Drake released his long-awaited, 22 track project More Life this week, which he has stuck to calling a playlist rather than an album, less than a year after his last. Views, which boasted lines such as “I can GPS you if you need addressing,” sold 852,000 copies in its first week, and it seems like More Life has followed in its footsteps. Drake has managed to cultivate a sound into a brand from instrumentation, to flow, to most importantly, his lyrics.
From the beginning of his career, Drake’s writing style has followed a certain pattern. I like to call it the “Started from The Bottom Formula,” named after his 2012 hit in which he describes his life from nothing to stardom. Other names for this phenomenon include the “Aubrey Equation” (or Aubreyquation) and the “Graham Effect.” But no matter the name, the formula remains true; even though Drake started out as an actor on Degrassi: The Next Generation, five years before his first mixtape, he insists that he started his career as a struggle rapper and people don’t question it. Just look at the first verse from the opening track, “Free Smoke”.
This follows the equation perfectly, with the added bonus of his classic, forced pop culture references. Okay, I lied- this screenshot is fake. But the fact that you might have thought it was real shows that a line like this isn’t that far-fetched, minus the appearance of self-awareness. The actual verse is “Yeah, I couldn’t get a bill paid…Almost gave up on the music thing. But we all so spoiled now. More life, more everything” which is less funny, but still proves my point. The only thing more obnoxious than Drake insisting he has lived a ‘rags to riches’ story is the way he pronounces smoke as “shmoke.”
Like a Tim Horton’s coffee maker, Drake is a Canadian machine. Four projects in 2 years isn’t Future level, but it’s still a lot of music to be making in a short amount of time. Naturally, some of the songs on More Life fall flat. This makes Drake the most versatile rapper of our time if versatile means going from trash to banger within minutes. “Lose You,” which is fighting for the worst song on the album, is somehow only two spots away from “Glow” featuring Kanye, which shows Drake at his best- not rapping. More Life is saved by this and a few other songs, making the project worth listening to until the next one comes out in 6 months.
Glow (feat. Kanye West)
Portland (feat. Quavo and Travis Scott)
Ice Melts (feat. Young Thug)