Drake: ‘Views’

May 5, 2016


Features Editor| jtso40@latech.edu


Cash Money/Ovo Sound

Cash Money/Ovo Sound


There’s a disturbing new trend in hip-hop music to declare upcoming albums classics. Iggy Azalea fell into it hyping up her album “The New Classic.” Jay Z did it to a lesser extent with his last album “Magna Carta Holy Grail,” a sloppy mess marketed with a million-dollar Samsung deal.



Our esteemed 6 God has fallen into the same trap. On “Hype,” a song from his new album “Views” (formerly known as  “Views from the 6”) he declares “Views already a classic.”



It isn’t, by the way.



Drake’s sound has become entrenched in popular culture: almost strictly introspective lyrics rapped over beats from frequent collaborator Noah “40” Shebib.



On “Views,” though, the introspectivity feels whiny. The beats feel monotonous. Ultimately, the album as a whole feels like an artist lost in his own hype.



Drake is unquestionably at the top of the rap game at the moment, having replaced Kanye who replaced Jay Z before him. Unlike Ye and Hova, though, Drake has entered artistic stagnation, recycling past sounds through a half-assed Jamaican dancehall filter.



Drake’s preoccupation with exes and fake friends has started to wear thin. It is no longer relatable, instead sounding like a friend we wish would shut up and get over their problems. It’s getting a little hard to swallow the emotional problems of a multi-million dollar recording artist.



Also, it is a little difficult to feel sorry for Drake at this point. He’s beginning to fall into the Taylor Swift trap: a few songs about bad lovers makes you relatable, but only songs about bad lovers probably means you’re doing something wrong. Drake basing his entire discography on the women who spurned him shows more than a little lack of self-awareness on his part.



The self-involved nature of the album, similar to the trap Kanye fell into earlier this year with “The Life of Pablo,” is starting to feel lazy and uninspired beside artists like Kendrick Lamar. Kendrick’s preoccupation with the social issues surrounding him gives Drake’s a “la-la-la I can’t hear you” feel.



Nothing on the album is noteworthy besides “One Dance,” an infectious dance track. The album runs together in a way that is less cohesive and more lazy.  Thirty minutes into it I could not have said whether I had heard ten tracks or three tracks.



The album’s original title, “View from the 6,” played up its connection to Drake’s hometown, Toronto. Like Toronto, the album is cold and wintery, and like winter in Toronto, it isn’t fun at all.



His last two releases, the mixtape/album “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late,” and the Future collaboration “What a Time to Be Alive,” marked a departure from his previous work, playing up his newfound boastfulness  and the Gucci-and-lean fueled trap antics of Future respectively. In contrast, “Views” falls flat, playing out like a sad high schooler’s attempt at writing a Drake album.



Only time will tell if Drake eventually attempts an album that shifts his sound. Stagnation will kill an artist’s hype, and if Drake continues to release the same album under different names, he might lose more than just fans’ goodwill.


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