28 Sep Review: Drake’s “Nothing Was The Same”
When you hear something for the first time, you’re not sure what to make of it until you begin to unravel it’s meaning.
Drake, the 26-year-old rapper, who does a fine job getting into the hearts of his female listeners, has returned with his third studio album, Nothing Was The Same, that dropped September 24. In just two days 675,000 albums have been sold and the number is expected to soar (it’s already surpassed Jay-Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail, if you don’t count the Samsung pre-sale). But, it seems, heartbreak-Drake is no more.
On Take Care, listeners were exposed to the vulnerable, fragmented soul of a guy who just wanted to be loved, sometimes, in the worst ways. But now, this Lothario, promises, over salacious and crisp sounds, that he’s “the one you should worry about” (The Language).
Perhaps now, I see what he means by Nothing Was The Same. Besides, he himself claims “this is nothing for the radio.”
Is this Drake 2.0? A raw, angry, and used-up artist? Or is this Drake better-than-ever?
Here’s my track list review (Deluxe ed.):
1. Tuscan Leather (4/10)
Inspired by Tom Ford’s cocaine-brick smelling EDP, Drake takes a no-chorus approach to this heavily versed rant (aka “the intro”) going off about reaching new heights and listening to Cappadonna over an acid fast-forward Whitney track. Drake, I get you, I know what you’re trying to do here, but it’s a far cry from the side you gave us in Over My Dead Body. I think I want more of that.
2. Furthest Thing (7/10)
The melodramatic “Take Care” Drake returns for a good 3-minutes. The last 1:22, thank you 40. This is the kind of song you bop your head to when you’re driving, and if you got those Acura-esque spinners you’d probably wanna throw in the Drake rapping hands.
3. Started From the Bottom (10/10)
Most likely the anthem of the year and a money maker for Drake. People can talk shit about this track but if it weren’t for that Shoppers Drug Mart music video and the title, most of you wouldn’t have dreams past the Mc Donald’s drive-thru. And yes, all you silver-spoon fed kids — I see you lip-synching this in the club. This is definitely Drake’s next best thing since YOLO.
4. Wu-Tang Forever (6/10)
Not quite in with the “Wu”, I guess I was born when the bus had left, but overall this song has a beat that brings back ballad Drake that fans love. Personally, not a favourite track of mine. Drake, how old were you when Wu established? 5?
5. Own It (4/10)
Putting this back-to-back with Wu-Tang Forever, I think is over-kill. Drake is pouring his heart telling Girl X “that it’s yours” but again, I don’t see myself bumping to this song. Around the second half of the song Drake really starts to get into his verse, spitting out hard lines, digging deeper into his anger but again, I think I’m sick of these imaginary bitches who don’t know how to love this man. Drake: stop giving your shit to the wrong bitches.
6. Worst Behaviour (7/10)
The Drake people expected off this album really shows on this song. With the line “you owe me” said a thousand times and a couple verses about his “worst behaviour”. Personally, when he comes in on the second half of the song with the P.Diddy line “Who’s hot, who’s not, tell me who rock, who sell out in stores,” I think that’s when the song starts to focus in on what I like to claim are a couple of greatly executed verses.
7. From Time (6/10)
For some strange reason I feel like this is the reply to Marvin’s Room off Take Care. Lyrically, Drake does a beautiful job relating his personal love problems with the broken home he came from. But again, nothing that’s memorable.
8. Hold On, We’re Going Home (10/10)
By far the best song on NWTS. Probably one of the best musical decisions Drake has made in his premature career. If my disco loving parents know all the words to this song and blast it every time it comes on…. you know you have yourself a hit. Considering Drake didn’t have to write a bunch of bullshit about a bullshit girl and instead, kept the lyrics simple yet sympathetic lyrically brings the song alive. Drake also doesn’t come off like some asshole soprano singer on this track by incorporating Majid Jordan’s vocals — the track comes alive. Personally, I wish there were more songs like this on the album. It’s a different type of Drake but the one I want to keep on constant repeat. As per the beat — very reminiscent of early R&B and soul.
9. Connect (6/10)
At this point I’m over the disconnect in the connect-ability of Drake’s so-called relationships. Kudos to the 401, Eg West shout out though.
10. The Language (8/10)
One of my favourites on the album! Love how Drake comes in on the track — Very reminiscent of the “Versace” flow. The hook on this song is definitely one of those that you’re going to want to bop with— eventually this will probably be remixed.
“Now you’re talking my language” — going to be everyone’s Facebook status.
11. 305 To My City (4/10)
The only person who should worship 305 is Pitbull. This is one of those songs that personally, shouldn’t have been put on the album. Strippers, cars, flights back home; over this. It’s been done to the point of overkill. Drake, you have more lyrical talent in you than “I get it, I get it”.
12. Too Much (8/10)
Clear-cut verses, beautifully constructed, and emotionally saturated. Drake really goes into his life post-stardom talking about his mom, fans, past girls and quitting “the business”. The highs and lows of this song’s beat stay genuine to the lyrics. Sampha in the background with the piano adds to the chill-ish vibe of the song, making it worthy for a repeat.
13. Pound Cake (10/10)
BEST ALBUM COLLABORATION. My favourite beat, bar none, that samples Wu Tang’s “C.R.E.A.M” with Timbaland. This fuelled up, cocky version of Drake is the one that’s been missing this entire album and, finally, with a vengeance he shoots up on a track featuring El Padrino. Wish there were more collaborations on the album like this. #cakecakecake
14. Come Thru (7/10)
Really like the tempo change half-way through the track but I’m over these line repeats. Should have put Versace or No New Friends as the bonus.
15. All Me (8/10)
I know I keep comparing Drake to his Take Care album but… no lie, that was probably his best album. This song is very similar to that album’s premise. I’m over 2-chains but nonetheless, this song has radio/top-40 power.
“I got everything, everything, I cannot complain, I cannot. I don’t even know how much I really made — I forgot.”
Verdict: I feel like everyone thought the dark side of Drake was going to show up on the album. People thought he was going to pull a mad-Kanye on this shit but he didn’t. Instead, he went with softer beats and tempos and added in the usual verses and lines about his emotions and then threw in a couple of heavy hitters. I really enjoy listening to Drake and its all that I ride to when I’m in my car but for some reason NWTS doesn’t really connect with me. I felt that with Take Care every song was a hit. I could relate to the lyrics, I loved the heavier tempos and Drake’s messages were crisp and clear. I’m not quite sure where Drake was headed with NWTS but it’s definitely clear that on this third studio album, Nothing IS the Same.
Overall Album Rating: 7/10