Featured, Music, Pop Culture

Drake’s “More Life” Is Leftover Cooler Water From Last Summer’s Trip To The Beach

I hope Drake forgets his flip flops just before he steps in the shower at the gym or maybe he buys a series of Tim Horton’s franchises that get shut down by the health department or maybe he stubs his pinky toe on the OVO office coffee table. I hope that something, anything, significant happens to this man in order for his music to have any of the cache it once had. I don’t necessarily wish ill upon the 6 God. Maybe Lauren from the Waffle House in Tallahassee can successfully trap Aubrey and then he’ll come to terms with the beauty of fatherhood. But, listeners need some sort life altering incident to spark subject matter — at least something other than perceived slights, marginal assistance to an ephemeral crew, and the popular diasporic subculture of the moment. More Life details the least amount of living from an artist formerly known for his vulnerability. This album is a stagnant as leftover cooler water from last summer’s trip to the beach. We took Views to the islands with “Controlla.” One year later, Drake dumped a fresh bag of ice on top of gritty sand, Great Value cola, and a loose ziploc bag and dubbed it More Life.

The public perception of Drake’s content has followed a narrative consistent of a relationship with a narcissist. First, you find their openness refreshing and novel. Next, you find yourself curious about the depths of their mind and creativity, and finally their droning on about themselves becomes a hollow refrain like Aubrey’s lyrics. It’s frustrating to witness a genuine talent lazily coast, but yea, this is the path Drake chose. He knows he can rehash the same four song concepts and his status as a pop star will insulate him from any financial ramifications on his annual trip to the Grammys. A certain segment of his fandom will enjoy his musical sociopathy no matter what. He has cemented a permanent place in your local kickback’s musical rotation. Kudos to Drake for getting over on most of the populous. However, if Drake wants to convince the savvy among us that he’s great as he purports to be, he needs to be a bit better at obscuring his formulaic content. Other than boasting about how he doesn’t want to rap, or he doesn’t “need” it, he could fully adopt one of these alternative styles that he occasionally shakes on his musical pallet for seasoning.

Currently, Drake has four song templates: The single, the trap rant, the R&B wannabe, and the culture vulture.  After making multiple versions of these same four songs over the course of his last two albums, it’s honestly peculiar that he isn’t better at it. His singles are undeniably hot, probably because in this era of “playlists” tracks like “Hotline Bling” or “Fake Love” expect to carry the brunt of the plays via streaming platform. However, the rest of the tracks on More Life are sorely lacking. On “Gyalchester”, Aubrey sets up his hook to rhyme “kicker” with “nigger” with a hard “er.” That utter disregard for protocol alone signifies wanton boredom. The proficiency is there but like a cafeteria style lunch buffet the ala carte style of sound creation ultimately reduces quality.

Considering Drake’s shift into world music, it’s not surprising that his rapping and singing, his former calling cards, have plateaued. What is surprising and patently absurd is that Future, your ain’t shit cousin whose kids you avoid eye contact with when you see them around town, is better at combining the R&B and rap than Drake. Drizzy has essentially co opted Future’s flow on a number of trap tracks since What a Time To Be Alive but ultimately his boasting comes off as whiny instead of braggadocios. His insistence on setting straight years of perceived slights seems like a never ending Social Network style internal monologue over triplet hi hats. On the R&B side, while Future croons, Drake rarely attempts to really sing. Instead he relies on weak melodizing that was okay once upon a time, but his thin voice can’t carry the weight of his empty platitudes. “Nothings into Somethings”, “Teenage Fever”, “Since Way Back” are simply put, unpleasant. Especially, on a “playlist” with PARTYNEXTDOOR and Sampha providing superior vocals.

The verdict is split on, Drake, the culture vulture. Either Drake is representing the various Caribbean communities of the British diaspora present in the greater Toronto area or Mr. Nice Guy. The truth lies somewhere roughly left or right of center at the 35 percent line depending how you feel about him. Motivations aside, Drake’s forays into afrobeat, grime, dancehall, polka, contemporary celtic and peruvian flute music have been his catchiest songs of late. “Madiba Riddim” is disingenuous and yet, a great song. What makes his music sound tired is an insistence on playing all the roles at once. Between the tracks on Views and More Life, audiences would have been treated to a solid afrobeat/dancehall album. Drake would’ve been lauded for stepping out of the box, listeners would’ve been spared another dose passive aggressive machismo, and we’d all be better off for it.

Ultimately, the notion of the “playlist” is a smoke screen for releasing lackluster content. It’s an attempt to skirt responsibility for the album equivalent of pot pie innards. It’s something or (ting) that you just absorb after enjoying the initial bite of flaky crust that you really wanted. Furthermore, by marketing it as by “The October Firm”, Drake is putting himself in the position of other hip hop moguls that have created compilation albums for their stables. But instead of using the guise of loyalty to subject us to G. Dep, Lil’ Twist or the newest guy in Toronto, you’re hearing Drake surgically sample another song from 1996-2001 in an transparent attempt to stir nostalgia. The album is Drake’s attempt to carve himself a place on every night of your local clubs schedule. Meringue Monday, Afrobeat Tuesday, Francophone Friday, and even your standard hip hop Saturday will all have Drake on the docket but no one will be listening.

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Brandon Harrison

Brandon lives in LA and has Hollywood stories that rival those of Rick James. He prides himself on staying righteous and knowing more about basketball than you.

  • AKA The Sauce

    Back to Back was his last great song…the end

  • Wowza23

    He got bodied by a Fly Girl.

    • JLO?

      • Wowza23

        Yep. Apparently he drunk texted her a lot and replaced her vocals on one of the songs.

    • Quirlygirly

      Nah..he got bodied by his own mediocrity

    • Val

      That never happened. Ask Brass. He knows.

      • Wowza23

        I was thinking of the drunk texts he sent her. Sounds like…feelings. Even if it was a PR stunt…I think her immediate involvement with A-Rod hurt his fee fees.

        I’m still learnin’ my way around these parts. Who’s Brass? (If it’s an inside joke I’ll mind my business. Ha)

        • Val

          Lol I was debating Brass (Tacks) last night on this. Basically I think most of Drake’s (public) relationships are PR stunts. Brass said he and JLo were really a thing. So my comment was kind of a shot at Brass.

          • Quirlygirly

            Yes it was a PR stunt..Ain’t JLO still with Casper or something. The stunt was mutually benefical

            • Val

              Or Alex Rodriguez, depending on what time of day it is.

          • Wowza23

            Ahhh…gotcha. I think it’s a little of column A and a little of column B. I think it was a PR stunt that blew up in his face when she immediately got with A-Rod. I’m sure per the settlement he was supposed to get ‘New number, who dis’ rights and she scooped that from under him. Lol.

          • cakes_and_pies

            Drake is Taylor Swift.

  • Junegirl627

    “DRAKE’S “MORE LIFE” IS LEFTOVER COOLER WATER FROM LAST SUMMER’S TRIP TO THE BEACH”

    You’re being too nice.

  • Val

    Like Sawyer, I’m no expert on the hip hops, but this new album by Drake apparently broke some kind of Spotify record with 76 million streams on Sunday. So, despite the fact that Drake sounds like a chipmunk and is an easy target for memes, he seems to be doing pretty well.

    https://ca.sports.yahoo.com/news/drake-sets-streaming-records-more-105216255.html

    • pls

      numbers definitely lie val!

    • I Came I Saw

      This is why we must rage, Valtron! Rage against the machine that gives Drake any play. We must kick him even when he is up.

      • Val

        Lol Yes, obviously we must, Sawyeriffic.

      • Quirlygirly

        Saw- this will take a united effort but there are those who thing this album is the greatest thing since sliced bread. They will continue to enjoy the mediocre and halfassed songs on the album

    • DrakeNeedsABreak

      Meh. The number of streams and sales an artist gets isn’t any indication of the quality of their product. Adele sells a megaton of albums, and for the life of me I can’t understand why. Like Drake’s, her music is boring and largely forgettable, but at least she doesn’t bore us every single year. Homeboy needs to take a break. I’d rather artists put out quality music every two-three years than wack ish every eight months.

      • Val

        “…streams and sales an artist gets isn’t any indication of the quality of their product.”

        Where did I say it was?

  • Junegirl627

    More life is watered down hot dog water

  • Junegirl627

    Listening to “More life” is like stepping on a used condom bare foot

    • miss t-lee

      *ugly laugh*

      • Junegirl627

        lmaoooo

    • Quirlygirly

      So you liked More Life is what you are saying?..LOL

      • Junegirl627

        More like… Fluck “More life” and the Lifeless Fluckboy who wrote it and his side kick the incredible deflate-ible butt pad minaj

        • Mary Burrell

          Woah! SHETHER!??????

    • pls

      gat dayum guh!

    • NonyaB?

      #Savage But probably true – I won’t be listening to find out, so thanks for taking 1 for the team!
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/31ffee1a1102a4069589f1d9d212bc512e76d7f34a6ad22c7308e8a1edb8913b.gif

      • Mary Burrell

        Drae and Rainbow love me some Black-ish.

    • Wise Old Owl

      Honestly, why is Drake so popular and adored by female fans, a Pop Culture Icon and considered a chex symbol by many…what traits and qualities does he posses to make him the 6 God…
      I am an admitted J. Cole fan, Kendrick Lamar follower and yes, a Kayne stan…however, although at times I find Drake entertaining and admits that he has talent…I just wonder why and how dId he become a Hip Hop King…yes, I have my theories…

      • Junegirl627

        the devil did it. and Trump is delaying Jesus’ ability to fix it.

        • Wise Old Owl

          The Devil is a Lie…

        • Hammster

          lol

      • Monica Harris

        I wonder how he got so popular too sometimes. I like pretty much all of his hits though. I think he makes good music and I often find myself cracking up at his lyrics. Maybe he just found the right formula.

        • Wise Old Owl

          What are your theories…

          • Monica Harris

            Theories? I have none. I think he worked hard, found a formula, got lucky and took it to the bank. For me, when I first heard Drake, he was a breath of fresh air. He seemed authentic and not fake “hard.” I still think Drake is authentic although most of my friends don’t. I can’t discuss hip hop intellectually like some others though. I’m curious about your theories?

            • Wise Old Owl

              See above my reply to Soror Salsa…I also think that he benefits from positive media coverage by the mainstream media…when is the last time a negative article was written about him in mainstream media…also after the Kayne Taylor Swift MTV awards controversy in 2009, the mainstream media turned on Kayne and Drake greatly benefited and inherited non thug, self reflecting, emotional Rapper spot…

      • SororSalsa

        I really don’t understand Drake’s appeal to women. At all. Now….I will admit that I’d go home with Drake just to see what his rap is like. Would there be tea drinking followed by yoga and rom-coms? Would he call you an Uber in the morning with a granola bar on the counter or breakfast in bed? Drake has been playing various forms of a rapper for so long that I’d be interested in finding out who Aubrey actually is. I’m curious to see if he’s the simp he portrays himself to be, or an actual person.

        • Wise Old Owl

          I am going to be attacked and called a Hotep and a Hater, but it is due to his mixed heritage and light complexion…he and Barry were forerunners of bringing light skin dudes back in style…although, they never went anywhere…we are back in the Age of J. Cole, Chris Brown, The Weekend, Steph Curry, Jesse Williams, Prison Bae Jeremy Meeks, Michael Ealy and your random light skin mixed dude on Instagram and Team Light Skin on Twitter…ask yourself honestly, if Aubrey was dark skin from Seattle, would he be the biggest act in Hip Hop and a chex symbol…

          • pls

            nope!

            • Wise Old Owl

              Yes! The Data speaks for itself…unless of course, only dark skin Women experience Colorism and only Men prefer light skin…Light Skin and mixed race males like Aubrey have been benefiting from light skin male privilege since pre slavery and colonial days in the Americas…

          • MelanieYvette

            This is true too.

        • pls

          He’s like a lot of men in real life. He says and does the most disrespectful chit on wax about women, but he’s charming. Plus there are sexual accounts from groupies all over the internet and according to them he’s working with something and working it well. I hate him like I hate my ex.

          • MelanieYvette

            Yeah, he’s a polite f*ckboy. Those are the scariest ones.

        • grabo2003

          *flatline*

      • pls

        He’s half white and Eminem is nowhere to be found so……I think his jewish background gets him in a lot of doors with higher ups as well.

        • Wise Old Owl

          Bingo…

    • BrothasKeeper

      I’m not gonna ask you how you know what that feels like, and I’m not gonna admit that I also know the feeling, but that analogy wins.

      • Junegirl627

        Thanks bro *daps*

      • Junegirl627

        First you think wtf? ?Huh?? Then argh?Then anger and disgust ???

        Yeah thats more life…

        • BrothasKeeper

          Residue….

          • Junegirl627

            yo!

    • Oh no lol

  • Junegirl627

    More Life needs to be more dead

  • Junegirl627

    If I have to hear one more Damn’ded struggle lyric from Drake or Nicki…….

    • Quirlygirly

      But..but..But Nicki has more most Hot 100 hits than Aretha Franklin. That has to account for something (sarcasm).

      • Junegirl627

        Everytime she tries to sing I wish someone bribed security and will rush the stage and just take her Mic and scream STOP IT!!!

      • BrothasKeeper

        Is this true?????? I don’t wanna live this life anymore.

        • Quirlygirly

          Yes she did pass her but they are including her features. Meanwhile Aretha is the lead on all her songs so..

    • pls

      both of their voices are so shaky.

  • pls

    Trash. No growth and no identity. Whose flow did he borrow for this album cuz he needa give it back!

    • Is he still whining?

      • pls

        He won’t stop.

        • Quirlygirly

          He should have been on Bad boy…”Can’t Stop, Wont Stop”

          • pls

            Yes! Then we would have gotten one great album from him and never heard from him again! #shade #takethat

  • No Google

    “Either Drake is representing the various Caribbean communities of the British diaspora…”

    Can you explain this? Do you mean the African Diaspora?

    • Brandon Allen

      Most of Drake’s content is from the anglophone diaspora, african diaspora would be a bit too broad. Drake ain’t got the kompa or merengue rockin….yet…

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