It’s been almost one year since the release of Drake’s highly anticipated Views, and with his latest he shows us once again how versatile he can be. More Life, which Drake claims to be a “playlist” offers an assortment of genres and sounds.
The ‘playlist’ bears 21 unheard tracks (22 total – including “Fake Love,” a single released earlier this year). It has a loaded roster of features including Kanye West, Travis Scott, Quavo (of Migos), Young Thug and more. It even features names from the United Kingdom that Drake’s normal audience may not be familiar with, like Giggs, Jorja Smith, Sampha and Skepta.
We’ve heard Drake’s admiration for global culture in the past, but it’s even more evident on More Life. With features from UK artists, South African artist Black Coffee, and more of his Caribbean-influenced tempo, Drake offers his fans a global variety of R&B, pop and hip-hop.
Drake starts the album with “Free Smoke,” a grimy, Boi-1da produced track where he expresses as much bravado as he does his distaste for other artists in the game (with alludes to Meek Mill);
I wanna move to Dubai so I don’t ever have to kick it with none of you guys,
I didn’t listen to Hov on that old song when he told me pay it no mind,
I get more satisfaction outta goin’ at your head and seein’ all of you die,
And I’ve seen a lot of you die.
The third track on the album, “Passionfruit,” sounds like something you’d hear on your vacation to the islands, but in the best way possible. This smooth, catchy track that Drake sings over appears to be an early fan favorite. Drake then continues the Caribbean flavor onto “Blem,” a song which incorporates the classic Lionel Richie song “All Night Long.”
The next standout song on the album comes right at the halfway mark. A track called “Portland,” featuring the likes of Quavo and Travis Scott – two artists who have a substantial presence in the limelight – which provides a beat with a lovable blend of drums and flutes (which seems to be popular so far in 2017 – see Future’s ‘Mask Off’).
It wouldn’t be a Drake album without some R&B, right? More Life does not lack. You might have to wait till the bottom half of the album to get the Take Care Drake you’re looking for (although you’d be a fool to compare the two projects). Songs like “Nothings into Somethings,” “Teenage Forever,” “Glow,” “Since Way Back” will give you your fix of R&B. “Teenage Fever” samples Jennifer Lopez’s 1999 hit “If You Had My Love,” probably not by coincidence if you consider Drake and J-Lo’s love stint (rumor or not).
“Since Way Back” marks another collaboration between Drake and fellow Canadian comrade PartyNextDoor, while “Glow” gives us Drake and Kanye harmonizing on the same song – something we’re not quite used to.
Drake wraps up his album in usual Drake fashion, with an intimate track at the end to pull us a little closer to his life. On “Do Not Disturb,” Drake addresses events in his life that have happened in the past year; romantic relationships, rivalries, distractions.
Last verse that I gotta do is always like surgery,
Always tryna let go of anything that’ll burden me,
That’s the reason you could feel the tension and the urgency,
Last chance I get to make sure that you take it personally.
Maybe getting back to my regular life will humble me,
I’ll be back 2018 to give you the summary,
Drake and the folks at OVO may call More Life a playlist, but it certainly doesn’t feel like one. While it may seem scattered, this album has the quality of the Drake albums that his fans are used to. If you’re a fan of Drake, this project should give you everything you’re hoping for. The expectations were sky high, and Drake took them to the moon with More Life.
By: Dallas Coronado