No matter how you may feel about Drake (I personally think he can be realllll corny at times), it’s impossible not to acknowledge that he’s pretty much got the industry in a head lock at this point. Seemingly everything he touches turns to gold and he’s long since surpassed being just a ‘rap’ star. Views, while still somewhat a hip-hop album, was his biggest push into pop so far and subsequently his biggest (commercial) success to date. Not one to let the spotlight stray too far away from him, he promised a follow up in the form of a self described ‘playlist’ called More Life.
Now I, like I think most people, had no idea what the hell he actually meant by More Life being a ‘playlist’, but after listening to it, it’s become a bit more clear why it’s billed that way. This is not an album, there is no grand concept by the songs and they’re ordering, but instead it’s more of a collection of the different sounds that have been inspiring his music lately. The production is probably his most eclectic to date with sounds influenced by electronic/dance, island music, African pop, grime, and more. He’s always experimented with different sounds but this is by far his most experimental project to date and while initially I was disappointed that we didn’t get more straight up hip-hop, especially after the more pop leaning Views, the songs did start to grow on me the more I listened to them. “Blem” has an infectious island rhythm, “Passion Fruit” is oddly satisfying, and “Sacrifices” has been in non-stop rotation. If “Glow” is what we can expect from a Kanye joint project then I’m all for it.
“Demon just got out the can (yeah)
I gave my bro an advance (yeah)
Love is just not in my plans
Not even takin’ a chance
Studio right in my yard
I’m doin’ ten in a week
How long I been on this streak?”
He’s seemed to have developed an affection for London music lately so it wasn’t too much of a surprise to see the likes of Sampha, Skepta, and Giggs on here. What is surprising however, is to see some of them get entire tracks all to themselves. He really shared the spotlight this go around. Some accuse him of being a culture vulture and using newer acts to stay relevant and ‘cool’, and while I think there’s some truth to that, I think it’s more that he just has an immense ear for music and what’s ‘hot’ right now. He’s had a huge role in mainstreaming a lot of new artists and sounds and More Life will undoubtedly do that once again, but on an even grander scale. While I still wish for more hip-hop from him, it’s hard to argue the results, and this is another win for him.
Have you heard More Life? What’d you think about it? Where would you rank this in his catalog? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your rating for the album.
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