outkast reunion, oukast 2014

As you prepare for new year’s resolutions you will either boast of, (consider that Fuelband or Fitbit as a publicly binding contract with your waist-line) or deny ever making, it’s time to discuss what will really matter in our lives: music.

In the immediate aftermath of Beyoncé by Beyoncé, we look forward with regard to the music industry with the big question: how did this change things? Radiohead’s In Rainbows pay-as-you-like business plan gave credibility to companies like Bandcamp, which allows artists to do just that, directly selling music to fans. Will Queen Bey’s sneak-attack release style be the new way for artists to wake the music industry up to a more spontaneous way? Likely not, but the opposite method, a long storied build-up, didn’t exactly help Daft Punk or Justin Timberlake, whose albums weren’t helped by years of pent up fan angst.

 And while reports say that pay-to-download music may have peaked in 2013, 2014 looks to be a year of dominance for subscription-music services. Spotify is getting as many app development deals as they can, but their control of the industry is not assured. Dr. Dre is working with Trent Reznor on a Beats music service, which, given each of their thoughts on the industry, could provide a strong alternative. The likely to be named Beats Music could be more equitable to artists than Spotify is, while also emphasizing audio quality.

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And if you’re feeling that you’re at peak Kanye-saturation, he hears you loud and clear, and has threatened/teased a 6 month chill-down. Luckily for us, that could end with an amazing result: Q-Tip has let it be known that he and Rick Rubin are working to co-produce Ye’s follow-up to Yeezus. Whether or not Tip and Yeezy’s egos can survive an album’s worth of studio sessions is TBA, but since Rubin was the man who helped get Yeezus out on time, this new effort is one to keep an eye out for.

 Judging by the music news in December, the status quo will continue along. We’ve been given a trail of breadcrumbs teasing an OutKast live concert reunion, which has built up over the seven years the duo has been on hiatus. The rumor of their reunion at Coachella gives many reason to finally consider booking airfare out to that west coast spectacle of good music, dudebros and sunshine.

 Detox still won’t be released. Sorry, I’m not sorry, Dre.

Henry T. Casey tweets @henrytcasey

Music news is streaming on This Week in Music on FilmOn:

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Kanye West’s Yeezus tour goes haywire; we don’t give him a break
The year in Jay Z: Can we all agree it was his worst ever?

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