A "playlist", he calls it.
For Drake, Caribbean music and Jamaican patois on last year's Views confirmed his global ambition - and in the process, gained him some of his biggest, most pervasive Top 40 hits, including "One Dance", his first Number One as a lead artist.
Drake said of the project, "It's not an album but it is a body of work I'm creating, just to bridge the gap between my major releases, to keep people excited". Last month, OVO's Oliver El-Khatib continued to tease More Life. Starting off with a phone call from Drake since he is now overseas on tour, thanking everyone involved in this project and 40, his trusted producer who has become his right hand and influences heavily his work. From a long tracklist to boring songs, many hip-hop fans had begun to turn their back on the "Controlla" rapper. It became the first track to reach 1 billion plays but other tracks from the album aren't too far behind. Their release approach is smart and interesting.
The project made its worldwide debut on his radio show on Beats 1. And as previously reported, it's streaming outside Apple Music. Also contributing to Drake's streaming success is his back catalogue which shows no signs of slowing down. The interludes beautifully connect the sections of the album. "Why are you letting them shine on the song?' But my understanding is different", he added. By the second interlude I recognized that's what was happening.
"Hotline Bling" won Best Rap Song and Best Rap/Sung Performance at the 59th Grammy Awards, which Drake didn't even bother to attend. Features on the 6ix God's latest project include Quavo, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz, Kanye West, Young Thug, Giggs and PartyNextDoor as well as United Kingdom acts like Jorja Smith, Skepta and Giggs. It's also, interestingly enough, following in the style of Chance the Rapper's mixtape style.
Passionfruit: My personal favorite, screams summer. The song is worth revisiting for both of their performances and gives some life to the playlist's subdued and often moody production. Not something you would expect from Drake but I love it. That audacity, of course, is his abandonment of the American rap/R&B binary and embrace of the pan-global sounds of the black diaspora: grime, afrobeats, dancehall, house music. You'll kind of hear it when you hear the project.
But it got a little weird on his track "Teenage Fever". Not least, a track featuring presidential hopeful, Kanye West himself.
"Fake Love", the playlist's spiritual closer, shows that Drake still has a knack for creating R&B tunes flawless for a club or uptown bar atmosphere.
"More life / More time with family and friends".