Days before its official Sept. 24 release, Drake’s third album “Nothing Was The Same” leaked for fans to devour, critics to critique and for social media whores to now have new material to reference.
And while the Canadian has never denied being an emotional dude, on his latest effort, he debuts just how erratic, disjointed and often contradictory his emotions can be.
The album opens with the braggadocios “Tuscan Leather”, which is a 2007 Tom Ford cologne The New York Times said had faint hints of cocaine, and retailed for as much $300 . On the song, Drake raps about the millions he’s earned by destroying other rapper’s careers.
Coming off the last record/I’m getting 20 million off the last record/just to off these records/ n***a that a record.
And while what he spits is fact, he doesn’t allow listeners to sit with the theory for too long because the Noah “40″Shebib and Mike Zombie produced club anthem “Started From The Bottom,” in which he flexes about the horrors of growing up middle-class, follow.
From the beginning of his career Drake has understood his own uniqueness, that while being the “soft” actor-turned-rapper may result in a few insults, it wouldn’t stop his success. On his latest single “Wu-Tang Forever”, which samples Wu-Tang’s “It’s Yourz,” The self-proclaimed ”Light skin Keith Sweat” rhymes about being able to still hold weight in the life of his former love. That thought is immediately thrown to the wolves on the following track “Own It” where Drake chooses to showcase his want to be vulnerable.
“Next time we f*ck, I don’t wanna f*ck, I wanna make love/ Next time we talk I don’t wanna talk I wanna trust/Next Time I stand tall/ I wanna be standing for you/and next time I spend I want it all to be for you”
Seven tracks into the album is when Champagne Papi begins to make a little sense. With the assistance of Cali songstress Jhene Aiko, the track “From Time” Drizzy expresses his professional and personal goals, wanting more than just to make music, but yearning for influence, while trying to build a relationship with his father.
I been dealing with dad speaking of lack of patience/just me and my old man getting back to basics/we been talking ’bout the future and time that we waistin’/when he put the bottle down girl that n***a amazing
“When he put the bottle down, girl that n***a is amazing” is a line of pure honesty for anyone who’s had to deal with the Jekyll and Hyde persona of an alcoholic. Jhene’s soft vocals, although tender give the song just the right amount of depth.
I hoped this would be the shift the album desperately needed that would bring some sense of consistency the other tracks lacked, but none the less, Drake returns to his contradictory ways on “Connect” He tells a girl to not speak to him like he’s famous (after all, it’s not like his 2012 Club Paradise World Tour didn’t net $42 Million) but on the following track “The Language,” while using his Versace Versace flow, he raps a far different tune.
N***as downplaying the money but that’s what you do when the money down/ I don’t waste time puttin the money down/I just go straight to who got it and buy it in cash/ P***y so good that you gotta come see me on tour/ and you gotta fly in first class
I wanted to give up on the album but it was singer/songwriter Sampha’s voice on “Too Much” that kept me going. To be frank Sampha’s voice isn’t traditional-or well behaved. The piano player sounds as if there’s a cotton ball in his mouth helping to nurse a recently pulled wisdom tooth, but the imperfection of his voice is what makes it so perfect and an excellent fit for the confessionary record.
Mr. Graham goes beyond the vein of girls, money and cars on the single and rhymes about the pressure his career puts himself under and for the first time, Drizzy’s vulnerability sounds heartfelt.
Back rub from my main thing/I’ve been stressed out/talking to her like back then they didn’t want/I’m blessed now/talking to her like this drop/bet a million copies get pressed out/she tell me take a deep breath you too worried about being the best out
The powerful musical moment fades quickly. With On Pound Cake/Paris Motion Music 2 Jay Z does his usual “I’ve got more money than you count” song and dance, but its Drake, who for the first time on the album gives an actual explanation to WHY he’s so boastful and why he doesn’t give to Dreidel’s about it.
(You caught that? The Jewish reference? No? That’s cool!)
And do it major like the niggas who paved the way for us/Like I didn’t study the game to the letter/ And understand that I’m not doing it the same, man, I’m doing it better/Like I didn’t make that clearer this year/Like I should feel, I don’t know, guilty for saying that/They should put a couple more mirrors in here so I can stare at myself/These are usually just some thoughts that I would share with myself/But I thought “Fuck it”
Nothing Was The Same lacks continuity, as if the songs weren’t musically sewn together. In one breath, Drake speaks about the pressures associated with his career, then wanting to be vulnerable with one woman, and then brags about knowing he can always have the one that “got away.” His emotions are all over the place, with no rhyme or reason, but if Drake is an emotional dude, then I guess he’s won, because when have emotions ever made sense?
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