Drake Continues Winning Streak On Nothing Was The Same
admin | Wednesday, 25 September 2013 | 608 Total Views
After less than five years in the public spotlight (if you count 2009′s So Far Gone as his coming out party), Drake has released three studio albums, a bevy of hit songs and guest verses that have helped him set the record for most No. 1 singles on Billboard‘s R&B/Hip-Hop Chart, and has garnered the love of fans worldwide. At this point, you’d think there would be nowhere to go but down for the Canadian MC, but as he highlights on his newly released Nothing Was The Same, he’s as comfy as ever at his current position.
The album starts out with the glorious and tone-setting “Tuscan Leather,” a track Drake has teased since his GQ Profile from June of this year. With a name like “Tuscan Leather,” you’d expect some dark ode (considering his previous album openers), but this song is all bluster. After name-dropping Ellen DeGeneres and Nicki Minaj, he spits aggro bars like “Ay b, I got your CD, you get a E for effort” and “I just set the bar and ni—s fall under it like a limbo,” clearly trying to establish himself as a new legend who need not be trifled with. It’s a surprising opener for a slightly surprising album.
After four Drake-ish cuts that run the tried-and-true gamut of lost love and regret as well as a “Headlines“ -esque “Started From The Bottom,” the album’s next big surprise comes on “Worst Behaviour,” a trap-tinged anthem about acting out in public. It’s a track unlike any other we’ve heard from Drake, making it the second-most challenging one on the LP (behind full-on R&B cut “Hold On, We’re Going Home”) in terms of whatever it is we’ve come expect from the rapper.
Nothing Was The Same‘s arguable centerpiece comes next, with “From Time,” a grooving and sensual record seemingly about past flings, but also about Drake’s growing loneliness as a 26-year-old bachelor, his strained relationship with his father, and of course, his feelings about past flings. It’s the way that he meshes all of these topics into cohesion is what makes the man a great writer.
Other highlights on the album come on “Connect,” a track so currently Houston you’d think H-Town newcomer Kirko Bangz helped write it; “305 To My City,” a bizarrely catchy cut that serves as a twisted love letter to a Miami stripper; and “Too Much,” a ruminating track reminiscent of Take Care‘s "The Ride“ which finds Drake exploring the negative effects of his fame and fortune on his family.
By the end of the album, you can’t help but think about how consistent Drake can be, at least to his own now-distinct sound. But if Drake isn’t consistently great, he’s consistently listenable, and Nothing Was The Same is no exception. For better or worse, the album finds him expanding on that Drake formula that we all love, and tweaking ideas here and there to make it feel like a new outlook. But even though there are a lot of great songs here, none of them catch you off-guard or make you uncomfortable.
By contrast, the first part of Kanye West’s interview with BBC Radio 1 host Zane Lowe hit the web last night, and in it Kanye explained that he’s not interested in making easy-listening music, or the kind of music people could take on vacation. “For me, as Kanye West, I gotta f—k shit up,” he explained. Though he didn’t throw any subliminals in the interview, it’s clear that when Kanye thinks easy-listening, he must be thinking Drake.
Earlier this week, Drizzy spoke with Elliott Wilson about his goals as an entertainer, and mentioned that Kanye is the only one he’s looking at as a marker—as someone he wants to surpass. And to be fair, he might. He’s three albums in, and he’s got good will among fans and artists to spare. If he stays the course and avoids any possible media crusades or award show fiascos, he could easily be as big (if not bigger than) Kanye, though by now we can all see that he won’t push the genre drastically forward in the way that West wants to. And maybe that’s not such a bad thing.