Lenny Kravitz releases 'Black And White America,' talks collaborations
Lenny Kravitz released his ninth studio album, titled "Black And White America" on Tuesday, August 30, which includes collaborations with rappers Drake and Jay-Z.
The new album is Kravitz's first new musical effort since 2008's "It is Time for a Love Revolution." The rocker initially set out to finish an album called "Negrophilia," a long-time project of his, but the 47-year-old became inspired to take a new direction.
"I was channel-surfing in the Bahamas one night and came across this documentary. I don't remember what it was called, but it had all these people talking about President Obama --- how they didn't approve of his being elected and wanted to take their country back, any way they could," he told USA Today about the album's title track. "I know that there's racism, but to hear people voice it in such a hateful way -- I had to write a rebuttal."
The musician himself is multiracial, the son of black actress Roxie Roker of "The Jeffersons" fame and Sy Kravitz, an NBC television news producer of Russian Jewish descent.
Kravitz said he was also inspired to write a song called "Push" while filming his scenes as a nurse in the 2009 film "Precious."
"All my albums are positive, but there's usually at least one song with a sadness or deep darkness. But this one is completely happy. My life has never been better," he told the newspaper.
The musician also worked with rappers Jay-Z and Drake on the album, with the latter admitting he was a fan of Kravitz's work while talking to Kravitz on the phone.
"I got on the phone with Drake for 'Sunflower' before he had even heard the track and he said, 'Yeah, I'll do it. I'm a fan and I love your work and I would love to be on it.' So that was cool," Kravitz told Billboard.com.
As for his collaboration with Jay-Z, Kravitz said, "When I wrote 'Boongie Drop' I heard a rap in the middle, and I immediately heard Jay's voice." The two previously worked together on "Storm," a song from Kravitz's 2004 album "Baptism" and on the song "Guns & Roses" from Jay-Z's 2002 album "The Blueprint 2: The Gift & the Curse."
Up next, Kravitz will appear in "The Hunger Games" as Cinna, the stylist and confidant of the film's lead hero Katniss Everdeen, played by Jennifer Lawrence.
Lawrence co-starred alongside Kravitz's daughter, Zoe Kravitz, in the 2011 summer film "X-Men: First Class." Zoe Kravitz is the musician's daughter with actress Lisa Bonet. The young couple eloped in 1987, when Kravitz was 23 and Bonet was 20. The two later divorced in 1993.
Check out a track listing for the album "Black And White America," the music video of his single "Stand" below.
1. Black and White America
2. Come On Get It
3. In the Black
4. Liquid Jesus
5. Rock Star City Life
6. Boongie Drop
10. I Can't Be Without You
11. Looking Back On Love
12. Life Ain't Ever Been Better Than It Is Now
13. The Faith of a Child
14. Sunflower (feat. Drake)