In 1926 famed inventor Nikola Tesla predicted a connected world, where you could reach your friend in another country as easily as you could talk to your neighbour, through "instruments that will fit in a vest pocket." Tesla's vision has been realized through smartphones, personal computing and ubiquitous internet. The impact of these innovations is undoubtedly massive, and music serves as an interesting way to examine them.
These technologies have driven our current remix culture, where cultural artifacts are constantly flipped and edited for new uses. They've also helped drive a more globalized music culture, where artists can now sample and work with their influencers all around the world.
"Get It Together" is a microcosm of these trends. Though it is technically a Drake song, we don't hear him anywhere except the chorus. Instead, 19-year-old UK singer Jorja Smith leads the vocals, crooning over a beat by South African DJ Black Coffee.
The song itself is a stripped down version of Black Coffee's 2010 track, "Superman", in which fellow South African artist Bucie sings what are largely the same verses as Smith, detailing a woman begging her man to treat her right. In Bucie's version, the chorus has her asking if he will be her Superman. On "Get It Together", Drake and Smith flip that expectation of the man being a hero. Instead, both artists admit they need to "get that shit together" so they can get together. Smith was a late addition to the track, which originally featured Jennifer Lopez. It wouldn't be a proper Drake track without some ex-girlfriend drama, right?
"Get It Together" is part of Drake's More Life release, which he branded as a "playlist". A thousand think pieces have analyzed what this means, but at it's core, the playlist is our new way for consuming. Our playlists are often a mashup of our favourite songs for a particular moment or mood. On More Life, Drake assembles many of his current favourite artists, and largely steps out of their way. He is as much a curator as he is an artist on this release. More Life encompasses a global sound, with artists featured from the UK, Nigeria, Jamaica, Canada, South Africa and the United States.
When Tesla envisioned this connected world, I'm not sure if he extended it to music. But through personal computing and internet, Drake put together his most fun and engaging collection of music in a long time.
You can learn more about Drake here:
About the curator - Cormac McGee
Cormac McGee is a DJ, artist manager and concert promoter based in Toronto, Canada. He’s played in front of crowds from 10 – 1,000 people and has run concerts with some of today’s top hip hop artists, including Drake, Future, Mac Miller, 6lack, Ab-Soul and more. He also runs the Music Den at Ryerson University, a business incubator for entrepreneurs in the music industry.