Just when we thought Kanye West was dictating the internet with his Adidas clothing collection on Thursday, the Canadian rapper does the unthinkable and drops a surprise album on us. It's unfathomable for any Hip Hop head but salivating at the same time.
Just when we thought Kanye West was dictating the internet with his Adidas clothing collection on Thursday, the Canadian rapper does the unthinkable and drops a surprise album on us. It’s unfathomable for any Hip Hop head but salivating at the same time.
The timing of the album is perfect. Too perfect in fact. Dropping the night of Yeezy’s anticipated clothing launch and P Diddy’s live performance; considering Drake’s confrontation with Puff, resulting in him being hospitalised, it’s absolutely no surprise he’d want to sabotage any relevance Diddy is trying to resurrect. Not forgetting his brooding short film, ‘Jungle’, released hours before the record.
The 17-track LP features stand out songs such as ‘Know Yourself ‘ with its infectious beat change up, also appearing on ‘Jungle’, along with familiar records like ‘6 God’ and ‘Used To’ featuring Lil Wayne having a very brash and abrasive effect. This is also seen in ‘Energy’ and the opening track ‘Legend’ amalgamating a clunky beat with arrogant lyrics: “All I know, if I die, I’m a motherf*ckin’ legend.” But we all know these lyrics are justified by Drake’s music catalogue.
Drizzy also recruits OVO Sound’s PARTYNEXTDOOR who displays vocals on songs such as ‘Preach’, another bass heavy, fluttery track and ‘Wednesday Night Interlude’ which takes a slightly more serene turn. Travi$ Scott gifts us a verse on ‘Company’ whilst diffusing an edgy and distorted beat into a predominantly clean and smooth record in terms of production.
Drake just wouldn’t be Drake if he didn’t include some sort of ode to his family members in his music, this time it’s dedicated to his mother on ‘You & The 6′. He admits to his mother his life is a mess and when he doesn’t return her texts, she automatically reads the press and tabloids and holds Google alerts on her phone to see what’s going on with his life. This escalates into a rant towards the end of the verse: “I mean I kill ’em every time they do a song with me momma/ I sing a hook they sing along with me momma.” This is perhaps a reference to Big Sean’s ‘Blessings’ in which Sean proceeds to sing along with Drake before his verse, as does Kanye West: “I’m way up, I feel blessed!”
His music has always been known to encompass a perceived paradox, with two clashing personalities that somehow work in harmony, one half being the confident, competitive rapper who seeks the number 1 spot at any given opportunity but also the vulnerable singer who shows signs of insecurities. This LP definitely sways towards his cocky and aggressive side, with an emotional ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ vibe being a rarity.
Drake has created an impressive album, not his best work, but authoritative nonetheless, quaking the boots of other soon-to-be competing records like Big Sean’s ‘Dark Sky Paradise’ and Kanye West and Kendrick Lamar’s upcoming albums. Drake has already said that ‘Views From The 6’ was supposed to be the name of his next album, so this could just be a warm up to an even bigger project; either way it’s Drake’s season and Hip Hop is experiencing yet another golden year, which was heavily missed in 2014.