Drake – Views {REVIEW}

Before I start with the review, I just want to congratulate Drake, 40 & the OVO family on the album going PLATINUM in its first week and ‘One Dance’ becoming the number 1 record in the country.

To see the growth from the ‘So Far Gone’ / ATF days to now has been nothing short of legendary, and a true privilege to me. So thank you for all the inspiration over the years.

We watched this man go from a childhood Canadian TV actor to making Toronto one of the most talked about and influential cities in the world currently. To his advantage, it’s a feat that none of his competition has been in the position to pull off.

Tell me how you really feel…

Fine, Drake. I’ll tell you how I really feel about this album.

‘Keep the Family Close’ puts me on top of the CN Tower on a cloudy, windy night to start the album off. We already know he was photoshopped onto his meme-friendly album cover, but I envision Drake sitting there overseeing, or VIEWing, the city that made him the biggest artist on the planet. A king overVIEWing his empire… if you will.

Maneesh, the producer of the song, truly snapped on this one. Drake has never released a song with this style of production before. He starts by singing the relatable, tweet-friendly lyric “all of my lets-just-be-friends are friends I don’t have anymore” which immediately got me in my feelings. Not something unusual for Heartbreak Drake.

It’s been over two weeks since the release of the album, and this song really does get better with every listen. Joe Budden pointed out in his podcast that this song may not be about some old issues with females, and most likely a stream of consciousness about his enemies. After that, I listened again more closely… and again… and then again…. and Joe Budden’s conspiracy theory could very likely be true. This gives me a much bigger appreciation for the song, and is probably my favorite to blast while driving by myself late at night.

Turned the 6 upside down, it’s a 9 now…

Okay, when this ‘9’ song first came out I thought it was cool. I thought it was a nice tribute to his city while inspiring the next creatives to come out of the 6.

But, as the days have gone on it has turned into a skip track to me. It has beautiful production but Drake does the same, relatively boring flow for the. entire. song. until the “key chain go jang-a-langggg” part. He does not sound as passionate as he should in a dedication record for his city, but more so just going through the motions. Not to make this sound bad, but the best part of the song to me is the outro and transition into ‘U With Me?’. That shit is really too perfect.

When you see 40 & Kanye West as producers for a song, you have no choice but to expect something special. ‘U With Me?’ was an immediate favorite for me. I know Drake reminisces on old love often, but I’m a fan of the Drake when he speaks on specific stories (‘Marvins Room’, ‘From Time’, etc.). The DMX samples are both used very well, although DMX is known not to be a very big fan of Drizzy.

‘Feel No Ways’ is probably the best song on the entire album. Maybe one of the best he’s ever made as well. Not surprising since it’s produced by Jordan Ullman of Majid Jordan, along with 40 and additional production from Kanye. I definitely “feel a wayyy, feel a wayyy” about it. A great song to dance or ride out to, and realize you’re better off without that deadbeat ex from your past. Try listening without getting this song stuck in your head.

Last year I know you learned your lesson, I could GPS ya if you need addressin’

Boss up, I’m the bigger homie, but I’m one year older than my little homie…

‘Hype’ is the closest to a Meek Mill diss track that we got. This is the first club-friendly record we heard on the album. Since it’s drop, I’ve heard it find its way into the New York radio rotation. The production by Boi-1da, Nineteen85 and co. is top notch, and Drake levitates over it talking all his “I hate a goofy especially” shit. All in all, this is probably the hardest song on the album.

One of dem ones. Drake “made a career off reminiscing” and that’s exactly what he did on ‘Weston Road Flows’. The sample-heavy production left a beautiful canvas for Drake to flow his life feelings over. Drake grew up on Weston Road in Toronto, so this song is basically a flashback of life before fame all the way up to the present. Watching his friend’s brother record mixtapes in his basement and not being able to afford pizza are amongst topics discussed from Drake’s past on this record. It’s songs like these that make Drake’s superstar career seem so attainable. A nice sounding record for the rapping Drake fans, although it’s not a personal favorite of mine off the album.

I’m a big fan of R&B Drake. It’s the songs like ‘What If I Kissed You’, ‘Brand New’, ‘Houstatlantavegas’ & ‘Sooner Than Later’ that made me recognize the serious problem Drake was about to become in the music industry. ‘Redemption’ brings back that same feel for me; the one that has you rediscovering old feelings you thought you had passed. Lines like “I gave your nickname to someone else” and “I miss the feeling of you missing me” are classic, petty Drake lyrics.

Screen Shot 2016-05-16 at 3.16.38 PM.pngAfter hearing ‘With You’, it has become evident that Drake and PARTYNEXTDOOR have not and will not miss when collaborating. We all know PND is Drake’s favorite in-house songwriter after hearing all those reference tracks. This is a nice, warm ode to that woman who thinks you don’t have enough time to spend with her. Jeremih was an unexpected vocal that appears on the last chorus, but definitely adds something nice to the song. If anything, this got me very, very excited for what PARTY has planned for ‘P3’.

‘Faithful’ leaked before the album had dropped, but the final version with dvsn is much better. It also features the late Houston legend Pimp C to honor the culture that was very important to Drake’s success. The honesty in Drake’s music has left him too exposed, but he promises to remain faithful to this particular female. This is not my favorite song on the album, but I wouldn’t call it trash either.

Get ready because ‘Still Here’ is about to be all over urban radio this summer. This is another crew anthem by Drizzy, where he raps “me and all my ni**as doin’ well” as he’s proud of everything him and his team has accomplished. They may have gone Hollywood, but they are still in their hometown of Toronto like they never left. A nice song with a catchy hook, perfect for all the summer Instagram and Snapchat captions. I’ll probably get sick of it halfway through the summer, but until then it’s an enjoyable song.

‘Controlla’ and ‘One Dance’ have been worldly favorites off the album. It’s almost impossible to not dance like a Caribbean fool when these songs get played. Both songs have very strong, catchy choruses with on-point production. Rap fans might be disappointed with these, but ‘One Dance’ has become a pop phenomenon and ‘Controlla’ should follow that up nicely.

DRake-Future-mixtape.pngFrom Dancehall Drizzy right into the trap, ‘Grammys’ with Future is basically an extension of their ‘What a Time To Be Alive’ mixtape. Drake claims himself to be “top 5, no debating” in his verse, which is extremely hard to argue at this point. Future takes care of the hook and adds a verse as well. Every time I listen, I flip back and forth of whose verse went harder. A nice, club-ready record that will be great for the duo to perform together on their ‘Summer Sixteen Tour’ this summer.

I loved the New Orleans bounce influence on ‘Childs Play’. The song starts with a hilarious sample about how if your girl is at a season opener basketball game, then she is fuckin’ someone on the basketball team (which has got to be true to be honest). Drake and his significant other have been guilty of acting childish in their actions together, like starting fights at The Cheesecake Factory and hiding his keys to his very expensive Bugatti. I believe this is the official twerking song from the album… so please continue to “bounce that shit like WOAH” ladies.

‘Pop Style’ has been a very-whatever song to me ever since he released the version with Kanye and Jay Z. Not sure if ‘One Dance’ was way too fire to compare to this at the time of the release or if the song is really just “whatever” but I could definitely do without this one. The new second verse by Drake has a few quotable lines, and possibly an ILOVEMAKONNEN diss, but the Chaining Tatum bar turned me off forever.

Drake and Rihanna have amazing chemistry in the studio. From ‘What’s My Name’ to ‘Take Care’ to their recent number one ‘Work’, it’s evident that they only deliver high quality music together. ‘Too Good’ is a very nice, upbeat follow up to ‘Work’. It’s a break up anthem for all the people whose kindness has been taken advantage of in a relationship. I expect this record to make a late summer/fall radio run, with another thirsty visual to go along with it.

Majid of Majid Jordan shined on ‘Summers Over Interlude’. I’m a huge fan of the modern pop/R&B duo so anything they do seems to be amazing to me. This was also produced by Maneesh, so you know it’s very musical. The song is only 1:46 in length, but you can definitely feel the vibe in that time span. I think, if extended, it could have been one of the strongest songs on the entire album.

‘Fire & Desire’ is a vibe. The Brandy sample was executed beautifully by 40 & co. This is one of those songs that you make love to, not fuck to, in the late hours of the night. It is a dedication anthem for that “real ass woman” in your life. One of my personal favorites off ‘Views’, and a very strong song to add to Drake’s R&B catalogue.

The album’s title track is closing record on ‘Views’, with ‘Hotline Bling’ being added as a bonus track. This song reminds me of a modern version of ‘The Ride’ off ‘Take Care’. It has that same feel to it, just with up-to-date lyrics. To even stretch it, it’s almost like these are his ‘Views’ of his life and career now after ‘The Ride’ it took him to get here. Two hard verses over Maneesh production is a solid way to technically close out the album.

‘Hotline Bling’ is what it is. I liked the song a lot when it was released, and has the potential to be played at weddings, dances and family parties for many years to come. But now, I pretend like it’s not actually on the album.

Personal favorites: Too Good, U With Me?, Feel No Ways, Fire & Desire, Keep the Family Close

Least favorites: Pop Style

All in all, Drake accomplished his goal of making Toronto a global hot spot with ‘Views’. Ever since announcing the title about two years ago, the world has really been on their toes, purchasing waiting through two critically-acclaimed mixtapes to hear this album. Is this the classic Drake album that people were expecting? I’m not sure; it’s still way too soon to tell how this album will hold up in a test of time. To rap fans, no it’s not. To pop fans, it might be. I personally don’t feel it is Aubrey Graham’s best work to date, but it is DEFINITELY Noah ’40’ Shebib’s best work to date.

Aside from attempting to deliver a classic (which has yet to be determined), Drake achieved every other goal he set out for with this album, including going platinum in its first week, a number one record on the Billboard charts and making ‘the 6’ a cultural attraction. Even if the album is not a classic musically, you can’t deny that Drake gave the world another classic moment with the release.

“The question is, will I ever leave you? The answer is no.” is how the sample opens up at the beginning of the album’s title track, which is exactly how I feel about my fanhood with Drake. I’m a forever Drake fan, and this album is just another checkpoint in the life and career of Drake. A very strong album overall, and I’m very excited to see what the 6 God does next.



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