He produced choice cuts on Frank Ocean’s Blonde, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. and Dave’s We’re All Alone In This Together, as well as JAY-Z’s 4:44 and Beyoncé’s Lemonade—to which he also lent his voice in both cases. Feature appearances span “Stop Trying to Be God” with Stevie Wonder and Kid Cudi on Travis Scott’s epic ASTROWORLD and “King’s Dead” with Jay Rock, Kendrick Lamar, and Future from the chart-dominating Black Panther: The Album. The latter not only went triple-platinum, but it also earned Blake his first GRAMMY® Award in the category of “Best Rap Performance.”
Simultaneously, James emerged as pop’s most celebrated outlier with his dynamic solo output. He introduced a singular sound on 2011’s James Blake. Awarding the record a rare 9.0-out-of-10 score, Pitchfork crowned it one of “Top 100 Albums of the Decade So Far (2010-2014).” On its heels, the 2013 Overgrown illustrated his rare magnetic ability to align the likes of Brian Eno and RZA on the same project. It notably received the 2013 Mercury Prize and secured Blake’s “Best New Artist” nomination at the GRAMMY® Awards. After 2016’s The Colour In Anything, he reached new critical and commercial peaks with Assume Form during 2019. It bowed at #21 on the Billboard Top 200, marking his highest entry to date. Beyond clocking 300 million cumulative streams in under a year, it garnered the GRAMMY® nomination for “Best Alternative Album” and graced “Best of 2019” lists for outlets including Time Magazine, Harper’s Bazaar, Stereogum, Consequence of Sound, Billboard, DJ Booth, and Esquire. Since then, Blake has treated fans to Instagram live performances, new music sneak peaks and two critically acclaimed EPs; Before and Covers. The artist entertained fans through COVID-19, while live music was put on hold.
James released his fifth studio album Friends That Break Your Heart in October 2021, debuting at #4 on the UK charts and receiving mass critical acclaim. He has recently collaborated with Metro Boomin for the Spider-Verse soundtrack on tracks "Hummingbird" and "Nonviolent Communication" ft. A$AP Rocky & 21 Savage.
As he prepares for the release of his sixth album, James Blake’s shadow over popular music only continues to grow.