Drake’s New Album is Full of Life
Anything released by Drake from the 6ix these days is expected to be more than awesome. It’s no surprise that a lot of hype was felt when More Life was released mid-March 2017, and after listening to the album from start to finish, it’s easy to say that Drake has once again delivered another satisfying record.
More Life’s first track, “Free Smoke,” begins easy with a sampled track of Hiatus Kaiyote’s performance of their song, “Building a Ladder,” before going all out with an aggressive sound where he raps about his life before fame and his haters. The track ends with a verse spoken by Drake’s friend Baka who was recently released from jail. He also gets a part to open up the next track, “No Long Talk,” who mentions the six, a typical shoutout for a Drake song nowadays. The short two and a half minute track also features Giggs, who doesn’t take away anything from what the track is trying to achieve, as he fits right in.
I felt pleased with the softer tone Drake takes with the third track, “Passionfruit.” The sample in the introduction, which comes from Moodymann’s “Cutloose 2nd Birthday Party, Manchester, UK – 17.09.10,” clutters this part a little too much for my liking. The song’s instrumental immediately got me in a trance and I just want the song to carry along. With that aside, “Passionfruit” delivers just the right sound to convey the track’s desired emotion. The track hears Drake fully singing over a smooth tropical house beat, which adds to the sincerity tremendously.
“Get it Together” is a fast-paced dance track featuring Black Coffee and Jorja Smith. Just like from her performance with the “Jorja Interlude,” Jorja Smith excels with this track as well. Both Drake and Jorja doesn’t sound of place in the chorus. I’m not sure why “shit” is cut in the chorus but it doesn’t really interfere with the song’s lustful atmosphere. The instrumental vibe carries over to “Madiba Riddim” with a different theme, where he sings about fake friends and people changing.
The outro of “Blem” had a brief sense of familiarity, as if I heard the sample before. Well it’s not really a sample, but it’s a short lyric sung by Lionel Richie himself, and I thought it was pretty cool, as his inclusion adds a lot to the song. The song also hears Lil’ Wayne at the outro, leading into “4422,” a slow gloomy track featuring Sampha. I really like the sincerity and emotion that emits from this track, as if Drake steps aside, leaving the spotlight to Sampha to fully express himself. With the album taking more of an edgier turn, “Gyalchester” keeps the dark vibe going with hard-driving trap beats and Drake rapping about his career successes.
This serious turn would only be momentary, as the album goes back to its more laid-back vibes through “Sekpta Interlude,” “Portland,” and “Sacrifices.” “Nothings Into Somethings” has a slow beat, with its instrumental and vocal work re-creating some kind of drug-induced state. This vibe carries over to “Teenage Fever,” which hears Jennifer Lopez’s “If You Had My Love” sampled for the chorus. The pitching down of J-Lo’s vocals over the dreamy instrumental further adds to the track’s high state-of-mind feeling.
“Cant Have Everything” goes personal with Drake’s mother heard at the track’s outro, who addresses her son’s beef with Philly rapper Meek Mill. Featuring the voice mail in a public space allows her message to reach out to not only Drake but to listeners as well, who are urged to not sink low to other’s stupidity. “Glow” features a tight performance by Kanye West from his singing parts and rapping verses. Drake does well with his verses as well, who is able to keep Kanye in the spotlight. The track ends with a sample of “Devotion” by Earth, Wind, and Fire, and the track is followed by “Since Way Back,” a six minute track featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR. More Life ends with “Fake Love,” “Ice Melts” featuring Young Thug, and “Do Not Disturb,” all with a laid-back atmosphere giving the album the perfect ending it deserves.
Considering that More Life is twenty-two tracks long, it’s safe to say that Drake and the producers and artists featured in the album fulfills all the expectations of a lot of listeners out there. Fans should be fully appreciative of how much care was taken into crafting each track. Not only does Drake stick to his style but he’s able to build on it further with the album. Additionally, all the sampled tracks in each song pleasantly allows listeners from a wide variety of genres. The bottom line here is More Life is a great album and it’s pretty much an essential album to have in your library if you’re a hip-hop/rap fan or a collector of good music from Canadian artists.
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