In just four years rapper Drake went from playing Jimmy Brooks on the Canadian drama series, Degrassi to selling out shows on his tour, aptly titled “Would You Like a Tour?” With his fourth project, “Nothing Was the Same” hitting number 1 on Billboard Charts and his Canadian home naming him the new “global ambassador” for the Toronto Raptors on September 30, 2013, Drake has a lot to celebrate and it shows in his new album.
A line from the extended opening track with no hook, “Tuscan Leather”, sums up the measurement level of Drake’s confidence. “This is nothin’ for the radio, but they’ll still play it though./Cause it’s that new Drizzy Drake, that’s just the way it go.” There is some heavy truth to this despite hip-hop critics stating Drake is “too soft” and “wrapped up in his feelings”. Drake has made his own voice in hip hop by refusing to follow the same path as the current popular sound no matter what anyone says. It’s working for him and if nothing else the ladies love him for it, which provides him with more content to kiss and tell.
His pattern of treating his album as a personal diary with a deliberate open lock doesn’t change on this album. In fact he seems to go deeper into his life including a hint at a fall out with YMCMB label mate, Nicki Minaj, as well as a slew of past girlfriends and family members. Drake still seems to be struggling with finding a balance between the “mo’ money mo’ problem” dilemmas that come with fame and the pure heart he wears on his sleeve. He captures this on “Furthest Thing” with the lyrics:
“Somewhere between psychotic and iconic/Somewhere between I want it and I got it/Somewhere between I’m sober and I’m lifted/Somewhere between a mistress and commitment/But I stay down, girl I always stay down.”
“Come Thru” sets up a nice night on the couch with your girl, some liquor and a subscription to Netflix. Plus it has a great tempo change midway through the song that is produced perfectly. “Hold On, We’re Going Home” is a feel good track and no doubt for the ladies with a Michael Jackson and Quincy Jones influence. “Connect” is Houston’s sound with a reference to baseball and the power women have over him.
For fans that don’t care who Drake is dating, sleeping with, or how things fell apart, there are still a few strong racks showing his love and respect for the hip-hop greats Wu-Tang. On “Wu-Tang Forever”, “Own It” and “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music” ft. Jay-z, Drake samples the classic Wu songs. “The Language”, “All Me” and “Started from the Bottom” are perfect for popping bottles in the VIP section at your local club venue. “Worst Behaviour” is dripping with arrogance about his come up. This is a song you want to play going back to your high school reunion after you ‘made it’ and blast to all the losers who used to pick on you. Plus it has a nice homage to my childhood crush, Ma$e. “305 to My City” seems like a favorite only to those who are strippers from Miami and looking for a special invite from Drake to the land of fries and gravy (Canada).
With the two distinct Drake subjects on this project, the one song both kinds of Drake lovers can agree on is “From Time” ft. Jene Aiko. It is the smoothest most effortless track on the album. Drake is a storyteller. Storytellers in music connect with people and that is how they earn a lifetime residence in music. As Jimmy Smith say’s on a speech sample on the album:
“Only real music is gonna last, all the other bull**** is here today and gone tomorrow.”
The Peach Review®