By: Jack DeVault//
For Drake, it’s lonely at the top. After bursting on the scene with So Far Gone in 2009, the Canadian superstar has produced nothing but hit after hit and has remained for the most part unchallenged at the top of the “hip-pop” world. Up until now, Drake’s entire discography has consisted of wildly popular, fantastically composed tapes that have helped to mold his image into what it is today: an emotional, thoughtful, strong, and confused millennial. What has drawn millions to Drake over the last eight years has not been his looks, his flow, or his beats. Instead, it’s been his relatability. Take Care’s (2011) “Marvins Room” (a gentle, powerful track that features a drunk Drizzy rapping to his ex on the other end of the phone) is quintessential Drake. He understands the generation of broken hearts around him – he has experienced the heartbreak himself.
Views, Drake’s latest album, moves away from what made Drake one of the top artists in the world. Substituting arrogance in place of relatability, Drizzy spends 80 minutes holding what is seemingly the biggest emotional dick-swinging contest he and 40 (his trusted producer) are capable of creating. The album is both egotistical and disjointed. It moves from faux emotional tracks to songs that not so subtly hint at his money, fame, and success. The dick-swinging is warranted: the man deserves to give himself some credit for creating the life he described on So Far Gone’s “Successful” but on Views, it was overwhelming. 2016 Drake can successfully court most any girl in the world and he expects me, a lowly middle-class white kid, to sympathize with his “plight”? There is nothing relatable about Drake’s girl swiping his Bugatti to get Kotex, as he raps in “Child’s Play.”
“I’d let her take my Volkswagen, but she’d have to put gas in it first.”
In Views, there is too much Drizzy and not enough Aubrey. The album simply does not flow. Individually, each song is exceptionally produced and rather catchy but in a collective group, the tracks tell me nothing. At the end of “Hotline Bling”, after an entire 80 minutes of Drake, I think to myself “that’s it”? The album was carefully crafted to sell and sell some more. Many tracks on Views are so endlessly melodic and “radio-friendly” that they warrant a skip after the first 90 seconds- something I never thought I would be tempted to do while listening to a Drake album. By going all in on catchiness, Drake and 40 lost any sense of overall substance with the album. The songs just don’t fit.
Even with its faults, Views features many great single hits. Tracks like “Controlla”, “Too Good” and “One Dance” provide a warmth and bounce not yet seen on a Drake album and point toward a future of Caribbean flavored from the 6 God. For now, though, they are out of place – mixed in with a myriad of other beats to create an 80 minute hodgepodge of confusing beats.
Views, in its mediocrity, will forever be known as the album that could have cemented Drake’s legacy forever. Instead, it’s just another average album from a comfortable superstar that didn’t live up to the hype. Drake’s fall from the top of the game has begun.