‘Views’ by Drake
8.5 out of 10
By Luis Torres ’16
The 29-year-old Canadian rap phenom Drake released his fourth studio album on the night of April 29.
“Views” became highly anticipated by rap enthusiasts and critics after Drake announced he had an album on the way earlier this year.
In between an album hiatus of nearly two and a half years, Drake dropped two mixtapes and a plethora of hit singles that created an aura of excitement for his ensuing album.
“Views” contains 20 tracks and an interesting cover art of Drake on top of the CN Tower peering over the city he holds close to his heart: Toronto.
Drake starts the album off with a story of being abandoned by someone he loved and trusted. The rapper’s vocals are accompanied by an orchestra that makes “Keep the Family Close” so powerful and relatable with its captivating crescendo.
Drake transcends his failed relationships into a song as he has done countless times. Yet, Drake brings originality and a distinct level of vulnerability to each one that makes them unique.
In “Redemption,” Drake sings on top of a slow beat that pays homage to one of his earliest mixtapes, “So Far Gone.”
“Not having closure, it take a lot out of me. This year for Christmas I just want apologies,” he raps.
Drake also dives into his more personal moments with his past relationships. “Child’s Play,” which contains a more up-tempo beat, reveals a dispute in which Drake refers to his then-girlfriend as childish.
“Why you gotta fight with me at Cheesecake. You know I love to go there. Say I’m acting lightskin, I can’t take you nowhere.”
However, the album is not entirely about Drake’s love life, or lack thereof.
Drake boasts about the overwhelming impact he’s had on city of Toronto, which he calls “the six” based off its area code: 416, on the track “9.”
“Keychain go jang-a-lang, I wanna do major things. MJ in every way, I just don’t fade away. Six upside down, it’s a nine now.”
Drake gives us a view into his luxurious life and reminds us of all the fun he’s having on “Grammys.”
“I pull up in yachts so big that they try to hit me with boat fines. OVO we a gold mine, but I’m going gold in no time.”
What a time to be alive at 29.
“Views” also has several songs that have and will soon be heard all over the radio in the summer. “Hotline Bling,” “One Dance” and “Controlla” are constructed with catchy melodies and built upon beats that make one get up and dance.
Despite the exponential fame of Drake, he still stays true to his musical roots as he reminds us on the single, “Views”: “And I never bend my morals for the ticket sales.”
Yes, Drake still sings about love. Yes, Drake still raps about his city. No, that’s never going to change.
“Views” is exactly what we expected and yet Drake still managed to surprise us. In an industry where most songs are mimicked, not only does it matter what you say but also how you say it.
Drake manages to play around with new sounds and flows that display the range he has as a rapper/singer that has been in the industry for a decade.
From sampling and integrating Jamaican culture, music and dialect to mixing in short excerpts and samples from famous early 1990’s artists such as the late Pimp C, DMX, Mary J. Blige and Ray J, Drake proves his undeniable talent.
Drake also worked with artists such as Rihanna, Future, Roy Woods, PARTYNEXTDOOR, dvsn (whom was recently signed to Drake’s record label, OVOSound) and the up-and-coming rap producer Metro Boomin’.
As someone that has followed Drake from the beginning, I genuinely enjoyed this album and would go as far as to say this is his second best behind “Take Care.”
Drake, joined by Future and other artists, will be going on a U.S./Canada tour, Summer Sixteen, starting off in early June, where “Views” will undeniably be at the forefront of the set list.