH died is only material to his family, ghoulish voyeurs and judge-mental scolds.

William said...

Neither Rolling Stone nor Drake are traffic signs on my road through life so it's like watching kittens fight.......I admired Hoffman's talent, but as poetic deaths go it wasn't much. He left behind an impressive body of work so it wasn't like he was cut down before his full flowering. And he wasn't that good looking either. Premature deaths are so much more tragic when they involve good looking people. Beyond that I deduct points when the death involves suicide or an overdose. Sloppiness and self indulgence aren't particularly tragic or poetic......Now if Justin Bieber died in a flaming Lamborghini, we would all pause and contemplate the transience of our stay on earth and the vanity of human wishes. It would be the most haunting and poetic death ever. Justin Bieber has that potential.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

I am confused. I saw the cover of Rolling Stone on a news stand just yesterday, and it had Pope Francis on it.

Howard said...

Surfed: Great actors are as rare as big-wave riders. Something you pinner shore-break Atlantic kooks wouldn't understand.

Wilbur said...

Of course "Cover of the Rolling Stone" was written by Shel Silverstein, "Rose Garden" by Joe South, two great songwriters.

I had a subscription to Rolling Stone and read it cover to cover. One day I read a review of "Who Are You", where the reviewer went to great pains to explain that what The Who meant was that The Who are you (the audience).

A light bulb went off, I cancelled my subscription to this pretentious nonsense, and haven't looked at it since.

I'd never heard of Hoffman until his death was announced as a somber break-in to network sports programming. Another heroin OD by a tortured artist? Meh.

$9,000,000,000 Write Off said...

Re: Contractually guaranteed cover.

I once worked on a Playmate of the Year's contract with Playboy. Playboy was very generous with our demands, but not that. They retained total discretion precisely because something could happen between shoot and publication. Twas a while ago, but that's my anecdote.

The Crack Emcee said...

Ann Althouse,

"The first word I heard was the N-word, and that word kept recycling. I don't like that."

Nigga, please.

"Open Books, Not Legs. Blow Minds , Not Guys."

- Drake

What a terrible message Drake's pushing on a white public, so much better than he.

Look down, white folks, from your perch of self-designated, non-dancing, non-rhyming, almost-rhythmless-by-comparison superiority, knowing you dictate all, your massive ignorance be damned.

Who did everyone from Elvis to Eminem get their shit from? Who was Nick Drake and Dylan trying to emulate?

Really, watching white people discuss black ANYTHING - which they rarely understand without a black guide - is hilarious. And horrifying:

Scott,

"An overwrought post on an overwrought complaint by a no-account rapper.

And anyway, when I think of "Drake," I think of Nick Drake, who did have massive talent and who wasn't some dumbass rapper."


Really, Ann, I don't know how you deal with such ignorance and obvious racism.

Personally, I'm glad dumbass, no-account Rap is the biggest selling music phenomena on the planet - and Nick Drake is but a footnote - or I'd be tempted to think this man knows what he's talking about.

None of you know what you're talking about.

So why are you talking?

Oh yeah - so we blacks will have SOMETHING to laugh about.

It's either hearing them screaming "That's not music!" or hearing their thoughts on fairness and equality after they utilized 400 years of slavery money for their own designs.

Go on, guys - tell us how it is:

My black friends and I are enjoying this open exhibition, in one place, of white folks' accumulated brilliance,...

mrs. e said...

PSH did show us somebody who's doing something good, offering new, positive things that make life worth living. He also showed us the darker side of human nature.

You don't have to take sides.

St. George said...

Silverstein also wrote "Boy Named Sue."

Wow.

Jay Vogt said...

Might be time to check in with Frank Zappa on this.

Frank, Wadda ya think?

Frank: Rock journalism is people who can't write, doing interviews with people who can't think, in order to prepare articles for people who can't read.

Well, OK then>

Scott said...

"Happy Valentines Day to another self-absorbed Canadian..."

Is there any other kind? Canadian-ness is a national industry.

Jeff with one 'f' said...

He might as well complain about not making the cover of AARP magazine for all the relevance Rolling Stone magazine has to anyone under 50. Or 60, if the 50-somethings were hipsters.

Sigivald said...

Was Hoffman a musician?

If not, why is he on the cover of Rolling Stone at all?

(I mean, not that the Stone matters at all anymore, except to aging boomers on the Left.

And to musicians desperate for some sort of validation, ala Drake...?)

American Liberal Elite said...

Shit happens.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

Sigivald,

Was Hoffman a musician?

If not, why is he on the cover of
Rolling Stone at all?

He certainly played the role of a second violinist brilliantly in A Late Quartet, which makes him somewhat more of a musician than Pope Francis.

girlfriendtothestars said...

Dear Ann,

If you knew anything about Hoffman's career, or the depth of it, or the way he created his art and work, how he supported theater, young people, students, how much money he gave to these ventures, how hard he worked, and how hard he tried to stay alive, you wouldn't be saying what you said. The man had integrity and a heart of gold. And yes, he was a drug addict. Deal with it. To compare Drake's talent, dead or alive, to Hoffman's is like comparing...actually, there is no comparison. Regardless of drugs or politics or money or class or gay or straight, or black or white or any bullshit that these comments suggest, Hoffman was a great talent and a great human being. Drake has a lot to learn. I mean, sure, it was crappy that his cover was taken from him. But you don't say that shit out loud. He's a spoiled, no talent (in my opinion) kid who has a lot to learn.

girlfriendtothestars said...

ps - no one is giving Hoffman "extra credit." That's perverse actually. The people who understand his talent and his struggle are just trying to pay him his due. And trying to grapple with what's left. We have to see every cover of every magazine filled with the likes of Drake, Kanye, Kim, etc. I'd rather see Hoffman on every single one of them.