02 May Drake’s “Views”: More Verses From His Diary
If you haven’t heard Drake’s Views yet, you might want to. The 6 God has returned to the charts with his latest studio album that sounds a bit like a part two from his previous, Take Care and Nothing Was The Same. At first listen it’s just okay with its subdued tones and melodramatic verses. But once you have Views on full rotation — three, four, five times later you begin to appreciate the tête-à-tête champagne Drake is having with you, his beloved steadfast audience.
Inspired by the seasons he welcomes us to his “views” by introducing us to the cold Alaska-like weather we get here in Toronto with the track “Keep The Family Close”. His Shakespearian entrance sets the mood of this opening track to the emotional grandeur of yet another album finessed on his old, somewhat new, musical ways. Unlike other artists he’s sticking to his authentic way of track mixing, verbal wordplay and tones of emotional attachment to things like his friends and family. Cue in the fog, right?
Views is just one of those albums you preferably should listen to in sequence at first listen. The tracks are designed to build up drama that I think tells the story of this EP quite well. While most people are hum-drum about the whole thing there’s a large fan base that, contrarily, respects this style of musical overtone that is all too familiar and comfortable— after all it’s why most of us like him. The album is less club anthem-esque as we imagined when we were introduced to One Dance and even Work off Rihanna’s ANTI album. GQ’s Ailis Brennan coined it best by saying:
“Views is sipping Hennessy in its Chesterfield leather armchair. Admittedly there’s a video girl or two hanging around pouring you another glass, but you’re not thinking about them. You’re thinking about your ex – a lot.”
However, Drake continues to please the audience by sharing his diary. He welcomes us into his senses, desires, heart breaks and retaliations. He jabs at Meek Mill and even Chris Brown on the track “Hype” with blowhard verses like “I hate a rapper especially they feel the same, but they hide it. They just discussin’ it in private, don’t get along man, we tried it.”
For someone so big in the rap game to dabble with the genre and incorporate a mellow “pop-style” to his album says a lot about Drake and where he stands in the business. Artistically his verses have evolved into more than just memes and hashtags but as cultural representations of a narcissistic generation at a time where our middle fingers are way too high up. He’s slightly heightened his musical capabilities by delivering more tailored melodies, beats and verses with an improved singing ability. However, Views, for the average listener is not quite a reinvented Drake. It’s not a fresh deliverable like Beyoncés LEMONADE or Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly — both albums that take listeners to highly wagered state of affairs that depict the complexities of race, politics, gender and social division. Perhaps remaining personal with highly ambitious outlooks is something only fans can let Drake get away with because we adore his sappy rhythm and rhyme too much that we don’t care for a reincarnation.
It is however a surprising 82 minute album with a dominantly gentle zeal that we didn’t expect from the hype built up around the track “Hotline Bling” just last year. But it isn’t terrible or disappointing, rather an anticipation — unexpected. Like most of Drake’s albums it has an orthodox style in that it’s majorly comprised of R&B tracks you imagine driving home at 3 a.m. to after leaving your ex’s house. While there are a few missed opportunities on this brainchild making of “40” (Noah Shebib) and some other eighty collaborators I think it’s safe to say despite it sounding like the old out-of-focus Drake caught in his feelings and distresses over the same old, same old I think we’re not yet sick of this tale. So long as romances continue to turn sour and love interests turn to grainy memories, Drake will continue to hold his spot on our playlists when we’re in our emotional dead ends.
Let’s face it we all want to know what the views look like from the magic stick.