Written Before Listen
Drake might be arguably the most popular artist of our generation. For the past 11 or so years, he has been one of the top hip hop artists when it comes to sales, recognition, and clout. Personally, there are some amazing projects from him and some terrible ones. the album Take Care is an album that I go back to a lot to this day. Also, albums like “Nothing Was The Same” and “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” are also worth the mention as both albums are above average as well. Unfortunately, albums like Scorpion and Views have been two albums that are not like that. This, on the other hand, could be a turnaround for Drake. Without further ado, let’s see what CLB has in store for us
Let’s talk about what most people appreciate Drake for, the production. I do think there are some solid beats on here. For example, I do think the beat for “Fair Trade” is a nice atmospheric trap song and the beat for “You Only Live Twice” is pretty triumphant. Other than that, all I can say is that this album is missing something. I don’t know why but it’s missing Boi-1da. This album has over 50 production credits and none of them have a Boi-1da credit. Even the guy who played Andre on Victorious has a production credit on here. The people that he has on here are big names for sure. Metro Boomin shows up for his check, Supah Mario shows up, of course, his other usual producers show up too but what I think made special was the use of Boi-1da and 40. Surely 40 shows up but his iconic sound is not there at all. Unfortunately, all of the production just seemed phoned in.
Alongside having a lot of producers, the album is loaded with features. They all do pretty well, but that is mainly because Drake rarely tries. The only track he tries on is “You Only Live Twice” and that’s only because the beat was just too good. On “Girls Want Girls” we have a terrific Lil Baby verse and a terrible one-liner from Drake. On “In The Bible” we have a super monotone Drake performance and two passionate performances from Durk and Giveon. On “Get Along Better” we have a forgettable Drake feature and a well-done Ty Dolla $ign feature. When Drake isn’t overperformed by a feature, he stays alongside an underperformed feature. On “Way 2 Sexy”, Future does a generic verse and Young Thug is barely there. On “Knife Talk” 21 Savage and Project Pat sounds like they made their song that Drake wanted to be a part of, and now they don’t want to be on the song. Honestly, if we got the Drake from 2011, I’m pretty sure this album would’ve been more enjoyable, but he has just given up trying at this point.
Drake has infamously been known for stealing styles. Despite my feelings on it, sometimes it’s overstretched and sometimes it isn’t. I do think the culture vulture appeal comes into play on this album, I do think the originality is lacking on this project. On the other hand, Drake has his style. A lot of them too, but when he does them on this record, it makes me reminisce about his earlier stuff. Surely there is the influence of modern hip hop, JAY Z, Lil Wayne, and The Weeknd, but a lot of his influences are just second nature at this point. They’re just expected.
The Kanye Beef
I was contemplating whether or not I should mention this, but after listening to this album a couple of times, I feel like there is no reason not to. Drake has been subliminally sneak dissing Kanye for the past 3-4 years now and it’s getting back in action. He finally made a diss record with “7AM On Bridle Path” which had some good lines, good points but it’s not worth it. He is taking so much from Kanye on this record. The soul samples, the JAY Z & Cudi features, the goofy one-liners are all Kanye’s. Why is Drake dissing Kanye when he is an influence on his sound. Is it because he is afraid to diss Pusha T? Is it for clout? In my opinion, it’s all of the above.
I mean…out of the 21 tracks this album gives me, only like 2 or 3 are solid. I liked “You Only Live Twice” and “Fair Trade” and I guess “IMY2” is not a bad collaboration, but other than that, This might be the worst Drake album
yeah…I’m not feeling this one. It’s just streaming bait to me. It’s not like Tones and I where everything is intolerable, but the fact that this album is nearly 90 minutes and only has 2 or 3 slightly below-average tracks, says so much about where Drake is headed.