*shudders* I think I’m actually one of the few hip-hop enthusiasts that has little-to-no interest in What A Time To Be Alive, a collaborative project from Drake and Future. For starters, Future is a largely irrelevant rapper in my opinion. At what point 20 years down the line are we going to look back and thank Future for what he’s done for hip-hop? Mumbling into a mic consumed with autotune, nonsensically labouring about ‘bitches’ and money. But to be fair, nobody’s ever done that before. Drake on the other hand is a big favourite of mine, however, following a plethora of disappointing 2015 rap LPs, I knew exactly how What A Time To Be Alive would pan out.
Do you honestly think that when Drake and Future sat down to create this project that they discussed the idea of it having a deep-rooted message like To Pimp A Butterfly? Or a theme like with Cherry Bomb? A concept like with Surf? Or an example of progression and invention as an artist like with At Long Last ASAP? Of course not, this is just 11 tracks of egotistical self-proclaiming monotony. Now I’m not saying that every album has to be a classic masterpiece, it’s just that What A Time To Be Alive has no point, meaning or purpose, at all. If you want to hear insightful lyrics boasting ingenuity and resourcefulness then look no further than track three: ‘And I got a really big team // And they need some really big rings // They need some really nice things // Better be comin’ with no strings // Better be comin’ with no strings // We need some really nice things // We need some really big rings.’
It’s honestly laughable how similar every track on What A Time To Be Alive is to every other shoddy release this year. You could throw any of these instrumentals onto Rodeo, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Dark Sky Paradise, even Mac Miller’s GO:OD AM or Dr Dre’s Compton, but the production side of things aside, the lyrics and themes are all the same as well. Do rappers really have nothing else to rap about? Women, money, bottles of expensive drinks, cars, clubs, strippers, yeah, we get it- we’re all very proud of you. Often it’s good to hear that your favourite rapper is the real deal, that they’ve made it and now they’re unfuckwittable, but seriously- why bore of us with 11 tracks of it?
As you may have gathered, I’m not a fan of What A Time To Be Alive. I’m not going to bore you with my criticisms any further, mainly because I don’t want to bore myself listening to it and then writing about it. There’s not a flicker of this project that was memorable or recommendable and if you want to have the gist of the album explained to you in a few lines then here you go: ‘ 60 naked bitches, no exaggeration // We bought all the bottles, had to change locations // Smashing all the models, now we hit the waitress // When you gettin’ a lot of money you can’t ever save it.’ Bravo.
Verdict – V