By Brian Riley
Drake’s latest music compilation, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late,” was released worldwide on Feb. 12, continuing his victory lap that began with “Nothing Was The Same,” which surpassed over one million copies sold, according to billboard.com.
Drake pulls no punches on this album, and makes extremely clear what he has become. In “No Tellin,” he says, “Please do not speak to me like I’m that Drake from four years ago, I am at a higher place.” Drake flexed his muscles again on “Used To” with the opening line, “When you get to where I’m at, you got to remind them where the f*** you at.”
Although he is puffing his chest out, he hasn’t lost touch with his witty word play and clever rap skills. He gives you this throughout his album, but it is most obvious in “6PM In New York.” This song has the most backpack rap feel out of any of the songs on the mix, as he switches from topic to topic without a hook on a simple beat. This is just a progression from previous songs such as “Tuscan Leather,” “The Ride,” and “Light Up,” where he airs out his honest feelings and thoughts.
The days of Drake being criticized for being overly emotional and sincere in his music are over, as this formula has built an empire. This album features a few, slower R&B songs that are not as commercially friendly, but still personal and quality music.
The album is filled with energy. Most of the beats aren’t oversaturated with bass – they mostly have a slow tempo – at the same time, they still have a bounce that makes you want to break the speakers in your car. The only fast tempo song on the album is “6 Man,” which is my favorite song, mostly due to the arrogant lyrics. Hip-Hop is one of the only places where arrogance is accepted and promoted, and Drake feeds off this. Also, in “6 Man’s” second verse, Drake uses his flow that begins with an authoritative delivery of words, then finishes the flow by singing the last few words. Drake has mastered this flow, and has inspired several attempts from other artists trying to follow his lead.
Speaking of following the leader, Drake, like J Cole two months ago, released his album without any promotion, or any radio singles to build up a buzz. The rapper released the album without any notification. J Cole, on the other hand, let it be known in the upcoming weeks that he would be releasing an album. This surprise album release is great for music. When Drake’s album released, I got to hear 17 completely new songs, with the exception of “6 God”. In the past, by the time the album was available, you could have heard a quarter of the project.
“If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” is a great body of work that will have replay value like most of Drake’s music. The rapper is in his prime and he knows it, saying, “The game is all mine and I’m mighty possessive, Lil’ Wayne could not have found him a better successor.”