On March 18, Drake once again asserted his dominance over the music world with the released of his More Life “playlist”. The playlist has already shattered streaming records on its first day out: racking up a whopping 89.9 million streams on Apple music and 61 million on Spotify, respectively. The numbers are just utterly ridiculous, but shouldn’t come as a surprise since we’re almost a year removed from Drake’s digital game-changing VIEWS.
While VIEWS underperformed from a content perspective (it was easily one of the most anticipated albums in rap history) it failed to live up to its own absurd hype. VIEWS will forever be known as Drake’s most commercially successful album to date (unless he proves otherwise). But where does Drake’s latest body of work More Life stands? After having a few days to fully digest the album, er playlist, or whatever the hell you want to call it, here are five takeaways from Drake’s More Life.
DRAKE WILL NEVER STOP DRAGGING MEEK MILL
Ever since Drake bodied Meek Mill on “Back to Back”, which seems like so long ago (2015) because of all that has happened since, Drake has made it his personal duty to diss the Philly rapper every chance he gets. He wears the beef with Meek like a medal of honor or some shit. Drake said little-to-almost nothing in regards to the battle with Meek on VIEWS, but More Life is scattered with jab after jab in the gut of Rick Ross’ “lil homie”. From the outset, Drake goes at Meek on More Life’s opener “Free Smoke”: “How you let the kid fighting ghostwriting rumors turn you to a ghost?” Basically dangling the ghostwriting accusations that sparked the beef between the two rappers in Meek’s face, when Meek tried to expose Drake for not writing his own lyrics. Drake tells listeners on “Can’t Have Everything” that “niggas tried to serve me up a cheesesteak, I gave them back a clean plate.” Drake has become obsessed with Meek Mill, even going as far to admitting that he studies the MMG rapper “closely”. At this point in the game, Drake has become that bully in high school that corners Meek Mill by his locker and makes him give up his lunch money. To lament this further, Aubrey goes back to his “Light Up”–a standout track featuring Jay Z from his debut Thank Me Later. In the song, Jay Z plays elder statesman trying to advise Drake not to get caught up “with silly rap feuds”. But 2017 Drake is not trying to hear any of that nonsense: “I didn’t listen to Hov on that old song/When he told me pay it no mind/ I get more satisfaction going at your head and seeing all of you die.” Clearly.
“More Life is what VIEWS should’ve been. Dizzy heard the complaints from the census and made an album he thought would satisfy them.”
MORE LIFE WAS CREATED TO RECTIFY THE MISTAKES MADE ON VIEWS
Drake has said it himself with his displeasue of VIEWS. A few weeks ago, during his “rare” interview with DJ Semtex, Drake said he thought about removing all the rap songs off of VIEWS, and that he was angry while making the album, because it had become frustrating trying to figure out how rap could fit into this new musical territory he was experimenting with. The biggest songs on VIEWS are not even rap related songs. “One Dance”–Drake’s biggest song of his career (especially digitally) featured no rap whatsoever. All the rap that was featured on VIEWS were lackadaisical and uninspired. The beef with Meek Mill forced Drake to “rap” because thats what fans wanted to hear from him after his flawless victory of Meek. More Life does feature “One Dance”-esque songs, but also features a King Arthur’s roundtable of rap stars, too. More Life is what VIEWS should’ve been. Dizzy heard the complaints from the census and made an album he thought would satisfy them. Interesting enough was the decision to call this a playlist instead of album or mixtape. Though its presentation rolls out like an album, I believe Drake calls it a playlist to decrease the pressures that comes with album expectations. It’s like, ‘Hey, I can’t be judged if this fails critically, because it’s not a proper album. It’s only a playlist.” But all name-changing aside, this is Drake, he’s going to be judge with whatever he comes out with. Just like Lebron James every year, he’s judge by winning championships and not NBA Final appearances. You have to deliver. Period.
DRAKE IS KING OF THE DIGITAL WORLD
If anything, Drake’s Apple Music deal was nothing short of comparable to Nike signing Michael Jordan to a shoe deal in the 1980s–it was simply game-changing. More Life was not an Apple Music exclusive like VIEWS and his collaborative effort with Future What A Time To Be Alive, because it was available on all major streaming platforms. As stated above, More Life effortlessly broke record after record on both Apple Music and Spotify. Just hours after the playlist went live , More Life was tweeted 2.5 million times. Drake has become king of the digital world, not many artist outside of Jay Z’s wife can drop an album without warning and it destroys everything in its path. Drake has changed the way music is being presented. The days of releasing a single months before an album release date are coming to a close. It’s time other artists take note of what the 6 God is doing in terms of music and hows it’s distributed to its consumers.
A KANYE WEST-DRAKE ALBUM (POSSIBLY) COULD WORK
In all honestly, I’m not all too thrilled about a Kanye West and Drake album, and “Glow” doesn’t help matters. Just like “Pop Style” was a missed opportunity, “Glow” wasn’t all that great either. Only thing good to come out of both those songs was that is does show that these two juggernaunts do have chemistry, but they just have to learn to utilize it better. I feel both can benefit from each other creatively. I just get the impression that both will abandoned rap to venture into more melodic soundscapes, which will turn their joint project to a duets album. But, the possibility is there, hey, if Kanye could do it with Jay Z, then the same can be said for Drake, who is considered the Jay Z of his generation. Egos will undoubtably have to be pushed aside for them to pull this off, and not to mention, that underlying and awkward tension between ‘Ye and Drizzy as of late. If and when they do decided to give us a full length project, theres no doubt it will set the social media world and music industry ablaze, but lets hope it lives up to expectations.
“Drake has changed the way music is being presented. The days of releasing a single months before an album release date are coming to a close.”
DRAKE WILL NEVER MAKE A FULL-RAP ALBUM
One of the many frustrations I have with Aubrey Graham is the fact, he’s positioned at the top of rap game (the music industry period) but refuses to just give us an all-out rap album. As Drake states on the 2 Chainz song “Big Amount”: “Got the Billboard melodies/ Rap is somethin’ I do on the side/ Crossed over to the other side/ And I didn’t have to die.” Drake is fully aware of his status in music. He’s had a stranglehold of the charts before his debut album arrived back in 2010. Drake is a pop star masquerading as a rapper. The fact that VIEWS was this close to being sans rap is alarming to most rap purist. The closest thing Drake ever came to delivering just a rap project was Nothing Was the Same. More Life travels around many musical terrains just like most of his past work. Drake is deserving of all his music accomplishments, but how can you call yourself the game’s Top Rapper and you only rap part-time? There’s really no chance in seeing Drake just go for broke and just deliver a straight rap album from top to bottom. Drizzy knows where his bread and butter is, and that’s making pop records. If Drake didn’t rap so well, maybe people wouldn’t even care. Despite what anyone opinions are of him, we all know he’s one of the best to do it on the rap front. Rapping should be a duty to him and not just a hobby.