Can an artist prevent his beneficiaries or his record company from exploiting his works after his death? Or even ban any posthumous album by will? One thing is certain: the musical heritage is orchestrated better… alive.
In August 2021, Anderson .Paak, a Californian rapper as talented as he was eccentric, visited his tattoo artist. Excited by the pattern he had drawn under his skin, the famous musician immediately published a photo on the networks. No doves with outstretched wings or kitschy creation: the photo reveals a simple text, in capitals. “When I die, I thank you for not publishing any albums or posthumous songs under my name”, can we read on his forearm. And also : “My demos never asked to be heard by the public. ” The message is picked up immediately by singer Lana Del Rey, who supports her point: “Here is my will, written on his arm. “
The gesture of Anderson .Paak, unprecedented, testifies to a growing feeling among young musicians. Without mentioning it, he denounces an excessive tendency to posthumous albums, notably under the effect of numerous disappearances in the world of American rap. Juice WRLD, XXXTentacion, Lil Peep, Pop Smoke… The list of rappers who recently died in their prime continues to grow. And with it, that of the posthumous works – for some, this is the first record published – which propel them to the top of the charts with content that they would probably not have validated: unfinished songs, falls of recordings. or even fictitious collaborations. Disappeared in 2001, singer Aaliyah will make her return in 2022, accompanied by rappers Drake and The Weeknd, very much alive, but whom she has never known (listen to the track Poison here).
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