After many months of false release dates and an extreme build up, Drake’s More Life has finally dropped. If you have been listening and re-listening to this new project, and not been able to gather your thoughts, we’re in the same boat. With an overwhelming 22 track playlist, it takes some time to really listen to each track and make sense of it as a whole. Logging on to any social media platform has been overwhelming. When I scroll down my twitter feed, I see tweets praising the 6 god, or tweets saying that this, is Drake’s weakest work. Before writing this review, I sat down with several of my peers to gain insight on their thoughts of More Life; the reviews were still very mixed. I was very torn myself; but, I have finally realized what Drake did that makes this playlist so intriguing yet controversial. He is an artist who has the power to curate and determine what is relevant, and he has redefined what it means to be a pop or rap artist. Instead of sticking to one genre on this playlist, he blends every genre that he vibes with. He managed to piece together influences from R&B, Hip Hop, Trap, Dancehall, and Grime. He was surrounded by many different artists with diverse sounds and somehow ended up successfully blending them with the help from executive producers Noah “40” Shebib, Oliver El-Khatib, Nineteen85, and others.
Drake makes a point that More Life is a playlist because he put a different energy into it than he would for an album. Drake wanted to curate a playlist that puts his featured artists in the spotlight, while he took the back seat. This is shown in tracks such as “Get It Together”, produced by Nineteen85, featuring the beautiful voice of newcomer Jorja Smith. The track “4422” only features Sampha, as he croons his distinctive powerfully soulful voice. The Skepta interlude only features Grime artist Skepta, as Drake gives this upcoming artist the spotlight he deserves. The additional features include Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Quavo, Young Thug, and PARTYNEXTDOOR. Drake is at a point in his career where there is a lot of pressure on the music he is releasing, on whether it is his best work or his worst, especially after how huge his last album Views was. He was expecting that pressure, and decided not to let it get to him. He decided to embrace that challenge, and made something that he was passionate about. Rather than choosing one lane to stay in, Drake chose them all. Love it or hate it, this project is already breaking the ceiling, as he just broke Apple Music and Spotify streaming records with this new release. As an artist, Drake has an undeniable force within the industry. His vision is unlike any others; he is always curating and paving the path for new and different music. As he says on the last track of the album “Do Not Disturb”, “Taking summer off cause they tell me I need recovery/ Maybe getting’ back to my regular life will humble me/ I’ll be back in 2018 to give you the summary/More Life.” It seems as if Drake has no plans to slow down; he will always continue to evolve and inspire.
By Josie Strick