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

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

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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.

  • miss t-lee

    I haven’t even tried to listen to it yet.
    Maybe I’ll get around to it next week. If I’m bored.

    • Never going to listen.

      • miss t-lee

        I believe you Wu.

        • The frustrating thing about this boy is that he actually has talent but he’s happy stealing styles from his lackeys and others while trying to sing on behalf of fake nice guys.

          • miss t-lee

            Yeah, I’ve heard he’s taken on different accents and music styles from folks again.

            • I heard a song with the Slight Disturbance in the Adjacent Building and Drake sounded just like him.

              • miss t-lee

                I see you just renamed that dude and I can’t stop laughing.

              • Quirlygirly

                LOL..It too me a min to figure out who you were referencing and then Come and See Me came on my playlist and it made sense..LOL!

    • Quirlygirly

      I heard one of the songs this AM and was like Meh..I figure I listen to it when I have nothing else to do..

      • miss t-lee

        Yeah, I’m hearing everyone’s general opinion is Meh

    • Val

      I can top that, T. It is very likely that I will never listen to it.

      • miss t-lee

        I can see it, Val.

  • OweMeOne Kenobi

    So basically he said following the Minaj formula?

  • Alessandro De Medici

    Drake apparently is the next evolution in this hip-hop mess:

    From mumble rap —-> whisper rap.

    Gonna be going to the club/lounge and think you’re listening to bass and instrumentals only.

    • cakes_and_pies

      Whisper rapping belongs to the Ying/Yang twins.

      • Alessandro De Medici

        They whispered in a song…

        Watch, this is gonna be a thing: like in albums and mixtapes.

        • cakes_and_pies

          I’m take that over the current nursery rhyme mess on the radio.

          • MsCee

            If I hear drop top…thot thot…hot box…hip hop or anything else remotely sounding like this I’m clinking teas cups on all these fools. #sinkbitch

          • Alessandro De Medici

            Oh it’s better, no doubt.

            Just saying the next level of ain’t sheitness is going to be ninjas whispering nursery rhymes.

  • BatmansExWife

    I have no desire to listen to it. I like to stick to “So Far Gone”

  • pls

    I would actually be here for his acting career. He’s been acting like a rapper for the past decade. He’s played a southern rapper, a northern rapper, a dance hall artist, ja rule…

    • Junegirl627

      You said Ja Rule!!!!!!

    • Anyone ever call him out for being a vulture?

      • pls

        Yes but he skirts his way around the issue the same way he did when kendrick called him out twice on wax.

      • Alessandro De Medici

        Cause and Effect…

        Same thing with Nicki Minaj and from the other side Lauryn Hill: their fans don’t go anywhere, no matter what happens, so why change or admit to anything?

      • JulianWithTheRedCorvette

        Yes. Constantly. Off the top of my head there was- Earl Sweatshirt, Sauce Walka, Meek Mill, Joe Budden, Remy Ma, Papoose, Mr. Vegas, D.R.A.M. and, most recently, xxxtentacion.

        But since Drake is so much bigger than all of those people I named, absolutely nothing they say matters.

        • Kylroy

          Didn’t he butt heads with Meek? And Papoose on that list would explain why he decided to inject himself into the Nicki/Remy trainwreck.

        • Major Mayo

          Let’s not forget Sean Paul. lol I still think this review is harsh.

    • MsCee

      Not ja fuck!n rule tho…y’all seriously wanna kill me off today

    • *smh*

      Why did you have to bring up Ja Rule! Queens is going through enough as is. Nicki Minaj getting bodied, Q from Worldstar passing, Nas not having the rights to Ether, and of course…the White House. WHY???!!!

      • Quirlygirly

        *pats Todd on the back* Buck up everyone takes an L sometimes, yall just took a few back to back to back but yall will be back on top soon..

      • pls

        Because that little chit actually tried to take credit for singing and rapping on the same song like JA won’t out here pouring his heart out to Vita on this track. The disrespect!!

        https://youtu.be/nKKXPyGDPaI

    • L8Comer

      ????

    • DorisMorris111

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    • danni111972

      JaRule, lol!! hahahahaha

    • Issa purchase

    • AKA The Sauce

      Booooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

      • Freebird

        Why you booing?

        • AKA The Sauce

          Not a fan of the show.

          • Junegirl627

            you changed your name?

            • Quirlygirly

              Yes..He thinks he has “The Sauce”- lol

              • Junegirl627

                Whatev’s until he is ready to give a demo, he aint go shiiiiiiii

            • AKA The Sauce

              I did…I got too much Sauce

              • Junegirl627

                first this is us shade now this…. Wha happened?

                • AKA The Sauce

                  I like This is US…and I got sauce….to much in fact

                  • Junegirl627

                    You poor gas and lit a fire on the mom tho

                    • AKA The Sauce

                      Let her burn

                    • Junegirl627

                      SON!!!

                    • AKA The Sauce

                      I said what I meant.

          • Freebird

            You’re the first person I heard say that. I thought it was so good I’m scared for season 2.

            • AKA The Sauce

              I’m just team Lawrence….don’t mind me

      • So you disagree this isn’t better than Drakes #MoreDeath

        • AKA The Sauce

          Umm…..no

    • Freebird

      #teamlawrence

      • Quirlygirly

        Of Course you are

  • IDK I’ve been enjoying More Life more than my two listening of views, for all the flacks he gets he should be given props for introducing new sounds in hip hop, who else is going to have Black Coffee on an rap album?

    • pls

      He’s done nothing for hip hop, stop it.

      • Come on you’re hating, I don’t listen to drake like that but I can admit he had a lot of influence from hip hop to the “trap & b” sound

        • pls

          I’ll never deny that everyone has tried the “drake” sound from his mixtape days and first couple albums, but I don’t consider that an upgrade to hip hop by any means. We can prolly count on one hand the number of songs he’s made that are actually hip hop.

    • Junegirl627

      I listened to it for free and want my money back.

      • pls

        lol! I skipped 12 songs before I heard something that was just okay

        • Quirlygirly

          Skipped 12 songs? How many songs are on the album?

          • Junegirl627

            Like 25 he half-azzed hard on this cucumber on english muffin sandwich he wanna convince people is a hip hop album

            • Quirlygirly

              Your analogies are killing me..I am hollering!

              • pls

                right!

          • pls

            20 something. And they all sound alike

          • BrothasKeeper

            Too damb many.

  • pls

    So does this mean that Meek actually wins for once? His album was actually hip hop while Drake’s Views and this “playlist” both suck.

    • Quirlygirly

      Nope..Meek still loses because he is Meek Mill and that is his lane..I kid..I kid..

  • PinkRose

    NOTHING Drake could EVER release would EVER be acceptable to die hard rap/hip hop fans. As such, there’s NUTHIN’ much to see here IMHO.

    • pls

      agree.

      But for whatever it is that Drake does, he done missed the mark twice in a row.

    • Junegirl627

      I kind agree… I think that NOTHING Drake released on More Life would ever be acceptable to die hard fans of ears, ear drums, hearing in general, the power of music and it’s ability to bring people together and as such there’s NUTHIN much to see here.

    • Val

      Drake used to be all the rage. Hip hop heads would actually defend him, right here on VSB. Seriously, check the crates. How times have changed.

      • PinkRose

        Everyone crashes and burns at some point, and I’d rather do it with 76 milli under my belt.

      • Maybe I’m a hater but I never saw it for him. I like the song he had with Timberland and “Back to Back” but in all I thought he had talent but the fake nice guy ish and the singing was too much for me.

        • Val

          I mean, people were actually debating whether Drake was one of the greatest of all times, Wu. Right here. I clearly remember it. And debated me when I said he was crap. Where are those people?

          • I remember that clearly but a lot of ninjas on here do drugs or give country to b.s.

          • Junegirl627

            they got their ears cleaned

          • Brandon Allen

            I mean honestly he is. He just needs to stop. There’s a point where its over. Come for a guest verse every couple of years and find something else to do.

            • Val

              Sigh.

            • I Came I Saw

              At what point did it start, Brandon Allen? Greatest of all time… sing-rappers? Greatest of all time actor-turnt-rappers? Surely you can’t mean greatest of all time rapper. You know what? I don’t even know though. I don’t know anything about this. You probably have heard his underground mixtapes I wouldn’t even know about.

              • Brandon Allen

                If you really think about it most rappers don’t have particularly strong catalogs or relevancy, including features. Drake’s been in the game a long time, he’s earned it despite the naysayers

                • I Came I Saw

                  But… I look at someone like Pitbull, who debuted way before Drake, has been ranking on charts longer, has plenty of cultural relevancy PLUS crossover appeal, and fills out a suit way better, and I’m perplexed by what you see in Drake. Nay, I say. All the nay nays.

                  • Brandon Allen

                    You gonna just Pitbull out there like your average hip hop head understands Spanish? Tbh, I respect Pitbull for totally selling out. Drake should just do the same.

                    • I Came I Saw

                      Pitbull is nice in English, Spanish and Spanglish, BA. And lack of Spanish translation skills did not stop a nation from falling in love with reggaeton for that one year in the early aughts. So Pitbull is a completely valid contender for best ever in my book. I feel like Drake sold out after his debut album whereas Pitbull put in like a decade of earnest work beforehand. That would be the difference between Drake and Pitbull. Plus Pitbull put in so much more work than Drake has. I just don’t even understand you.

                    • DM.

                      You can’t with a straight face say that Pitbull is a better artist than Drake. That’s ridiculous lol.
                      “Give Me Everything Tonight, Dale” Pitbull? Nah fam

                    • I Came I Saw

                      I can and I will say just that. Pitbull’s catalog is impressive and back in the day he was a force.

      • PinkRose

        I don’t recall anyone defending him, he seemed too “lightskineded” for rap’s taste.

    • Jae Starz

      I’m going to have to agree with you on this. I can honestly say I have never and probably will never listen to a Drake album start to finish. It’s just not in me to want to. #sorrynotsorry

      • PinkRose

        The last rap album I listened to from start to finish was Jay-Z last album.

        I never listen to ANY of them like that.

        • Brandon Allen

          The last Jay-z album was terrible. How peculiar.

          • PinkRose

            It was actually Kindom Come.

            But you know, preferences and a$$holes kinda go hand in hand.

    • Brandon Allen

      I am a Drake fan. There’s the boom bap people that just hate. But after listening to numerous albums I can tell you this is straight lazy.

      • Junegirl627

        I like some Drake songs, but come on man the fact that he Beyonce/ Lemonade style dropped an album that at best is a trash bag full of hot dog shiyte and at worse. Squirting with the monthly friend is a total break from reality.

        This album is so bad it made me angry at Apple for giving me free apple music to listen to this.

    • Drake’s problem isn’t really him. With the right team behind him, he’s a very good rapper with moments of greatness. He has just got LAAAAAZY!

      • He’s Floyd Mayweathering his way through life. Just there for the money, beefs with those he can beat, and has rabid fan base who’ll rock with him no matter what.

      • PinkRose

        I think the rush to put out new music is to blame, he isn’t on the level to tell a record company “I’m sensitive about my $hit” and need time to create!

  • I haven’t listened yet and I don’t plan to anytime soon. Same with Rick Ross. I’ve been vibing to American Teen by Khalid and a lot of Aretha Franklin for some reason.

    I need a break from hip hop after Future’s back to back lackluster mixtapes and all these mumble rappers hubby always has blasting in the whip.

    • Junegirl627

      So you don’t trust Young Metro? ;)

      • Nope, but as long as he trust me so I don’t get shot, I’m Gucci lol

    • Quirlygirly

      So Future and Drake did an album together and then both release stinkers for their solo projects. What a shame!

      • Brandon Allen

        HNDRXX is actually good.

        • DM.

          Use Me is one of his best

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