Over a week ago Drake blessed the world with a “playlist” full of new music with him featuring numerous artists. Some are still confused on what a “playlist” still means it was neither a mixtape nor and album. As far as the project itself I will get to that, but as far as the project being labeled as a “playlist” it gave Drake the creative freedom and chance to make mistakes without being critically judged like he has in the past. The way I can compare it is to a trapeze artist with a net under them and a safety wire in case shit goes wrong.
I believe that way of thinking for Drake works. He is the most popular pop artist/rapper out now and arguably the most popular pop artist out and he gets a lot of flak for how he tries to go outside the box. I’ve never really been the biggest fan of Drake and I honestly thought Views was sub-par and many critics felt the same sentiments even though it went on to break a shit ton of records and received numerous accolades. But what Drake has accomplished with More Life, which I feel is his best work today since the release of Take Care is very impressive.
We as hip-hop fans have to get over the fact that we may never get a Drake album where he is just spitting bars, which we know he is very capable of doing we have to realize that we will always get a mix because that is the way Drake gets the most out of the spotlight. He would be stupid to stop doing and putting out the type of music he has been so we have to adapt to what he is releasing and compare the projects he has released side to side.
There are numerous tracks where Drizzy has shown that he still has the skills to compete for the crown as best rapper alive and yes there are those ghost writing asterisks that need to be next to his name which he addresses right off the back on “Free Smoke” by saying, “How you let the kid fightin’ / Ghost-writin’ rumors turn you ghost?”. Right from the start Drake gives us our fair share of bars that we can eat for days and yes he is still taking shots at Meek because to the victor goes the spoils and if I was him I’d never stop the pettiness. This leads into “No Long Talk” where he continues to go in on the beats that are by far the best beats he has chosen in awhile and with the assistance of unknown artist Giggs it gives the tone a grimey feel that starts to chip at Drakes “soft” label that has followed him throughout his career.
One thing that has to be addressed is the way that he is sticking with this patois dialect and at first I felt like it was very obnoxious and was wonder what he was doing, but the way he has mixed it throughout the “playlist” and the Dancehall type production like on the tracks “Passionfruit” and “Get It Together” you can’t help but want to dance and you start to feel that Drake is right at home with this type of genre.
One spotlight of the “playlist” is the 4 track sequence of “Madiba Riddim” to “Blem” to “4422” to “Gylachester” is just musically amazing. You can sort of feel the sequence of a night out with these 4 songs and you feel like a story is being told throughout and it start with “Madiba Riddim” just showing up to a party and just having fun. This leads to “Blem” which also has the same dance feel, but with a more darker and sexual feeling which also has a surprise message from Lil Weezy himself. The it goes into “4422” which honestly is one of my favorite tracks on this “playlist” and it doesn’t even feature Drake on it and it feature the emotional serenade of Sampha who gives us a rest from Drake and lets us feel what Drake wants us to which bring home what Drake musically can’t. Finally we go to “Gylachester” which gives us the dark, bouncy no apologetic Drizzy that we are accustomed to and want to see giving us the line, “Bury me now and I’ll only get bigger / That’s word to my niggas” which is so true, because if Drake were to die today even though most wont like it he would go down as one of the greatest.
The next highlight of the album is “Portland” which features Migo #1 and Travis Scott where Murda Beatz gives us a panflute assisted beat that had the internet going crazy and rightfully so.The way Quavo spits it might be time to break off from the Migos and get himself a solo album, because you can tell he is a star ready to get to new heights on his own and Travis Scott was surprisingly able to hold his own. “Sacrifices” is the next track and feels as though like it will be over shadowed by the track before because it is honestly a lite version of the track before.
One thing I had mixed feeling about this album was the inclusion of Skepta and Giggs and the fact that I feel as the addition of those two wasn’t a bad thing I just felt as thought they were the same artist and when Skepta was given his own interlude he under performed. Not to say he was wack it was that Giggs out shined him throughout the project and both having the same style it is easy to comapre the two. The way Giggs performed on “KMT” shows that he might be ready to break through to American fans and with the Drake stamp of approval he can reach the level that Skepta was suppose to after his Drake stamp of approval.
Tracks like “Lose You” and “Can’t Have Everything” were filler to this playlist and could have been done without even though I did enjoy them. That was sort of the case with a 22 song “playlist” some of these songs sounded similar to songs that came before and came after.
The stand out track of the “playlist” had to have been “Glow” a track that has featured a new cured Kanye West and gives us previews of a Drake/Kanye collaboration album that, if released will set the whole world on fire. It seems as though the so called “beef” between The Calabasas King and The 6 prince has fizzled into obscurity and has led to musical magic between these two Mega-Stars. The fact that Drake gave Kanye the greenlight to just rap throughout the track while he did backing vocals is something I have to commend, because it felt as though this was a Kanye track featuring Drake.
I feel as though More Life was a do over and a fixture of the mistakes Drake made with Views. I feel as though this was Drakes original intentions with Views, is not what he accomplished and with More Life I think that this is arguably Drake’s best project he has ever released. If this is what we can expect from Drake from now on I might have to change the way I view Drake as an artist. I really enjoyed this “playlist” and am looking forward to that eventual collab album with Kanye and if we don’t receive it, we will riot. Drake warned us “more chune for our head top” and he sure delivered on that warning.
Top 5 Rankings: 1. Kendrick Lamar, 2. Drake, 3. Chance The Rapper, 4. Big K.R.I.T, 5. J. Cole
1st week More Life streams: 385 Million Streams