Drake – Views
Release Date: 29/04/2016
Label: OVO/Young Money
Producers: 40, Boi-1da, Kanye West, Wizkid, Metro Boomin, Vinylz
Singles: Hotline Bling, Pop Style, One Dance
I’m a big Drake advocate and I’ve been really excited for the release of Views From The Six, of course now titled VIEWS. For me personally, If You’re Reading This just sounded like everything else from 2015, and I’m not falling for this whole trap/Future trend either, so VIEWS was a long-awaited project from someone who’s failed to impress me with their last two projects. I recently called Drizzy the hottest rapper in the game, so would VIEWS conform to this opinion and solidify him quite rightly at the top of the tower? If you’ll pardon the pun.
VIEWS commences in a triumphant manor, a manor in which I wasn’t expecting. Featuring a grand orchestra and punchy drum rolls, it was exactly the opener I’d hoped for. With past projects like the two aforementioned, I feel Drake’s production is where his music falls flat: often opting for tinny and cheap-sounding beats that sound like they’d been thrown together the night before. So to hear a track with more punch and ingenuity is refreshing, particularly from an artist with, in my opinion, a formulaic musical output.
However, that’s where it all comes to an end, and VIEWS follows an all-too familiar formula, one that I can’t believe everyone hasn’t had enough of already. ‘I don’t run out of material’ Drizzy raps on Hype- when the exact same beat with the same producer with the same flat content is once again all I’m hearing on a Drake project, how can I think anything but the opposite? On the other side of these predictable heard-before beats, are the downtempo R&B bores such as Redemption, Faithful, Controlla, and Fire & Desire, which have unfortunately become a tired commonplace within a Drake project.
VIEWS was disappointing, and there’s a very good reason for that- I’ve heard it all before. Nothing about Drake’s latest album sets it apart from his last two projects, let alone anything out there at the moment. Done-before trap beats which lack any inventiveness or ingenuity, crossed with monotonous R&B duds unfortunately don’t do it for me, despite a few points of positivity such as the opener, lead single One Dance, the Rihanna-featuring Too Good, or 9. I’ve started to feel alienated in my view of hip-hop when the aforementioned qualities are now deemed as strong or good material. The Life of Pablo wasn’t necessarily for everyone, but at least it’s championing progression, any track from VIEWS could be slipped onto If You’re Reading This or What A Time and nobody would be able to tell the difference.
Verdict – WWV