Looking for revenge
All summer sixteen
All summer sixteen
Playing dirty not clean.
It finally happened: Drake dropped his fourth studio album, Views. So how did it go?
Before I give my review of the album, I feel like I should share the history I have with Drake. Me and Drake go way back since the Room for Improvement days. I was a fan during his humble beginnings after leaving Degrassi behind and pursuing a music career full-time. I’ve watched him change and grow while being in the industry and feel like I know him better than he knows himself. Though my support for Drake started to decline, I always kept my eye on him to see what else he could do. How long could he keep his status in the rap game going? How much will hip hop fans let Drake get away with? How long would the masses support him and his mediocre legacy? For a while now I have been telling people Drake is plateauing. Though Kanye said Don’t leave while you‘re hot that’s how Mase screwed, Views, confirmed what I have been saying: Drake making his exit out the game now and investing in other businesses with his brand would be the best decision for him. Now, let’s get into the album.
The theme for the album formerly known as “Views from the 6” (it’s just called “Views” now) is the changing seasons of Toronto from winter to summer. (Should have just called it “Seasons”)
You would think that with all the shit Drake was talking on Summer Sixteen plus the anticipation that was built surrounding this album that the opening track would fire, right? Unfortunately, Keep the Family Close is a 5 minute song of the 6 God singing about his trust issues. Just off this track alone, I knew it would be a rough time for me to get through the rest of the 19 songs. The only thing interesting about this song is the production.
By the 2 minute mark, I’m asking Drizzy “is you done or you finished?”
Quotes from this song you’ll see on Twitter and IG captions:
“All of my ‘let’s just be friends’ are friends I don’t have anymore”
“You’re supposed to put your pride aside and ride for me”
9: Showing love to his hometown, Drake remembers he’s a rapper and spits bars about how he has turned the “6” into a “9” now due to his influence. Though much more tolerable than the intro track, 9 gets a 5/10 from me.
U With Me?: Shit like this is why Drake gets on my nerves. You would think after disrespecting the Back That Ass Up sampling on Practice that Drake couldn’t do any worse, right? Wrong. He fucks up and samples one of my favorite DMX songs, What These Bitches Want. (DMX doesn’t even like you!) Who does this guy think he is? I’m only three tracks in and I am unimpressed. As Drake goes on to babble about questioning his girl’s loyalty to him, I cannot help but laugh at this line “You wanna walk around naked in the kitchen without runnin’ into one of my niggas. That’s not the way we livin’“. Sorry girl, Drake’s choosing Odell Beckham over you.
Quotes from this song fuckboys will appreciate:
“Girl I had your back when all you used to do was front”
“You knew me when the kid had waves”
“On some DMX shit, I group DM my exes. I told ’em they belong to me, that goes on for forever”
Feel No Ways: Reminiscent of Hotling Bling, the light skin king is in his feelings about ending a relationship that just wasn’t meant to be but he can’t help but feel some type of way about it. I don’t hate or love this track, it’s just there. OVO member Jordan from Majid Jordan does his thing on the production with the hi hat beat.
Quotes from this song that you can use for your IG captions:
“There’s more to life than sleeping in and getting high with you”
“Who is it that’s got you all gassed up?
Changing your opinion on me
I was only gone for the last few months
But you don’t have the time to wait on me”
Hype: Despite the title name, this track doesn’t get me hype. More upbeat than the previous songs, Drake comes back with the rap flow to take shouts at his enemies (hey Meek) and gives us a watered down version of “Back to Back”. He spits “‘Views’ already a classic,” and I’m just looking like:
if you say so Drizzy…
Weston Road Flows: Rapping over a distorted sampling of Mary’s Joint by Mary J. Blige, Drake does what he does best and reminisces on his days struggling to make it in Toronto. The track is nostalgic, revealing the Drake from 5 AM in Toronto and 9 AM in Dallas.
Redemption: Bound to be a favorite off the album, Redemption allows Drake to sing about the confusion and conflict he has been having with personal relationships and relationships in the business. Drake goes through his own version of the 5 stages of grief and croons on the chorus “I’m searchin’ for these words to say to you. Please give me time cause I’m searchin’ for these words to say to you”
Quotables to use when you’re in your feelings:
“Damn, I’m not unrealistic with none of my women. I tell them if they ain’t with it then let’s just forget it”
“Why do I want an independent woman to feel like she needs me?”
“Relationships slowin’ me down, they slow down the vision. Guess I’m not in a position to deal with commitment”
“I’m a walkin’ come-up, I’m a bank deposit. Sell my secrets and get top dollar
Sell my secrets for a Range Rover. Opportunity and temptation. They would sell my secrets for a tropical vacation. Sell my secrets back to me if I was payin’. Who’s gonna save me when I need savin’?”
With You: Drake enlists the help of PartyNextDoor for a track that sounds like a filler.
Faithful: Opening with audio from an Amber Rose IG video and then transitioning into a Pimp C verse, Faithful is one of those tracks you know will be everyone’s favorite. What seals the deal for me is the vocals from newly signed artist, Daniel Daley, from dvsn.
Quotes from this song you’ll see on Twitter and IG captions:
“You would think it’s all mine the way I took it”
“You hit me like “I know you’re there with someone else”. That pussy knows me better than I know myself”
“You talk like you got the juice and the squeeze”
Still Here: I like it. As Drizzy talks about how he’s still in the rap game, I found myself bouncin’ to it so good job. This track gave me hope that maybe the album will get better.
My face when I heard Controlla start to play:
My reaction when I realized Popcaan wasn’t on the song anymore:
How you gonna bite off the island culture and take off Popcaan?
I mean the version on the album still knocks but I already heard the Popcaan version and refuse to let this slide!
One Dance: This song has actually grown on me. All di gyal dem inna di club will be fuckin it up to this when the DJ plays it.
Grammys: After working together on What a Time to be Alive, Drake and Future team up again on Grammys. It sounds like it could probably be a leftover from their last project. I’m not crazy about this track but it’s cool. Since the two are going on tour together, it might be hot to see when they perform it.
Child’s Play: Drake should have took Grammys off the tracklist and just transitioned into Child’s Play. When you ask people what their top tracks on Views are, I’m sure this song will be listed. Sampling Ha-Sizzle’s New Orleans bounce classic ‘Rode Dat Dick Like a Soulja’, Drake did his thing on this one and his pettiness was at an all time high. There will be tons of quotables from this song like:
“Why you gotta fight with me at Cheesecake? You know I love to go there.”
“Say I’m actin’ lightskin, I can’t take you nowhere”
“Momma is a saint, yes she raised me real good
All because of her I don’t do you like I should
Don’t make me give you back to the hood”
Pop Style: Released prior to the album, Drake brags about living the fast life and calls out his haters again. I like the production vibe more than what Drake he is saying. I’m not mad about the track but I wish he would have left Kanye’s verse on there. Drake’s lyrics so far on this album have been subpar but I wanna know who told him “got so many chains they call me Channing Tatum” was good? He removed Ye and Jay but kept that?
Too Good: I’m not sure if I truly like this song yet. I feel like something is missing. The lyrics are there, the production from Nineteen is fine but I’m just not won over yet. It kinda sounds like a filler/throwaway track and usually when Drake and Rih collaborate it’s a hit. It’ll have to grow on me and if they drop a good video for it, it may win my heart. The Popcaan outro is appreciated.
Summers Over Interlude: Keeping up with the theme of the album, Summers Over features vocals from the other half of Majid Jordan, Majid Al Maskati. It’s a calming track and starts to wrap up the closing of the album. I wonder why there wasn’t a “winter” interlude to emphasize the transitions of the album?
Fire & Desire: Possibly a track alluding to his fall out with Nicki Minaj after the whole Meek situation, Drake doesn’t spare his feelings as he sings about his dedication to another woman in another relationship.Lyrics like throwin’ dirt on my old name only gets worse when you know things and you know I’m a writer, nothin’ left to hide allows Drake to clear his name and still admit that the love he has for the mystery woman is not lost.
Views: Once again, Drake airs it all out on the album titled track. He raps about the ups and downs the road to fame has costed him and how he’s proud of how far he has made it. It’s kinda like the “conclusion” of the album and to let you know that he’s still out here. At this point, I’m just glad I made it through the whole album.
Hotling Bling: I mean what else is there to say about this track? It inspired memes, jokes and commercials and so forth. After reiterating himself one last time on the previous track, Views, Drake closes the album on a light note with a track he knows we all love.
So what is the final verdict on, Views? I wanted Drake to prove me wrong on this album. I was hoping he’d pull a rabbit out a hat and produce magic and make me regret all the shit talking I was doing…but he didn’t. Out of 10, it gets a 6 from me. Possibly a 7 when I listen to the tracks that I do like. 20 tracks definitely weren’t needed and he could have kept it between 10-15. In some ways, I feel like Drake needed more time on this album but couldn’t turn back since he had already dropped the release date. Relying on Caribbean vibez and great production (shout out to 40!) to distract from the weakness of Views didn’t work. Don’t get me wrong: it’s a decent project but it falls very short of the hype. Tracks between 7-16 fly in to save the album and makes it tolerable but at the end of the day: Drake is showing how he is plateauing musically.
Not sure if it’s laziness or just feeling like he doesn’t have to try anymore but his lyrics took a decline. (Where’s a ghostwriter when you need one?) Some of the lines he came up with were cornier than usual. (and I swore I heard a verse or two that reminded me of the flows of Kodak Black and Bryson Tiller.) Though content wise, he has stayed true to himself, his growth has become stagnant now. I’m almost rather bored of him talking about his lovers and relationships, his mom, the haters, etc etc. If this was Drake “proving” he’s more than a singer then he needs to go back to the drawing board. I don’t understand what revenge he was looking for on Summer Sixteen with this album (I am a little upset he didn’t put that track on here). I don’t see Views winning in the “Best Rap Album” category but he may have a chance in the R&B section. I guess what I’m trying to say is everything is starting to sound the same. He needs new flows, a new gimmick, a new direction or something. Making his exit out of the rap game and into other business ventures is what I would advise him to do because I don’t think he will be able to keep attention with the next album.