Drake – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
So, what a surprise, right? Drake dropping a surprise album on us. I’m a little surprised no one saw this coming though. Especially in this day in age where if an album is leaked before it comes out, it can kill the hype. I’ve been going back and forth with Drake. While I do understand his appeal somewhat, he has yet to completely impress me. His appeal has gone down a little for me since he’s started getting way cocky. It shows in his rap and only seems to be getting worse. This is what happens to most emcee’s that make it as big as Drake has. With that said, let’s get into this album.
1) Legend – Okay, you going to flip a pretty recognizable sample. The question is, why flip So Anxious by Ginuwine at the hook? Especially when there’s plenty of instrumental parts of the track? My bet: because you can and you have the money. The thing is though, you really don’t need to. And all that is different is you put a really loose trap beat on top of the sample (that filters in and out through the whole track). PartyNextDoor made the beat and I’m really not impressed. On top that, Drake is just putting his cockiness out there and telling people “If I was to die today, I’d be a legend”. You’re popular right now Drake, but I think it’s a little premature to call yourself a legend already.
2) Energy – This has more of a boom-bap feel. Boi-1da made the beat and it’s not too bad. I like the piano in the background and the synths are okay too. Drake’s theme is enemies on this track. Not anything too exciting and actually really redundant, especially right now in Hip-Hop.
3) 10 Bands – Question, is Drake a drug dealer? Was he ever? Because right now, he’s acting like he is on this track. Another Boi-1da beat. This one is nice with it. The 808’s are on point and that synths are crazy in the background. The problem though is that I don’t know really what Drake is trying to do on the track. Mostly talking about money, which you’ll notice is basically what he’ll talk about when he’s not talking about women.
4) Know Yourself – Another Boi-1da beat with a little bit of help from Vinylz and Syk Sense. The way they filter the synth keys in this are nice. Drake is biting deliveries though. He’s trying to sound like 2 Chainz and maybe even like O.T. Genasis. I’m getting so tired of this type of delivery. I really was hoping to hear something different.
5) No Tellin’ – Another Boi-1da beat. I’ve got to hand it to Boi-1da, he know’s how to make a good synth beat that doesn’t sound like all the other trap beats. But, I’m getting a little tired of the filters synths. This track sounds exactly like 0 to 100. In fact, so much so that if it wasn’t for the different key signature, you would think it was the exact same track. As for Drake, he actually is telling everyone that he had to “switch the flow up because it was sounding to predictable”. If that’s the case, I would expect you to not sound like 2 Chainz. Again, why say your switching up your flow if you actually sounding like someone else?
6) Madonna – Man, Noah “40” Shebib is dope! This track is nice! Drake has been messing with this producer since his beginning. I wish this track was just a little longer just to hear this beat more! I don’t know what Drake is doing though. Drake is sing/rapping, something that has been his signature. His rap actually works well over this track. But, it’s the production that makes this track worth it! Definitely dope!
7) 6 God – Trap beat by Boi-1da. Not really that impressive to me. Again, Drake is biting others deliveries. It’s not the lyrics, it’s how he’s delivering them. If I wanted to hear a 2Chainz album, I would go out and buy it. I wish Drake would talk about something else too. It’s getting old!
8) Star67 – This is a refreshing beat, especially after hearing all those trap beats. Vinylz, Most High, and Amir Obe got together to make something pretty original. I like how the beat keeps on going in and out. Drake is talking about coming up in the industry on this track. At least it’s a different subject. The switch midway in the beat forces Drake to switch up to another style. This part of the track isn’t bad at all. At least Drake is rapping about things he knows something about. This is probably the most real I’ve heard him sound on this album so far.
9) Preach – I want to like this track. PARTYNEXTDOOR made the beat and is featured on the track singing. I get so tired of this type of autotune. Sounding like a cross between Young Thug and B.O.B doesn’t work for this track. Drake isn’t biting anyone’s delivery on this track (which is a welcome improvement). Drake only has one verse on this whole track, the rest is, you guessed it, PARTYNEXTDOOR singing. This song didn’t need to be on the album!
10) Wednesday Night Interlude – I actually don’t mind this track. It’s a nice R&B sounding beat. I can’t understand Drake all the time because there’s so much filtering and reverb going on. I get the fact that he’s saying he’s lonely though. PARTYNEXTDOOR is singing again, but I think Drake just needs to be singing honestly.
11) Used To – Wondagurl made the beat. I’m glad to hear a woman producer pushing herself out there. You may know her from the beat Crown off of Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail album. She’s still in high school too! I think her future is pretty bright. Those trap beats though are getting old on this album. I know it’s what people want right now, but damn, ENOUGH already. Drake is again taking other people’s deliveries. It’s getting to the point where I’ve stopped listening to what he is saying because he reminds me too much of other rappers. Lil Wayne is featured on this track. Of course we’ve heard better from Wayne. But seriously, he sounds better on Drake on this track.
12) 6 Man – This sounds like a down south beat. It’s not too bad of a beat. Pretty simple though. I usually give Noah “40” Shebib mad props, but this doesn’t sound much like him at all. The question is, what is Drake really talking about. I tried to break down his lyrics and it’s pretty incoherent. It’s not that I can’t understand his words, it’s just the connection he makes. And why is Drake singing the hook from You Got Me by The Roots?
13) Now & Forever – This beat sounds a little too synthed out. I get that synths are in style, but because this whole album just seems like a big synth loop factory (some of it actually works though), my initial feeling is that I want to skip to the next song. The hook is killing it on this song! It’s catchy and poppy. Drake is singing on the track and it’s a nice change of pace.
14) Company – It’s all sounding the same! Where’s the uniqueness in this album? Travi$ Scott really isn’t adding anything to this track either. Drake is rapping mostly about women on this track, mostly the stripper variety. I wish there was more to this track, but there isn’t.
15) You and the 6 – Drake bounces around to different subjects way too much. He’s got some serious ADD. At one point he jumps from talking about his mom to the women of his life. But, at least it’s mostly about his mom. Unfortunately, it seems like he’s whining about his life. I guess this is supposed to be his emotional track. He talks about his dad at the end and about how he’s frustrated that people want him to be more “black” and talk about where he comes from. Well, there you go. You be the judge of this track. To me, he’s just jumping around too much.
16) Jungle – This is my favorite track off of the album! After that 6 Man track, Noah “40” Shebib redeems himself. This is Drake at his best. It’s a slow R&B track and the sparse singled out singing works well. The hook is nice and you can tell they took some time with it.
17) 6PM in New York – The bonus track! This is what I’m more accustomed to with Drake. He’s actually spitting pretty nice and is actually quotable for the first time! Too bad it had to happen at the end of the album.
Probably forever if I stay in my zone
I speak on this generation , but can’t change it alone
I heard a little, lil homey talking reckless and vile
That’s quite a platform you choose, you should of kept it inside
This seems like such a rushed album. There were some that say that this was the mixtape he was wanting to put out for awhile. If that’s the case, why not make it free for the public? It needs to be, because this album isn’t worth your money. I think gone are the days of So Far Gone. Which to me, he was spitting actual bars. That’s what gave him the hype. Now I know, artists change and music changes. But, Drake is sounding like everybody else. He’s not even on Par with J. Cole. To me, Drake has fallen off and it shows.
This album gets 2.8/5. Step your game up DRAKE!