Drake's "More Life" Album Review PT. II
Tracklist (PT. II):
13. Nothings Into Somethings
14. Teenage Fever
16. Lose You
17. Can't Have Everything
19. Since Way Back
20. Fake Love
21. Ice Melts
22. Do Not Disturb
Finally finished working on this lengthy project and I'm here with a rating for you. The second half of More Life saw a few more higher profile features from artists like Quavo, Young Thug, and Kanye West. The variety of personalities helped to create some songs that are typically outside of Drake's specialty but never seemed awkward or forced. As always Drake manages to pull off something special when trying new things when the "trappier" beats hit and we can still enjoy what he brings to the table along side some of Atlanta's finest.
"Portland" featured a very Lil Yachty influenced beat with the little flute loop being the main attention in the track. Some serious shade is thrown at Jay Z from Drake on this song about not wanting kids while still kidding around and being rich now instead of later. Jay Z has seen his share of rap beefs in the past and I can't imagine he is going to retaliate, or even come out with something that people will consider a retaliation. It seems as though Jay Z's advice on "Light Up" about rappers coming after you when you at the top is kind of what Drake is doing. Kind of like "hey man, I'm up here too, what up now?". Quavo adds a bit of flavour to the track as well as Travis, I'd even say that Travis out did everyone. "Sacrifices" is similar to "Portland" in structure and feature styles and I believe it is a lot better too. Drake gets blown out of the water from both 2 Chainz and Young Thug. Thugger's verse is next level and I really enjoy his less afflicted vocals. I find it interesting that the chorus preaches sacrifices but each verse sounds more like bragging about accomplishments. Drake always drops hints about girls from his past going and getting married behind his back while he is on tour or working in the studio and "Nothings Into Somethings" is another song about that. He feels cheated that she never mentioned anything to him and her ignorance of his feelings has made him resent her. The chorus has a nice play on the "Sha na nas" that kind have sound like "should've known". I love "Teenage Fever" mainly because of the re-use of J. Lo's chorus from "If you had my love" but also becasue who doesn't love sing-rap Drake. At this point in the album if you have been paying attention to the producers you'll see that Drake is tapping a lot of Toronto producers to create a vibe on this album and it's been working great. Up until this track the production has outshined Drake, but he brings it on this track. Definitely have to shout out J. Lo for having one of the catchiest hooks of '99 and '17. Now if you haven't heard of XXXTentacion yet, you will this year. The young emo-trap rapper has received a lot of attention over the past year and the snippet from one of Drake's concerts showing Drake performing "KMT" helped propell XXX into mainstream media. The topic, Drake stole XXX's flow on "Look At Me". This has become quite the controversial topic but nevertheless, this is hip-hop and shit like this happens all of the time. I find the song to be quite boring actually, it's a bit repetitive and again Giggs just doesn't do it for me. Hey all you Take Care fans, welcome to "Lose You", produced by "40" and damn does it give me nostalgic emotions to the amazing release from 2011. Drake dabbles in his classic speak your heart flow on this track by speaking on hoping that his fame, his hard work, hasn't put any strains on his relationships with family and friends. He feels as though he missed the point in his career where people were rooting for him and now many just want to see him fall.
Drizzy is hungry. Drake wants more and on "Can't Have Everything" he raps about not being satisfied with the numbers he is bringing in even after breaking streaming records on multiple projects now. He believes his contract should be "five hundred million" as he knows he brings a large amount of traffic, especially to any music streaming platform. One of the fabled Kanye and Drake songs makes it on to More Life as a playful back and forth sing off. Sounds fun as hell, but a little forced. Kanye's sampling at the end of the track is always a well received touch after listening to both Drake and Ye speak about not being finished in their respective career paths and how they are still going to shine. The beloved PARTYNEXTDOOR makes an appearance on "Since Way Back" and does he kill it or what? The Chorus flows so well and these two always compliment each other on everything they do. Again we see Drake reminiscing on a girl from his past that has moved on. PND sings about meeting someone new, experiencing new emotions rushing through the body, and listening to "old R. Kelly" to get in the mood. The beat switch is an awesome touch on this song. "Fake Love" is loud and catchy and the chorus is performed so well that even Meek Mill got caught singing along! The commonly talked about topic in the music industry, hell the money industry, about never knowing if someone is being real with you or just wants to use your fame and money is the story to this track. The verses are short and not very special but the pre-chorus is something to get excited about. The second Young Thug feature on More Life appears on "Ice Melts", a fun track about not being ashamed to show your feelings and go ahead and just love someone. Young Thug is becoming more of a staple in my queue each and every time I hear him. The pre-chorus and chorus are so pleasing and I can't help but sing along. "Do Not Disturb" hits us with a second speak on your feelings track and perfectly closes up a wonderful project. Drake seems unsure about his position right now but still throws a little heat on fellow Torontonian Tory Lanez which shows us that even when Drake is less confident he still believes he is steps ahead of his competition. Summer is coming and Drake wants to monitor his position in the game right now, try and do summer like a normal guy this year and see how that goes. But he will be back, he always comes back.
You know, More Life isn't a perfect album and Drake gets outperformed on multiple tracks but I just can't help but love Drake for the artist that he is. His new projects bring so much energy and emotion, year after year, which leads me to believe that he may be the greatest of all time. Sure, not the greatest rapper by far, not even in his own generation. Not the greatest singer or even performer for that matter. However, I think that More Life is a concise description of Drake's place in the music industry. He continues to pump out new, quality music because he cares for his fans and we all give him the support right back. A twenty-two track "mixtape" is a huge release, and at this point calling it a mixtape is almost offensive. The dude puts out better quality "mixtapes" than 90% of hip-hop artists full length albums. Maybe that's what comes with being at the top of the game. When you have the greatest people working alongside you, you get the greatest outcomes. We are in a time where many artists will release two amazing projects and then start to lose popularity, rather quickly too. Drake has stood the test of time in our fast paced world with three years left to go to mark a decade of full length albums with soaring popularity. A large number of modern artists owe a lot to Drake whether it is through features, signings, or even beefs, Drake has the Midas touch. I don't know what it was like being excited for a hip-hop release in the 90's and most of the first decade of the 2000's when it came to big rappers like Tupac, Jay Z, Biggie, and Em but it seems as though Drake is an evolved form of those entertainers. Yes, the pop element Drake brings to his sound thrusts him to new heights but even big pop stars have relatively short "top of their game" lifespans (save a few like MJ, The Beatles, etc). 10 years at the top of the game is a long fuckin' time. Not many have done it. More Life to Drake if he does.