Drake – More Life
After several pushbacks, Drake finally dropped the long-awaited More Life (stating it’s a “playlist” rather than an album). It could be viewed as a bounce back from the mixed reception to Views, his previous release, which divided fans and critics into two camps. One said it was a disappointment, and the other side declared, perhaps ironically in a meme-like fashion: “Views is already a classic!”
In many regards, Drake is a Marmite rapper. Will More Life please die-hard fans? Certainly. Will it win over stalwart traditional hip-hop heads who already disdain him? Unlikely. They’ll be solely turned off by playlist titles like Teenager Fever and Passionfruit, which compete for the most Drake-ish song title in all existence.
It is doubtful whether this record will quell accusations that Drake rips off genre styles and specific artists. During the lead up to More Life, claims were made that on track KMT he stole the flow from Florida rapper XXXTENTACION’s viral Look at Me. And enough people are turned off by the his continued adoption of Jamaican Patois, UK roadman slang and sampling of Afrobeat and dancehall rhythms.
Although, truthfully, the high points on More Life are welcome additions to his discography. Grime-influenced No Long Talk and KMT are two of the strongest tracks on the playlist and have two brilliant features by Giggs. This musical project is filled with terrific features courtesy of Jorja Smith, Young Thug, Kanye West, Sampha and Skepta. And Drake highlights strong lyrical form on the personal Lose You and Can’t Have Everything. Also, if Passionfruit and Madiba Riddim are given a chance, they make for wonderful summer chill-out songs.
The major downside is that on a 22-track project, around half of what’s there is bland and rigidly derivative of the Canadian rapper’s earlier work. The duller portion could be B-sides on Nothing Was the Same and Take Care; the artist’s unwillingness to deviate from the formula he displayed on other albums makes a sizeable chunk of More Life sound like he was on autopilot.
Whether we like it or not, there is an argument that Drake has solidified his position as a top five rapper. And this is perhaps why More Life, although far from a disappointment, might not hit the mark. Perhaps we just expect more from him.
More Life is released on 18th March 2017, for further information or to order the album visit here.