Say what you want about Drake, but the man is on top of the hip-hop world right now and has been for the past few years. He is a polarizing, yet extremely likeable figure in the music industry.This week he dropped his long anticipated project, Views. Immediately after revealing the album artwork, the internet went meme and photoshop crazy. What makes Drake so unique is that most rapper would get furious if everyone on the internet was clowning on you album cover but instead Drake embraced the jokes and even Instagrammed a few of his favorite edits. The real life Drake is goofy, nice, and doesn’t take himself too serious. This side of him rarely comes through in this music though as he portrays himself as either a star-crossed lover with a tender side, or a tough money making gangster. One of the biggest knocks on Drake in the past in that his bravado and braggadocios nature seems forced. This album saw him pull away from his usual “started from the bottom” song and dance and instead was more introspective and deep. Unfortunately, that is not what everyone was thirsting for on this album. He had a chance to solidify himself as the best right now and early reactions are that he dropped the ball. After one full listen here is my review on each song.
- Keep the Family Close- This album opens up with the lines “All of my let’s be friends aren’t friends anymore.” One of the most anticipated albums of the year begins with a line about being in the friend-zone. Drake is doing is classic sing/rap combo he has made so famous. It’s a very forgettable intro song.
- 9-Good beat, decent lyrics and actually rapping. Maybe this album has promise after all. “I turned the 6 upside down, it’s a 9 now.” You know Drake thought this line was clever as shit but in reality it doesn’t make any sense.
- U With Me?- Drake starts this song saying he is inspired by DMX. Now I like Drake but the last person he reminds me of is DMX. Not only that but DMX hates Drake. Seems like a weird person to compare yourself to. DMX never crooned some corny hook in the middle of his songs.
- Feel No Ways- Pretty good beat but sounds like a throwaway song lyrically. This won’t be anyone’s favorite song on the album. There are 20 goddamn songs on this thing. Similar to this song there are a lot of songs that could have been left on the cutting room floor. Whenever one of those songs appears I’ll just put “Mixtape Worthy.” That’s not a compliment either.
- Hype- When Drake raps like this it’s clear why he is considered one of the best. The flow, the wordplay, the simple chorus; it all fits together so nicely you can’t help but like the song. I can see this being played in the club for sure. I don’t hate it.
- Weston Road Flows- When I first heard this song I thought Drake said “Westeroo Flows” and then got irrationally angry that he didn’t have a Game of Thrones line anywhere in the song. How about last night’s episode of GoT. That was so awesome. I wonder if next episode they will confirm the R+L=J theory…I should probably get back to reviewing this album (I would much rather watch Game of Thrones). It’s a good song. The album seems to be picking up steam.
- Redemption- I take back what I just said about the album picking up steam. This song is the reason people make fun of Drake. It’s him signing and crying about relationships. I know that this is Drake’s wheelhouse but I hate it so much.
- With You (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR)- The first song with a feature on the album. It’s a reggae type song from his OVO signee. It’s a nice change of pace to not hear Drake whine about another relationship.
- Faithful (feat. Pimp C & dvsn)- I hate when rappers force unreleased material from dead rappers on a song that the subject material doesn’t fit at all. Was an 8 bar verse from the late great Pimp C necessary on this song? Absolutely not. Do I dislike the song? Surprisingly not.
- Still Here- I can vibe to this. One of my favorites so far for sure.
- Controlla- This song has been out for a while. It’s aight. I much prefer the version with Popcaan. Another Jamican/reggae vibe to this song.
- One Dance (feat. Wizkid & Kyla)- Ever since this song was released as a single I’ve listened to it at least once every day. It’s catchy and fun and will inevitably become so popular that I will despise it every time it comes on the radio this summer.
- Grammy’s (feat. Future)- This would be one of the worst songs on What A Time To Be Alive. Probably was a leftover from their recording sessions for that album. Pains me to say but “Mixtape Throwaway.”
- Child’s Play- Drake clearly following in the trend of professing his love for a popular fast food chain. I’m expecting the line “What do you mean you sold out of endless breadsticks at Olive Garden? I just sold out three nights at Madison Square Garden, where’s my check at?”
- Pop Style- The original version of this song featured a good verse Kanye West and Jay-Z leaving a verse through an accident butt dial. I can understand why Drake took them off the song but this song really lends itself to have a feature from a high profile rapper. The content and subject matter could work perfectly in the right guests hands. Maybe there will be remixes that come out in the future.
- Too Good- Another Drake and Rihanna song that becomes infinatly better if you image that Drake never had sex with Rihanna. His relationship with Rihanna is literally the anthesis of the first line of this album. Rihanna has given him the “let’s just be friends” line hundreds of times probably. Their next song together should be called, “You’re Like a Brother To Me.” That said, it’s a good song and will probably be a huge radio single.
- Summer’s Over Interlude-Like I said before, this album is 20 goddamn songs. I don’t know what the purpose of this song was but I would have much rather had a stupid 90 second skit than this.
- Fire & Desire- “Mixtape Throwaway.” Drake could write (or not write depending on who you ask) this song in this sleep. The song actually makes me want to go to sleep.
- Views- The title song. Wow, what a great intro song that was. Wait, it was the 19th song on an album a decent amount of people already turned off? Cool. Great sequencing Drake.
- Hotline Bling-
Drake came in with way too much hype and then Beyonce stole all of that hype away from him. Putting out one of his weakest albums won’t help his case much either. If You Are Reading This It’s Too Late grew on me after a few listens. Something tells me this won’t be the case. I’m just gonna listen to Ferg’s new album on repeat and get real wild instead.
Final Review: 6.5/10