Update 26 September: This interview with Patrick Carney further quashes the Blakroc 2 rumors. Patrick notes the Blakroc 2 trailer that was released (below) was made without The Black Keys permission, the trailer was made two years ago, there are no plans to release Blakroc 2.
Update 8 September: The Black Keys Fan Lounge now understands The Black Keys actually have no plans to release Blakroc 2. The reasons why are unclear. Despite the video released by DD172 and having eight un-released songs available with the artists noted in the video trailer.
The Black Keys Fan Lounge loved the first Blakroc album. It was an unexpected treat. Ever since Blakroc, fans have hoped for a second installment. Yet Dan and Pat have consistently not entertained Blakroc as a franchise; it seemed to be more a one-off opportunity they couldn’t turn down, which they managed to find time for and fund shortly before they recorded Brothers.
Fans of The Black Keys and Blakroc were somewhat amused last week, then, when the DD172 collective released a purported “trailer” for the long-rumoured Blakroc 2 release, a follow up to Blakroc first released in 2009.
In a win for hype and PR release, almost every music website simply added the video along with the accompanying description of the artists collaborating this time around: Talib Kweli, U God, Jay Electronica, OC, Curren$y, Wiz Khalifa, Jim Jones, Sean Price, The Cool Kids.
Typical was this type of news report, in this case picked up by TripleJ radio online -- “The Black Keys have released a video for the next instalment of Blakroc, their hip hop collaborative project.”
The Black Keys have released? Rather DD172 released.
A week after the YouTube release and The Black Keys have not added the video to their Facebook page. They’ve not tweeted the link. This lack of endorsement is probably more to do with the fact that The Black Keys’ are signed to Nonesuch/Warner Bros records. Blakroc was not released by a Nonesuch/Warner Bros associated label.
Then Patrick Carney had to muddy the waters by tweeting:
There are no actual plans to release blakroc 2. We’ve been trying for months to work out a partnership with @redlobster…to no avail
Those familiar with his sarcastic wit are probably none the wiser. On face value it wasn’t a ringing endorsement.
It was interesting reading that the new album was somehow a new project. In fact all these recordings that are set to be released were actually recorded in late 2009. It’s been noted the album was coming on the Blakroc wikipedia page since 2010.
Amidst the uncritical reporting of this “news” was the fact that no actual release date was mentioned. If it is to be released in 2011, you might assume ‘Black Friday’, November 25, would be the obvious date -- two years after the first Blakroc released on that date.
What was also curious and invariably not pointed out in almost every “news” story was that the music on the video was actually The Black Keys’ 2002 track from The Big Come Up album, 240 Years Before Your Time. A self-referential hat tip the most hip hop sounding Black Keys’ track?
Those reporting the “news” also hadn’t recalled this June 2011 interview Patrick Carney did with the Vancouver Sun:
Carney also killed the rumour that the band was working on a followup to 2009’s Blakroc rock/rap experiment, which saw The Black Keys teaming up with hip-hop stars Damon Dash, Raekwon, Q-Tip, Mos Def, Pharoahe Monch, Ludacris and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, among others.
“No there isn’t,” Carney said when asked if there was going to be a Blakroc 2. “We have seven or eight unreleased songs, and we recorded those in October of 2009. While we were in the process of making it, we kind of realized it was probably good to have just one album like that. But I think we’re going to release the extra stuff as a bonus to the first album.
These comments certainly are consistent with Pat’s tweet and the lack of endorsement from The Black Keys’ own PR machine. Although Pat is kind of contradictory: No, there isn’t going to be a Blakroc 2, however, they are going to release it as a “bonus to the first album.” The question seems to have been how indeed the un-released tracks should be released. Maybe that’s all suddenly been ironed out.
Those with short memories forget this video from 15 February 2010 featuring The Cool Kids. This is the only actual Blakroc 2 music released so far.
It seems we have, at this stage, a situation of hype over substance; more blunt than beats. The Black Keys Fan Lounge looks forward to loving the new Blakroc 2 album as much as the last.