“This a roley not a stop watch, s**t don’t ever stop.” - Drake- Nonstop
Yea, no kidding.
Ever since Drake hit the scene with “Best I Ever Had” back in 2009, he’s dominated the industry with a clenched fist. He has the Grammy’s, the number one hits, the chart-topping albums, and the clout to match. I think the only question left to ask is; when will it stop? And apparently...the answer is never. To be quite honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if Drake drops and album in 2058. I wouldn’t be surprised if he features on a song in 2088. Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if he appears on a track long after he’s dead and gone. I mean, he did get a Michael Jackson feature on ‘Scorpion’, so anything is possible. But I’m getting ahead of myself...
Drake came out the gate swinging with this one! In the first track of the album, he addresses the beef, the haters, and the reality of being a superstar that has to keep his future in mind.
“Seen this movie a hundred times, I know where it’s headed/ Realize someone gotta die when no one’ll dead it“ - Drake “Survival”
While I was hoping for an instant response to Pusha T’s “The Story of Adidon”, as I’m sure many of you were as well, he saved that for later. And that instrumental for ‘Survival’? Straight fire! Yo 40, if you’re reading this, stay alive my guy. The game needs you.
Side A progresses in true Drake fashion, with heart felt bars on “Elevate” and hit records such as “God’s Plan”. Then, we get to the moment we were all waiting for...the response to Pusha T.
Drake went subliminal and didn’t say his name directly, but it’s clear that he was addressing the beef that unfolded just last month. Bars like “Only deadbeats is whatever beats I been rappin’ to,” and “Your sister pressin’ play, your trainer pressin’ play, your wifey, your wifey, your wifey,“ touch on topics that were addressed in both “Duppy Freestyle” and “The Story of Adidon”: namely the bar when Drake name drops Pusha’s wife, Virginia Williams, and when Pusha called Drake a deadbeat dad for hiding the birth of his son from the public. The final blow came in the form of a recorded sample of Plies talking smack on Instagram. “I can’t argue with you” he begins. “You big mad”, it continues, “I’m happy, leave me alone!”. It concludes with perhaps the most disrespectful line of the entire monologue “You ain’t nobody!” SHEESH! That’s a bold move Cotton, especially since he’s referring to the current President of G.O.O.D Music; the same guy who said he doesn’t mind going to the grave over this beef. Drake may need to take notes from Cardi B and “Be Careful” with this one, because something tells me this isn’t over.
The only feature on side A came in the form of none other than the jigga man himself. Jay-Z laced “Talk Up” with some heavy bars, including one that references the death of XXXtentacion, which leads me to ask the question: Ya’ll recorded this last week, or.....?
If side A was the lion, side B is the swan. Drake tapped into R&B vibes, with beats and lyrics that will have some reaching for the Kleenex and other reaching for the phone. PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT. DO NOT TEXT YOUR EX! PUT THE PHONE DOWN. THEY DON’T WANT YOU.
Now don’t go getting the wrong idea; it’s not entirely about love and loss. 40 mixed up the production with some upbeat vibes such as “Ratchet Happy Birthday” - coming soon to a hood near you - and “Blue Tint” featuring Future (even though he’s not credited?). Still, side B is for the R&B Drake fan, the lo-fi Drake fan, and anyone who wishes Drake never started rapping in the first place. This is your moment. Enjoy it.
Now, let’s talk features! First off, Michael Jackson. Michael Jackson? Yes, you read that right. Michael “The King of Pop” Jackson has a feature on Side B, and it goes in. The song is called “Don’t matter to me”, and I’m not sure if they dug the sample out of a dusty crate, or if the ghost of Michael Jackson himself recorded it live. Either way...it don’t matter to me, cause the s**t goes.
Next on the unlikely feature list, Static Major. For those of you who don’t know, this was the guy on Lil Wayne’s ‘Lollipop’, and for those of you who do, you know he was way more than that. Static passed away in 2008 due to a rare condition called “myasthenia gravis,” but left his mark on the hip hop community by producing Ginuwine’s hit record “Pony” and having multiple songwriting credits as well – his piano playing was also the sample/inspiration for Drake’s song “Look What You’ve Done.” Ty Dolla Sign was also featured on “After Dark” alongside Static, and let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a good Ty Dolla feature? If you’re saying me, you’re a lie. End of story.
A two-sided album is not what we were expecting, but I doubt anyone is complaining. Both sides had their own flair and flow from top to bottom effortlessly. I can imagine that we will continue to hear “Nice for What” and “God’s Plan” on the radio for months to come – in addition to the banger “In My Feelings” - but at least now we have the rest of the album to enjoy as well. Shouts out to Drizzy, 40, and everyone else who was responsible for the making of this album.
Ya’ll did it again.