Beyoncé & Drake—Two legendary album drops is less than a week?! Definitely a great week in music.
2015 was a big year for Drake, dropping the two mixtapes If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and What a Time to Be Alive with Future. You almost couldn’t tell it had been over a year since The 6-God released an album.
In IYRTITL fashion, Drake dropped his fourth studio album at midnight, of course causing a frenzy, “breaking the internet” with Tha Produce Section included. But now that we’re back up, let’s see if the latest Drizzy work, Views, was really worth the hype.
The 20-track album pays lots of homage to Drake’s hometown, and gives a deeper insight to the rapper’s upbringing and some of his deepest moments of consciousness—a little more than we’re used to. Coming after the high of “Summer Sixteen,” Views’ sensitive, mellow and “chill” approach contrasts the single’s heavy-hitting synthesizers and hype feel, referring real Drake fans back to his previous works like “Take Care” and “Comeback Season.”
Instead of doing a 20-track play-by-play, we’ll save you the time and highlight some of the best tracks for the music lovers and our fellow ratchets!
Weston Road Flows: This track just might have one of my favorite samples to ever be done. “Weston Road Flows” samples Mary J’s ’94 “Mary’s Joint” and the way it’s sampled is done so effortlessly and beautifully! Really smooth and grooved right where it needs to be. The song tells a story of recollection back to the street Drake grew up on, where life used to seem hard, but now seems so simplistic compared to the current reality of chasing real happiness. The lyrics are written with fluidity and really captures that nostalgia aimed for with this track.
Redemption: cue in light skin, singing ngga jokes* “being bodied by a singing n*gga”—Drake sings a lot more on this album and “Redemption” proves such. It’s similar to “Bria’s Interlude” and “Messages from You” in vibes and musicality with the slowed down 808’s and drum kits that Drake’s more emotional and slower songs are known for. The lyrics are ALL shade though, coming for the chicks of Drake’s past, wondering if they should be regretting their decisions to end their relationships with him. He even goes as far as name dropping some of the women of his past that might be asking for “Redemption,” including Erica, who sued him for sampling her drunk voicemails on “Marvin’s Room.” Let’s hope Erica doesn’t sue him for trying her life!
With You (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR & Jeremih): This OVO collaboration is long overdue! Both Drake and Party serenade us with the chorus of “With You,” tapping into both men’s past of bad luck in relationships, but taking heed of the moment and enjoying the company of a current lover. Jeremih also comes through, adding an even softer touch. Think “Take Care” vibes with this one; similar drum cadence and mellow feel.
Faithful (feat. Pimp C & dvsn): Drake goes a little SAVAGE on “Faithful.” Sampling late hip hop legend and former UGK member, Pimp C’s, verse off the “Tom Ford (remix), Drizzy doesn’t hold back telling his girl of the fantasies he has about her, all while trying to remain faithful to her while she’s been “working, working, working”…Ayo Rih, Rih!!!! Take the hint mami! OVO’s latest signee dvsn is also featured on this track, adding a real smooth layer to the song’s already slowed down groove, mirroring Genuine a little with the falsetto and ad libs. I know Cuffing Season is over, but for your Summer ’16 “Netflix & Chill” playlist, add this one; thank me later!
Controlla (feat. Beenie Man): If your local radio station hasn’t started playing this one already, they’re late! This dancehall sampled hit is the one for my ratchets and girls that like to whine! Featuring a verse from Reggae legend, Beenie Man, from “Tear Off Mi Garment,” I bet this one is going to be a hit for the summer with its slow whine feel and Drizzy’s smooth tone with the lyrics, similar to how he did on “Work” with Rihanna.
One Dance (Wizkid & Kyla): “One Dance” takes us aaaallllll the way back to the Mother Land!!!!!! Its afrobeat is sure to have your head nodding, shoulders moving, and for my ratchets of course, your hips moving. After being leaked a few weeks back,”One Dance” is already climbing up the charts and is projected to be another summer hit.
Grammys (feat. Future): This is a great follow up to how hard Drizzy came with “Summer Sixteen.” I was personally expecting Views to be hard with the bars and this one didn’t let me down. It plays on the contrast between Drake and Future’s Grammy history. With both bodying 2015 with What a Time to Be Alive, only Drake out of both artists has won a Grammy. They both bring the heat with the lyrics over the track’s rhythmic drum kits and synthesizers. Drake’s loyal friend and producer Noah “40” Shebib, with the help of Southside, produced this one and though the beat may seem simple, its simplicity gives you a chance to appreciate both rappers’ lyrics and catch the slight shade they throw. I look forward to seeing this one performed during the Summer 16 Tour.
Child’s Play: STRAIGHT SAVAGE BRO!!!!! Like just look up the lyrics. I don’t even want to ruin this one for you, so just trust me and give it a listen.
Too Good (feat. Rihanna): Only because this is the fourth Drake and Rih collab, and it’s the second dancehall/reggae track on the album does this one stand out. Drake’s baritone singing voice and Rih’ raspy soprano really make the perfect match on this one, leaving you to wonder if the lyrics to the song is revealing any kind of insight to the two’s relationship or lack thereof.
Additional faves are “Fire & Desire,” the album’s titled track “Views,” and of course “Hotline Bling.”
Views is definitely epic in the sense that its production and transitions are done beautifully. Though it does sound similar to previous Drake projects, it’s still strong enough to stand on its own and worth more than just one listen.