It would be silly of me to completely dismiss the [Black] British influences throughout this entire album. Toronto-Meets-London sound vibrates from beginning to end, both cities uniting to create a blend of music that appeals to all parties. Fortunately, Drake has shifted from his newfound adopted Caribbean sound and has instead found solace in Grime and the once prevalent British ‘funky house’ musical genre that we allowed to die out.
I personally enjoyed this album for what it is. It gave me an air of “Take Care” & “Views” 2.0 but despite this I was still sonically satisfied and loved that Drake collaborated with some of Black Britain’s cherished acts (Giggs, Skepta, Sampha and Jorja Smith etc). Not many were too fond of this album, I however appreciated the fact that Drake didn’t drift too far away from what we’ve grown accustomed to hearing from him over the years.
I appreciated the fact that Drake gave other artist’s a platform to also share the vocal spotlight with him as this album predominantly contains featured artists. I thoroughly enjoyed jamming to the “Skepta Interlude” it’s a madness!! From the enticing grime instrumental, to Skepta echoing “block that account it’s a catfish” throughout the chorus definitely made me chuckle. I find this song was Skepta’s method in responding to hateful commentary made by those claiming to dislike him and his craft. Such an empowering song for those of us that can relate.
Another favourite of mine would have to be “Blem” as I was curious as to what the song would be about due to its definition. “Blem” in London slang means a cigarette however in Torontonian slang the term blem means “high” so I guess both definitions aren’t too far off from the other. “I’m Blem for real, I might just say how I feel“- is the result of being so intoxicated to the point where you start expressing your inner feelings. This song I find is slightly London influenced in terms of his flow and the musical arrangement. Sacrifices features 2 Chainz & Young Thug and it was a great surprise actually hearing Young Thug not only enunciate but also rapping sans autotune! In this track the trio detail multiple sacrifices they made in their lives along with the obstacles they faced on their way to stardom. The chorus reads “I made sacrifices I been ballin’ ever since, we seein’ so many blessings we been ballin’ ever since… yeah, I did some wrong, I had no choice in my defence. Someone watching over us so shout out goes to-“. A very spiritual song and a definite ode to the Lord.
The ballad Teenage Fever enters, softening the entire vibe of the album. This song reminds us yet again why we adore Drake and his ability to shamelessly display his vulnerable side. Sampling JLO’s classic hit “If You Had My Love” Drake describes his transition from one relationship into a more fulfilling one and the issues that followed him during this process. One may assume that he is referring to his former relationship with Rihanna and his childhood crush Jennifer Lopez. So could he finally be living his teenage dream?
The following uptempo hype anthem “Kiss My Teeth” (KMT) featuring Giggs completely changes the tempo of the album as we see Drake & Giggs team up to create a catchy song that would grab their audience by storm. The American side of the fanbase weren’t too fond of Giggs and felt that his presence in this was pointless, however the UK rushed to his defence when Americans became too critical. I personally enjoyed the song due to its punchy lines, and catchy lines however Giggs final verse (the last line) was rather poor, but I can only picture how wild all UK crowds will respond to this song, especially that last line (BATMAN… DUN NUN NUN DUN NUN NUN! –dabs-)
“Ice Melts” is also another memorable song from the album which features Young Thug (with autotune). The strong bass is what triggered my love for this track and Drake’s vocals didn’t disappoint in this one which is another plus. But overall, I’d score the album a 3/5 and would recommend it to everyone in search of a summer playlist for their holidays!