After a critically underwhelming Views release in 2016, Drake is back with More Life his 6th studio album. One of the reasons Views disappointed the masses was because of the buildup of hype surrounding it. With More Life, there was certainly an anticipation building but not as much as in 2016. Let’s be honest every time the leader of October’s Very Own is about to drop something new, the people are waiting for it. More Life is all over the place and samples artists from Jennifer Lopez, Tony Yayo and Lionel Richie to even having instrumentals from Sonic the Hedgehog.
The album starts with an absolute banger in Free Smoke that will be remembered for years to come. It sort of has that Tuscan Leather feel from Nothing Was the Same when the beat drops and Drizzy just starts going in. He references many different parts of his career in this song, even when Jay-Z told him on his introductory album Thank Me Later that when people come at him to “pay it no mind.” Instead Drake takes more shots at Kid Cudi “Please come outside the house and show yourself, so I can say it to your face..” in reference to Kid Cudi’s tweet to Drake back in October.
The next track kind of seems like a filler type of song and features Giggs, after the complete heat he brought off of Free Smoke, leading to the third track on More Life – Passionfruit
Passionfruit is chill Drizzy singing and vibing over a laid back cruise music type of feel. It is a very similar style to tracks he has done in the past like Hold On We’re Going Home. This is a simpler Drake though, singing about how he doesn’t know if him and his girl will last because they are in a long distance relationship. What lyric sticks out is the “tension between us like picket fences” line, just based off of the fact that we’ve all been in some sort of relationship where you can “cut the tension with a knife” – as Will Smith would say on The Fresh Prince of Bel Air
The next couple tracks all flow together in rhythm. You can’t tell when one starts and one stops, which in my opinion is what makes a GREAT album. One of the things Drake said he didn’t really like about If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, was how the songs flowed. Go back and listen to it, No Tellin’ into Madonna, is one of the worst transitions he’s had in between songs on his albums. Here, Jorja Interlude, and Get it Together all have a similar style and passion to them completed with Drake’s double entendres… “Flipping the script like a read through..” or “Play my part too like a sequel..” and both tracks are complimented by Jorja’s beautiful vocals.
The next two songs blend together smoothly as well in Madiba Riddim and Blem with a Jamaican island sound. On Madiba Riddim Drake is explaining how he is trying extremely hard to please people in his life and he will figure it out because “God knows I’m trying”. This is countered by Blem where Drake is simply saying I am high and I don’t give a s*** what you think. “I’m Blem forreal, I might just say how I feel.” #NoFilter
4422 is a perfect Segway from Blem, highlighting Sampha’s lyrics a simple instrumental, with minimal snares and piano…leading flawlessly into Gyalchester which seems to be a song almost dedicated to Rihanna; well at least the hook is.
Bad Girl Riri, is known to be seen wearing the attire more than a few occasions…
”Hermes link, Ice Blue Mink”
Drake still has some sort of relationship with Rihanna, and here he highlights it, switching his flow in the last few bars of the second verse with ease…”I know I said top 5 but I’m top 2…” We also learn here that Drake might have had his tattoo removed of the “416” on his ribs done back in 2014..”Tat on my ribs like I do not know what permanent is..”
This leads to another filler type of track, where Skepta brings some BARS to one of the harder beats on More Life…”No statement No testimony, spit in your face with extra Bogey, It’s my time don’t flex a Rollie”
There aren’t enough fire emojis to describe this next song, which will end up being the biggest hit off of More Life
I am talking about Portland with Quavo and Travis Scott. What an artist Travis is becoming…but that’s a completely different topic. The best type of instrumentals are the most simplistic ones….this is an 808 over a few snares and a catchy flute melody which just makes you bob your head. Everyone maxed out their part to the fullest on this song. Drake kills his flow on the first verse, Quavo body bagged the hook, and Travis takes over the song with his verse at the end, over his signature auto tune “No I did not sign with Jay but I still sent the Tidal wave”. This track by far has the most potential for the mainstream/ club scene and is a bona fide hit.
*Me every time Portland comes on*
Sacrifices follows this and has features by 2 Chainz and Young Thug. Kind of going off the Portland vibe, Drake takes the first verse, 2 Chainz the second, and Thugger the 3rd. I was very impressed by Thugger on this track, genuinely coming into his own (Speaking a language you can understand) as well as catching an unparalleled flow, which was refreshing to hear from Young Thug.
Nothings Into Somethings might be the most underrated track off of More Life. It has that November 18th style, almost sounds like it should be chopped and screwed with that Houston-esq sound, again with such an easy instrumental to mimic.
Teenage Fever is one that honestly stuck out to me as an “old Drake song”. Here he samples Jennifer Lopez which is ironic in itself, after their brief dating history a few months ago. It flows so perfectly where Drake is second guessing leaving his girl. Pretty on par for Aubrey.
If you’re a Drake fan or have Twitter, you’ve probably seen the videos before More Life officially dropped, of Drizzy performing KMT overseas along with Giggs again. He goes with a very basic flow here and Giggs takes the second verse. Not the BIGGEST fan of this song, but it does drop pretty hard when “DEMON JUST GOT OUT THE CAN” flows into the beat as the first bar from Drake
Along with Nothings into somethings and Teenage Fever the 15th track, Lose You shows Drake’s story telling ability about his come up within the rap game – along with a convincing hook “Did I? Did I? Did I lose you?!?!” This is Drake asking his current friends / family if he has lost other friends or maybe even family members along the way. One of my favorite lines off this entire “Playlist” can be said about any aspect of life….“Winning is problematic, people like you more when you’re working towards something, not when you have it…”
Can’t Have Everything is the newer style of Drake, where the hook isn’t what grabs you, it’s his lyrics and flow, as well as another hard beat. Drake tells his listeners here that he’s what’s keeping music alive, “I keep the fucking lights on in the building, man my record deal should be $500 million…” …who could argue? – Especially with the billboard numbers he puts up.
Glow is unexpectedly featured by Kanye West, who has only been featured on Drake songs with multiple artists. Drake and Ye trade bars, singing back and forth about how everyone should respect their Glow. I have to say I was not expecting this from either of them, more so expecting them to trade HARD bars and see who can out rap each other, but instead this works and they created an electric song.
Since Way Back featuring Party Next door is pretty standard for when these two OVO guys link up. If you’ve ever heard any of their other songs together, you know this is baby making music. I have this theory that whenever PND is chefing something hot up, Drake just comes in and blesses it with his singing as well. I think this might have been a PND song, until Drake heard it, decided to hop on it and throw it on the album…then added his little outro at the end, which could have been its own song, kind of like Nothings into Somethings
Fake Love is… – Do I need to say anymore? Have you listened to the radio in the last 3 months?
Ice Melts again with Thugger is another summer banger you can roll your windows down and just bob your head to. Drake and Thugger trade a similar flow and bring out the best in each other. We should have known we were getting a Drake / Thugger colab after Thug was on the Boy Meets World Tour with Drake overseas….it’s about time this went down.
The outro Do Not Disturb is an interesting title for the last song on a “Playlist” or Album or whatever you want to call it. Does this mean Drake is not going to put out music for a little while? Is he just going to add songs to this “Playlist” whenever he feels like it? Is this incomplete? I guess only time will tell over the next month or so. If you’ve ever heard a Drake outro, this is where he thrives. He talks about his personal life, as well as how he’s at the top of the game right now. It is truly a work of art every time.
Final thought: This might be Drake’s best work to date. He brought a surplus of styles, flows and a lot of different things he hasn’t musically explored before. I am excited for what the future holds for Drake after this album, including what summer bangers he will (hopefully) grace us with. Until then, More Life.