[LP Review] A Constant Reminder of Why Drake is So Influential & Good At Staying At the Top of Commercial Success
Drake can be such a perfectionist with his music from his choice of lyrics, his ultra vibed out beats, to the way he conveys his emotions and feelings into a track. Views is an album where I feel he peeked a sound form of expression in a way where it sets a precedent. Seems like what is missing with some Hip-Hop/Rap Artist is a touch with their softer side, a side that the artist and the listener can still learn from. “I don’t need no pill to speak my mind, I don’t need that, I make people pay me for my time yeah I need that” Drake raps in “Still Here”. Views is about an eighty minute, worn, therapy session that offers a slower pace which can add a spotlight to the lyrics making some of the songs ‘Louder’ in a way. “This album, I’m very proud to say, is just, I feel like I told everybody how I’m actually feeling,” Drake expressed in an interview with Zane Lowe. For some people the album may be a miss though as Drake really honed in on his introspective, moody R&B side that he is most known for, and as a longtime fan I really soak in the good vibes time and time again so I by far can’t relate to these negative critics. I wouldn’t say that I notice Views switching up too much when it comes to the theming of the album, as it seems as though it stays pretty consistent at its core. Drake tells Zane Lowe, “The album is based around the change of the season in our city. It starts around wintertime. Starts with ‘Keep The Family Close.’ Winter to summer and back to winter again.” I love this about an album, because of the fact that I can spend such lengthy time in an album, I love when there are perimeters of dynamics through sections of the tracklisting as it burns through, so that the song can sort of change in perception as the seasons change. I’d say this happens because when you experience the same stimuli repeatedly, the brain begins to normalize things which in turn, opens more brain capacity for perceiving new things you didn’t notice before.
Mixing Past & Present for the Ultimate Transformation
The best vibes sometimes can be the ones where there’s some nostalgia involved and “Weston Road Flows” is a top contender. The best song off of Views and this isn’t up for debate, it's almost like this isn’t an opinion but a fact of life. First thing to start off with this track is the tranquilizing, debilitating yet mellowed out beat and its rhythmic percussion that just makes you want to nod or bounce along it. This could be partly because of the 90’s R&B joint Drake sampled throughout the track by Mary J. Blige called “Mary’s Joint” from her classic 1994 album My Life, giving the song the ultimate summer glow conducive for reminiscing in old times. “I use to have secret handshakes to confirm my friendships, nowadays they just shakin my hand to hide the tension,” Drake raps about his childhood friendships and the challenges that fame can cause on keeping them consistent. He uses the song to defy his disposition in the music industry and clarifies the idea of him being an artist who made it to where he has through handouts or the lack of talent and skills. “Weston Road Flows” is a perfect example of what Views has to offer in a way where he gives the ultimate juggle of storytelling from two time periods past and present (at the time) and still manages to tie it into a singular experience and thesis. Meanwhile I still feel like I’m partially teleported back in time into his past, or watching a flashback on where and how he grew up in Toronto, Canada. “Yeah, but here we are and it’s a new semester, 40 the only one that know how I deal with the pressure” Drake raps about the containment he’s had under all the pressure that he’s garnered with these amazing hits, and the chart success. “I mean, I’m really trying, It’s not like I’m just sitting here, just fucking shooting with my eyes closed. Like I’m trying. I’m really trying to make music for your life.” Views was one of Drake’s most truest expression of himself in the form of an LP, on of his most successful albums though not as successful as the vibrant Take Care album Views sold over 800,000 copies within its first week of release. This is highly understandable because Drake has an unspoken gift of converting his experiences into a pluggable life moment.
A Classic Snapshot We May Never Relive
One of Drake's previous most coveted possessions was his relationship with Barbadian Pop Icon Rihanna in which translated over into Views. Not only did we get an unmatched, magical collaborative energy on “Work” from Rihanna’s ANTI but we also got polyrhythms via “Too Good.” Drake conveyed to Zane Lowe “I was like, I think I have one that would follow this one up really nicely. She got in the studio and just bodied it. It was like a flawless victory when she sent it back….We have a genuine energy between us.” The complications between Drake & Rihanna aren’t new to the public as we’ve witnessed first hand them being on and off in which now they’ve been disconnected for a while now with no sight of reunion anywhere around. Yet “Too Good” is like the perfect snapshot of the beautiful and powerful manifestation of their affiliation, as the two were a force to be reckoned with having the most #1’s on the charts as a pair. I mean the fact that this song had 10.1 million U.S. streams according to Billboard, brings an undeniable tally and acknowledgement of the commercial success that Drake and Rihanna just naturally breathe into the tracks that their on together. Obviously, they had helping hand from their wizard producers with “Too Good” who included Nineteen85, Supa Dups, and Bidaye as it really seems as though they took their time with the development of the track. “Too Good” is just such a heartfelt song and the producers who truly captured Spring friendly melodies in the background to the bump up the substance of the content and subject (Rihanna) at hand, as everyone loves and fantasizes over the feelings these two have for one another that they express in the music.
A Gumbo Soup of Production Full of Wild Flavor
One of the fun upbeat tracks from Views is the Dancehall, Afrobeat, UK funk influenced “One Dance” where we saw Drake kind of stray from his traditional approach to the music in the mixtures of melodic piano keys and caribbean beat. The song is a 100% club, workout, night event, beach, poolside compatible smash that just puts you in a summery head space by default. Somewhere between a bonafide dance-floor hit and a sweet lullaby this song sits me directly in the center of, in a familiar fashion that a lot of us enjoy our music now a days. We pick our music in a selective cherry-picking fashion where we choose from a more super-personal place due to the accessibility of music in these times. This transnational cut from Views features Nigerian singer Wizkid and the British diva Kyla who assist in the songs full-out multiculturality that’s audibly visual and sonically a bliss. It really puts a shine on Drake’s ability to take risk while still bringing innovation to the plate that served as Views. While storytelling the amazing chemistry two can have in a club, Drake diverts and pushes the boundaries with the infectious West Indian/ African flavored song “One Dance” leaving behind any trace of his former aesthetic to his songs. “That’s why I need a one dance, got a Hennessy in my hand, one more time ‘fore I go, higher powers taking a hold on me,” Drake raps on the track as it continues with a sample from Kyla’s “Do You Mind” contributing the perfect & ideal utopian fusion on Views.
More related articles to read from this panel!
Also check out our current magazine ‘The Aftermath’ Issue & other publications we’ve released below.