"Some of 2021's most hyped albums are from Pop Smoke, DMX and now, Aaliyah. So what's the difference between honouring a legacy and cashing in?" - The Face asks in its new article, inspired by the latest Anderson .Paak tattoo. "Putting out new records that are often assembled from scraps to sit in their discographies is an act of legacy trampling. It is the capitalist pursuit of squeezing a person’s commercial potential for every last bit of juice. Yet it’s not impossible to put out unreleased recordings in a way that feels appropriate, egalitarian even" - The Face insists.

“When I’m gone please don’t release any posthumous albums or songs with my name attached. Those were just demos and never intended to be heard by the public” - new Anderson.Paak's tattoo says. He also posted a photo of it to Instagram, making a key part of his last testament perfectly clear, XXL reports. Luckily, .Paak is known for being fairly prolific in life.

Albums are forever
July 28, 2021

10 of the best posthumous albums

Inspired by the recent success of late Pop Smoke, whose both posthumous albums reached the top of the Billboard 200 chart, Guardian chose "the best records from those lost too soon". Their choice includes Prince's 'Originals' as it gives a "tantalising glimpse into a restless genius’s artistic process", Joy Division's 'Closer' as it "oozes claustrophobia, Curtis’s sepulchral lyricism augmented by Martin Hannett’s haunted production", Janis Joplin's 'Pearl' as it "captures both her startling vocal prowess and electric live energy", and other forever-living albums by the ones gone too soon.

Pop Smoke has two albums to his name, both of which were released posthumously, and both of which have reached the No. 1 on Billboard 200 albums chart, according to Billboard. 'Faith' debuts at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart this week starting with 88,000 equivalent album units earned. 'Faith' features more than 20 guest stars, including Chris Brown, Future, Dua Lipa and Kanye West. Pop Smoke previously topped the Billboard 200 with his debut album 'Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon' last July. Pop Smoke was killed on Feb. 19, 2020, at age 20, after being shot during a home-invasion robbery in Los Angeles.

"It’s a wonderful way to say goodbye, a celebration of Tony Allen doing the thing he loved and doing it as brilliantly and as unassailably as ever" - the Quietus wrote reviewing the posthumous album 'There Is No End', by the afrobeat drummer. It's Guardian's choice for their Global album of the month as it "plays as a cohesive record because of Allen’s capacity to slot into place behind seemingly any collaborator without diluting his innate sense of rhythmic style" (collaborators include Sampa the Great, Skepta, Ben Okri, and Danny Brown). Pitchfork argues "'There Is No End' is Allen as his most copacetic, polished self. It doesn’t feel like the finish line, but rather a passing of the baton".

All we needed was just a little patience
December 11, 2020

Posthumous covers album by Chris Cornell comes out

Guns N' Roses' 'Patience', John Lennon's 'Watching the Wheels' and Sinead O'Connor's 'Nothing Compares 2 U' are some of the songs covered by Chris Cornell on an album surprise-released today, Seattle Times reports. 'No One Sings Like You Anymore' is Cornell's “last fully completed studio album”, and it also includes Ghostland Observatory (with 'Sad Sad City') Harry Nilsson ('Jump Into The Fire'), Carl Hall ('You Don't Know Nothing About Love') Electric Light Orchestra ('Showdown'), Terry Reid ('To Be Treated Rite'), Lorraine Ellison ('Stay With Me Baby'), and Janis Joplin ('Get It While You Can').

Smoke on the Chart
September 26, 2020

Pop Smoke - first posthumous UK No. 1 this year

The posthumous debut album by US rapper Pop Smoke, 'Shoot For The Stars, Aim For The Moon' climbs to Number 1 on this week’s Official UK Albums Chart. It has become a norm for hip-hop albums to get the majority of the sales from streaming - 97% of Pop Smoke's charts sales figure this week came from streams (rock still clings to physical album sales). Pop Smoke, who died in February this year, becomes the first solo artist to land a posthumous Number 1 debut album in the UK – the only other act to have done so was Warrington band Viola Beach who topped the Official Albums Chart with their self-titled debut in 2016 (a few months after the complete band died in a car crash).

Dead, but still living...
July 19, 2020

Juice WRLD scores posthumous number one album in the UK

US rapper Juice WRLD has topped the UK album charts, seven months after his death at the age of 21, caused by an accidental overdose. The star racked up 22,500 chart sales of 'Legends Never Die' this week, 97% of which came from streams, UK Official Albums Chart reports. Juice WRLD's 'Legends...' is the first posthumous number one since a re-release of George Michael's 'Listen Without Prejudice' in October 2017.

Pop Smoke hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 for his debut album, 'Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon', which moved an impressive 251,000 equivalent album units. Of that total, 59,000 came from traditional albums sales, Billboard reports. This marks the first No. 1 posthumous album since XXXTentacion's 'Skins' album debuted at No. 1 in 2018. The debut album comes five months after the rapper was killed. The 19-track album was completed by 50 Cent. Also on the Billboard 200, the original Broadway cast recording of 'Hamilton: An American Musical' vaults from No. 14 to No. 2 after it earned 102,000 equivalent album units last week. The last cast recording to reach the top two on the chart was the original cast album of 'Hair', which spent 13 weeks at No. 1 in 1969, according to Billboard.

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