Drake dropped his playlist “More Life” and everyone has lost their chill.
After his mediocre album “Views,” (overly long and too many average songs, in my opinion), it’s fair to say that Drake’s latest project was not high on my list of anticipated albums for 2017.
It’s immediately clear to see the influence the UK music scene has had on Drake, with Giggs, Skepta and up-and-coming singer Jorja Smith featuring. That said, we have to talk about the two Giggs feature tracks “No Long Talk” and “KMT.” Dark and gritty, they wouldn’t seem out of place on a Giggs album, taking a command which Drake happily embraces.
With phrases such as “Gyalchester,” and “side ting” weaving their way into the lyrics, Twitter was in hysterics over the very-British references that were lost on many of Drake’s American fanbase. It’s almost as if such a creative decision serves as a private joke between Drake and the UK Rap and grime scene. That said, on this project, Drake is not presenting Giggs and Skepta as new artists in need of his support but as his musical equals; artists who Drake himself is a fan of.
“More Life” is littered with famous faces: Black Coffee, Quavo, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz, Kanye West, PARTYNEXTDOOR and Young Thug- twice. My personal highlights are “Glow” with Kanye and “Since Way Back” featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR.
“Glow” mesmerises with its minimal beat with subtle bleeps and synths complete with an outro sampled from an Earth, Wind & Fire song which is surprisingly very fitting.
“Since Way Back” is a hazy, sleazy track (as is expected of PND’s output) but the best part is the unexpected transition to its edgy beat with minimalist drums and pitched up vocal samples in the background. One cannot deny the craftsmanship of “More Life,” from its carefully selected samples and smooth but innovative transitions between tracks.
“More Life” serves as a perfect exhibition of Drake’s versatility and this is seen best on the solo tracks. From the gritty flows of “Gyalchester” and “Can’t Have Everything” to the Caribbean influence seen on “Blem” and “Madiba Riddim” and the introspective verses on “Lose You” and “Teenage Fever.”
Despite its 22 tracks, “More Life” avoids feeling unnecessarily excessive like its predecessor. With “Views,” I felt myself searching for a track which I really enjoyed (or indeed one that seemed that Drake enjoyed performing). On “More Life”, however, I find myself having a new favourite every time I listen to it, or noticing a new sample or subtle lyrical reference that gets me excited. The difference between the two projects is seen throughout. “More Life” feels like it’s bristling with ideas, with more to discover the more you listen to it.
It’s interesting to note that “More Life” is labelled a playlist as opposed to being a studio album and upon listening to it, it’s easy to see why. This project sees Drake fully indulge his musical tastes and bring together a compilation of tracks with a wide range of influences and features. This is not an album from the Drake brand, but rather a playlist to your life curated by the man himself.