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More Life, Drake’s “not quite album but not quite playlist”, released on March 18th. Today, after nearly a month of playing, replaying, and then partially forgetting about it, I’m still not sure what to think.
It’s good–I think. It’s certainly rhythmic, kind of dope on the rap portions, and the features are pretty solid. Songs like “Portland”, “Passionfruit”, and “Can’t Have Everything” are even favorites of mine. However, otherwise, it feels kind of meh. What happened, Drake?
This is my main question for the hip-hop superstar.He dates the most attractive women, stands as a Meme God, and could sneeze on a track and have it chart.
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Sure, there’s an argument that he has competitors but these claims fall apart under microscopic scrutiny. Kendrick is definitely the better lyricists, Cole’s better at choosing his topic matter, and Big Sean can even flow a bit better. Ye and Jay-Z stand above him, or at least alongside him, but they pose no real threat.
Let’s face it, Drake’s on the top of the world. However, with this blind acceptance of everything he touches, Drake has begun to lose his way.
Think about it. Who is he now? He’s not the underdog we loved from Comeback Season nor the lovestruck kid from So Far Gone.
He’s also not quite the crooner we saw on Thank Me Later or the melodic harmonizer on the Grammy-Winning Take Care.
Continuing, he’s also not the rapper from Nothing Was The Same (my absolute favorite Drake), or the partier from either If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late or What A Time To Be Alive.
And I’ll be damned if the real Drake is the man who made Views. Looking at More Life, Drake just comes off as either multi-faceted (a claim from his many fans) or bored out of his mind (a claim from his equally large set of haters). Which is it?
He’s bored. Sure, I believe he enjoys making hits but it all stands as so superficial. I’m not entirely saying that’s a bad thing. I love superficial, but he’s shown he’s much more than the braggadocious and slightly arrogant rapper he’s become.
At his absolute lyrical peak, Drake exuded a refreshing amount of self-awareness, a dose of vulnerability, and even a smidgen of humility. Even more impressive, he pirouetted shots at his reputation with the ease and grace of a 20 year vet. Nowadays, he doesn’t even appear inspired. And I miss inspired Drake.