Drake finds himself at a crossroads with new LP ‘Views’ – A 20 track release that has as many misses as it does hits
‘Views’ sees Drake attempting to live up to expectation of delivering one of the most anticipated albums of recent times. This release marks the rapper’s fourth studio album, coming off two commercial mixtapes; ‘If You’re Reading This it’s Too Late’ and ‘What a Time to Be Alive’ with Future. ‘Views’ is, ultimately, an exploration of Drake’s recent life story. In-between the last few years of his previous set ‘Nothing Was The Same’ released in 2013. Drake has seen his stock soar even more including signing major deals with Jordan brand, Apple Music, continued touring and dominating radio frequencies if it be his own songs or someone else’s work.
Approaching the crossroads of his career Drake finds himself fighting to remain at the pinnacle of his rap prowess by satisfying the musical landscape of fans and critics alike and staying firm on his own vision of what success is. This in turn has seen the adaption of two personas trap Drake and R&B Drake. On this album he makes a choice to pick one character much to delight of long term producer and confidant Noah “40” Shebib who produced a bulk of this album.
The manifestation of R&B is unhindered in the production of this record and perhaps it shouldn’t have been such a shock to the system as it’s proven to be across the social media hemisphere, as the success of lead single “Hotline bling” resulting in being Drake biggest hit single to date should have hinted a slight warning. During the sequence of this album Drakes viewpoints are much more halcyon and at ease when referencing past exploits and telling self-truths over slowed down foggy production.
In the core portfolio of songs such as ‘U with me’ containing two DMX samples ‘How’s it going down’ and ‘What These Bitches Want’. ‘Weston Road Flows’ & ‘Redemption’ all carry the same theme of loyalty, success and the perception of people from his past life missing him, “You could never say I came up and forgot about your ass and that’s some real shit” an emotional Drake vents.
‘Faithful’ finds a posthumous Pimp C verse pulled off with such finesses making it seem like the verse was recorded a month ago. “Niggas like to play games cause they feel like they know me you don’t know me, nigga, I done change”. ‘Controlla’ & ‘One Dance’ finds Drake utilizing dancehall elements whilst doing what he does best crooning, making catchy songs that will be played all summer long “my last girl would tear me apart but would never wanna split a ting with me” vibes!
On the odd occasion that trap Drake does make a showing on songs ‘Grammys’ & ‘Still Here’ so do the customary braggadocio lines “Top 5 no debating top 5 top 5!” Future joins in the party on ‘Grammys’ leaving his familiar imprint “You can’t even get on my guest list they want me to go to the Met Gala I want a Percocet and a gallon that Actavis Hi-Tech it don’t matter”
‘Views’ is accompanied alongside 20 songs which in modern times is a foreign concept. The album contains a bumps, scratches and near on collisions next to less than desired lyrics “my wifeys is a spice like I’m David Beckham”. So it’s safe to say the album isn’t the rap classic everyone was looking for and it’s quite clear with the albums theatrics it’s something that Drake wasn’t looking for either. The line “you getting bodied by a singing nigga” springs to mind when delving through this album quoted on the Meek Mill diss ‘Back to Back‘.
Drakes views is available now via OVO sound, BBK, Young Money and Cash Money Records.
This Drake article was written by Peter Shand, a GIGsoup contributor