Drake’s long anticipated album Views F
rom the Six finally dropped. As per request from the lot of you (actually just Yuvan), I decided to reVIEW Views. We’ve known Views to be in production for 2 years now. Originally it seemed Drake would drop Views for Summer 15, since he claimed so on his track 0-100/The Catchup. In a twist of events, we got the mixtape/album If you’re Reading This It’s Too Late instead. That caused some to speculate that Views would be dropping later that year. Flash back to September 2015; and it turns out that Drake did drop another album, but this time it was a joint album with Future titled What A Time To Be Alive (an album I did review, shameless plug). There was a lot of build up to it, seeing as those two had amazing success that year. So where was Views? Well at that point no one had a clue what was up with the album. All we got was a tidbit that he was still working on it, which came via the diss track “Back to Back” that killed Meek that summer. This just spawned a bunch of speculation of a release date. We moved into 2016, and finally got some news on Views. Drake released his promo song “Summer Sixteen” prior to All-Star Weekend (best ASG) in Toronto, and gave details that Views would be out sometime in April: and now we’re here.
Views is Drake’s most important album to date. Drake’s been on top of the hip-hop game for a few years now. During his run, it appears that he isn’t ready to give up his spot anytime soon. He’s had a lot of hit records (21 number 1s), but the one blemish on his record is that he hasn’t been able to put together a “classic” (more so amazing) album. Don’t get me wrong, he’s had good albums. However, out of all his commercial albums the only one that could come close to that “classic” title would be Take Care. It’s his most complete commercial body of work. In this microwave music generation, people don’t really take the time to grasp the art. It’s a quick listen and if the beat sounds good and you hear 1 or 2 dope lines, the song is already “flamesss”. I’m not saying I’m more righteous than y’all. I fall into that same trap too (guess that’s why it’s called Trap music?). But to be honest, when it comes to Drake projects, the hype is always high; but his last albums just haven’t stood the test of time. I can’t even remember the last time NWTS got a spin in my car, let alone anywhere else. So with Views being worked on for 2 years, and Drake being in his prime, does Drake deliver on an amazing album? Let’s find out.
1) Keep the Family Close
Not going to lie, but on my first listen I thought this song was lame. It just sounded like a cheesy way to start off the album. But that’s why you can’t judge anything on a first take, because after a few listens, this shit started to sound like a masterful score in a movie. The instrumentation on this track is impeccable and Drake comes to par with his vocals. This song outlines Drake’s typical relationship issues with women and how they haven’t been able to support him in his time of need. At this point he feels it might be his destiny to not find that “special” someone. Let’s just be friends means it’s over, so Drake cuts these women out of his life for good (as he should). No New Friendzones. As a result, he realizes that those closest to him are the only ones he can depend on. We’ve seen this concept from Drake before, but this is the best that we’ve seen him do it in terms of sound. The production is 10/10. Shout out to the producer Maneesh, Young Metro probably trusts you. I won’t run to play this, but I fucks with it as an intro.
Captionables: “Always saw you for what you could’ve been, ever since you met me, like when Chrysler made that one car that looked just like the Bentley.”
This song is the epitome of basic. After that intro the production on this song drops off heavily. I’ll take Drake rapping over Drake singing any day, except when it comes to this song. I just can’t with this track. It doesn’t feel to have much purpose. Drake’s outlining how he decided to make it as a rapper and also makes note of how influential he’s been to the 6; so much so that “he turned the 6 upside down, it’s a 9 now.” If you know me you know that I can’t let corny shit flourish no matter who it’s from. I see he’s trying to be clever with the whole 6 and 9 switch, but this bar is lame AF (where’s Quentin Miller at?). The rest of the song does get a little better with some melodic flows. Someone in Drake’s close kept “family” should have never let him get away with putting this weak effort out…NEXT!
Captionables: “MJ in everyway, I just don’t fadeaway.”
3) U with Me?
YOOOO! When I first saw that DMX was affiliated with this track I was ecstatic. It was a little confusing to me though since DMX publicly vocalized his disdain for Drake in every way imaginable. It turns out he wasn’t even a feature. Drake hit up N.O.R.E. and I guess DMX got over his feelings and allowed the sample to clear, which is bless cause this track is money! Not to mention, Ye’s on the beat too?! He’s the gawd of sampled beats so it makes sense why this track is heat. In regards to the song, Drake is reminiscing about his relationship with some chick. There’s a lot of games being played he wants to know straight up if she’s with him or not, which seems to be an issue these days for celebrities and plebs alike.
Where this track really shines, lies in it’s construction. The borrowed flow from DMX’s How’s It Goin Down makes the hook stand out. Drake smoothly switches styles from rapping to singing in that second verse when he hits that “slide on a late night” bar. Even more impressive is how he extends his vocal range in verse 3 when he sings, “a lot of n****s cut the check so they can take this flow.” It’s a welcomed change from his regular monotone voice and a helluva way to end the song too. As you can imagine this is definitely one of my favourite tracks off the album. Production is 100, lyrics on point, flows a many and all around a solid song: in heavy rotation.
Captionables: “And on my way to make this dough, a lot of n****s cut the check so they can take this flow.”
“I know you heard my girl sponsored by Audemars , that’s why she always correcting me when my timing’s off.”
Shout out to Serena Williams!
4) Feel No Ways
Not much to say about Feel No Ways other than that Drake’s OvO sweatshop was in full effect with this song. Produced by 1 half of Majid Jordan. I imagine this was a track that the duo was thinking of putting on their album, but Drake reminded them who runs this whole OvO shit and how they have to earn their keep in the camp (e.g. ILOVEMAKONNEN).
It’s not a horrible song, but I’m just not feeling the idea of wave riding your own artists’ sound. Drake could have at least featured Majid on the hook or something. That post-hook “Feel away, feel away, young n***a feel away,” is mad catchy though. It gets stuck in your head real quick.
“Feel away, feel away, young n***a feel away”….you’re welcome.
Captionables: “There’s more to life than sleeping in and getting high with you, I had to let go of us to show myself what I could do.”
“MAN DON’T LIVE OFF OF THE HYPE HUH? REAL TING EH?!”
HOOOLYYY! THIS TRACK IS MASTERLY TITLED!!! ALL IT DOES IS GET ME HYPE TO RELEASE MY INNER SAVAGE FOR SUMMER 16. HYPE IS THE EQUIVALENT OF NORMAN POWELL IN GAME 7 OF THE RAPTORS VS PACERS SERIES. MR. “I’LL GUARD YOUR BEST PLAYER AND HIT BIG TIME BUCKETS CAUSE I LIVE FOR THE HYPE.”
Drizzy came through with the bars on this one. Emptied full clips on both verses for anyone that’s against him. He take’s notice of how he’ll handle those throwing shots at him. Like the beef he had with Meek in 2015. Funny thing is Drake stays throwing subliminals, a lot of bars could be about anyone. According to him, he’s done with all the games and slick talking. His “enemies” won’t last as long as him in this game and they’ll die out eventually.
One thing I can’t let Drake slide with though is that “Views already a classic” line. This man thinks he’s slick trying to throw that in there, but he knows his Stans are going to agree wholeheartedly and roll with that. Even so, the rest of the track is flawless. Boi-1da and Nineteen 85 came correct with this one.A lot of quotables in this track alone. Shout out to Juelz Santana and the whole Dipset movement too. Huge Hip-Hop icons from
Captionables: “I feel like Juelz Santana, leg hanging out the phantom.”
“You tried to give em’ your side of the story, they heard it, but they wasn’t hearing it.”
“My enemies wanna be friends with my other enemies, I don’t let it get to me.”
6) Weston Road Flows
Absolute heat. Weston road flows is as smooth as butter milk on hot silk. The whole song has a fluid feel to it. Mary J Blidge’s sample brings out that 90’s R&B and it makes the song float all the way through. Drizzy’s story telling is great on this too and it’s all one straight verse of pure bars (“One Take Drake”). He paints great pictures of his life back on Weston Road with some insight with his friends and girls. Drake also shows some insight on his position high up at the top now. He states that 40’s the only one that knows how he deals with “da pressure” which he accentuates to sound like depression. Even with all his success, there’s still a lot that weighs on him that makes him contemplate it some nights. Regular conversations don’t even help anymore. Drake hints at this on the title track Views as well: “Thoughts too deep to work em out with a therapist.”
Part of this track takes me back to when I used to hang out with my cousins at Weston Road too. Drake even takes a shot at the competition by saying “I’m looking at the first week numbers like what are thoooooose?, I mean you boys ain’t even coming close.” Which is real considering this album did 630,000 first day (1.2 mil for the week). All in all, WRFs is one of the best tracks on this album, not much more to say than that. Great all around with no cheese.
Captionables: “The best ever, don’t ever question, you know better. But shit ain’t always how it seems(seams), when its so(sew) together.”
Don’t love this song….but I don’t hate it either. Funniest part of the song is the pettiness at the end when Drake questions if the girls he’s dealt with regret leaving him or if they listen to his music when it drops. This man’s always contemplating about his exes, sometimes you just gotta let it go fammo. Props to 40 for using Ray J’s One Wish as a sample. Y’all might know him as Kim K’s first “public” lover, but at one point he had a smash hit and stepped out of the shadows of just being “Brandy’s brother”. One Wish is one of the best R&B songs ever to drop after 2005.
Captionables: “Girl, you really gon’ spend the winter with this other n***a? Act like he’s the really the one to get through it with you.”
8) With You (Feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR)
That whole Kehlani & Kyrie debacle was not a good look for your boy Party. I’m not going to get into that, but you can’t deny that the music he’s been putting out lately has been spectacular (the hype for P3 is real). Party doesn’t skip a beat on this joint track with Drake. Their last song Come and See Me was great. With you takes a different approach with a more upbeat sound and provides a great vibe. This song has that old school Drake feel to it. Sonically it would fit perfectly onto a project like Thank Me Later. Jeremih channels his inner The-Dream on this (really thought it was him until I wrote this and found out it’s Jeremih), and accentuates the outro gracefully. Great tune that can get plays in the whip.
Captionables: “Yeah, I can’t get enough of you baby, bottles open up so you can try and open up for me baby.”
9) Faithful (Feat. Pimp C & dvsn)
First off, RIP to the underground king PIMP C. One of the first artists to put me onto the whole southern movement in hip-hop and had positive messages too. When this song leaked I didn’t think too much of it. It was a solid song, but it’s good to hear that the album version is a better and more complete song. The song is self-explanatory: Drake is going to wait, and he’s not going to cheat this girl.
Newly signed OvO duo dvsn get their chance to shine on this song as well too. Seeing as this is Drake’s most anticipated album, it’s a great look giving them a shot for the majority of the song. They showcased their range and the content of their verse is based on how dealing with a girl is getting more comfortable. This makes the sex is better each time they see each other. Nice song.
Captionables:”You hit me like I know you there with someone else. That pussy knows me better than I know myself.”
“I want to get straight to the climax, have you coming all summer like a season pass.”
10) Still Here
BANGER ALERT! This song is going to be flames in the club. It’s been impossible for me to listen to this without busting out a dance move; I’ve already been practicing. I can already envision me bodying someone off the hype of this song and yelling “ME AND ALL MY N****S DOING WELL DOG!”. This is the 6’s summer anthem. Still Here has my most plays off the album for that reason alone. The only knock I have on this song is it’s a bit of a rip from the Chicago wave. Also, on the last hook he switches up the sound. There was no need for the switch at all. Drake just had to be extra with it and try and sound all exquisite and shit. Either way, this still SLAPS HEAVY and if you don’t have it in your rotation somewhere, re-evaluate your life choices.
Captionables: “Hittin like that 30 on my jersey man I’m gifted.”
Y’all already know this is that summer jam find a ting to bubble with at a beach party. Heavy plays all Summer Sixteen in the city. GEEZE! Don’t know why he took Popcaan…This version still goes though.
Captionables: “But you can’t just diss and come tell man sorry, you can’t listen to me talk and go tell my story.”
12) One Dance (Feat.Wizkd & Kyla)
I would just like to take a second to shout out the girl at Dog and Bear that busted a whine on me to this song. We shared that immaculate moment of pure synchronized energy whilst Reggie got hype and cheered me on in the crowd. I forever think back to that moment when I hear this song; just thought you should know whoever and wherever you are.
Anyways…this is a next “summer jam find a ting to bubble with” tune. Already getting played everywhere you go and will only get hotter alongside the summer seasonal change. This song is actually a melting pot of cultural fusion. Drake infuses Caribbean, Afrobeats and UK sounds all in one song which is a manifestation of the diverse culture in Toronto. Great tune. Shockingly, this is the first display of sequencing on this album: the switch from Controlla to this works well.
Captionables: “Soon as you see the text reply me.”
“Oti, Oti, there’s never much love when we go OT.”
13) Grammys (Feat. Future)
When that boom-bap clap comes in on this….GEEZE! 3 straight tracks that can all be played at the club too. This track is an absolute banger and a product of the What A Time To Be Alive collaboration between Future and Drake. Grammys alludes to the success that these artists have had. Drake’s actually won a Grammy for Take Care, and although Future should have been nominated for one, he expresses how it doesn’t bother him much that he hasn’t attained one, because he’s going to be turnt up regardless.
Grammys also works well for the duo in that, Trap Drake gets a beat that suits his style and Future gets a switch-up that caters to his vocals. They both went to work on this. This track is going to be big, but I don’t know if it will eclipse Jumpman or Where Ya At? in terms of success. The beat slapsssss, gotta go Mo-G with the dance moves all over this track.
Captionables: “I don’t know no one, that can tell me what to do. Heard you never claimed the hood, heard the hood claimed you.”
“Top 5, top 5, top 5, and the whole city rate me.”
“They like why you excited? You know what I’m sayin’? What happened? Did you win the Grammy? God damn. You acting like you fucking won a trophy and shit. This n***a turnt the fuck up.”
14) Childs Play
Perfect track to twerk to ladies…other than that, there’s nothing really special about this song. Catchy hook and a good sample though.
Captionables: “Don’t make me give you back to the hood.”
“My city love me like a college running back.”
15) Pop Style
Dropped out of school now we dumb rich, this track sound like some recycle bin trap shit…
Fact: the original single version is better than this album version. Pop Style’s first verse features some of Drake’s weakest bars. Like mans actually had the nerve to say “got so many chains they call me chaining tatum.” lmfaooo, I had to hit up Google to see if Channing Tatum was ever even affiliated with chains because this shit didn’t make any sense. Went so far as to hit the 7th page just to see if there was anything remotely equated to it. Aubrey, you’re better than this fam…go back to the drawing board. Thankfully he picks it up on the second verse, but when you cut Kanye and Hov’s gracious 1 bar out, this track was no longer worth listening to. It’s hard to want to bump this version over the single. Weak bars, lazy flow and no Throne, I’ll pass and play the original over this.
Captionables: “They like Pablo, why are all the windows tinted on your Tahoe? Why do you know every single bitch that I know? Why can’t you just shut your mouth and take the high road? Fuck i I know, that’s that Chicago…”
16) Too Good (feat. Rihanna)
Too good really isn’t too good. I guess it’s a decent upbeat track. I’m not too mad at it, just preferably don’t like where it’s placed on this album or see the need for it to be on the album at all. Production wise it’s great though, I can’t complain about that. Not a song I’d run to throw on though, don’t see this getting plays over Work.
Captionables: “Cock up ya bumper sit down pon’ it, girl yo pum pum good an yuh fit.”
17) Summer’s Over Interlude (Majid)
Okay (sigh), at first I wasn’t feeling this at all and I did skip it a lot before, but I did give it some spins and it’s not a bad interlude. Majid does his thing on this, but I wish it was an actual song rather than just a quick interlude because it doesn’t really fit the album like this. This would shine better as a full track. Production and vocals are 100 on point though.
18) Fire & Desire
This that baby making music. Hands down one of my favourite songs off this album. It’s got that Nothing Was The Same maybe even Thank Me Later vibe to it. Once again I have to applaud the gawd 40 on this. His production is incredible with this song and the sample is great too. 40 elevates this song to the greatness that it is with his sound. In Fire & Desire, Drake essentially has the desire for this one girl and is willing to explore a relationship with this “real ass woman”. I don’t have a girlfriend, but I imagine this is the song I’d play one special night when we were in the moment and I didn’t want to pull out. Since my first playthrough I’ve been giving this song a ton of spins. It’s top 5 on the album in my opinion.
Captionables: “You don’t see the perks of this whole thing, but you get real on a pill and I like it.”
The title track and an incredible track to outro with. From the gospel sample all the way to “If I was you, I wouldn’t like me either” this song incorporates excellent lyrics. Drake delivers some of his best lyrical content on this, which is something a lot of people have been questioning ever since the whole ghost writing allegations. It’s good to see him get back to this and show you what he’s always been capable of. The album needed more of this.
Just to dive a bit deeper into the construction of this song, in Verse 2, Drake mentions the number “20” in two different bars and ties it all in together by saying “still drop 40 with liquor in my system” 6 bars later. Phenomenally crafted. This song also displays Drake’s progression as an artist and what he’s been through in his life to get to this point of being at the top of the hip-hop game. This may be the best song off the whole project in terms of content and construction.
Captionables: “Fuck being all buddy buddy with the opposition, It’s like the front of the plane n***a it’s all business, but I haven’t flown with y’all boys in a minute.”
“I might see you on and off but I’ll never switch ya, n****s quick to double cross like we both Christian.”
20) Hotline Bling
We’ve all heard this track a million times. I ain’t gon’ talk about it no mo’! *Birdman voice*
Views is a peep into Drake’s position as the biggest hip-hop artist in the game from Toronto. With a wide variety of songs and sounds it displays a full range of Drake’s abilities: multiple flows, diverse sounds, and a variety of stories. Views shows how he’s progressed throughout the years. Is it an absolute masterpiece? No, but it is a solid album. There are however some cons to this project.
There really isn’t any direction for the album at all. There’s a lack of cohesion between the tracks with little to no sequencing. Some songs also feel quite weak in comparison to others, and I guess that’s to be expected from a 20 song album, but there is a bit of drop off in the quality of some songs to others. For example, from Keep the Family Close to “9” is a big drop off. It’s a lackluster follow up to such a lavish intro. Additionally, Drake didn’t really do anything new with this album. We got great sounds, but he doesn’t try to push the envelope with this project at all. He gives us the same rehashed topics about relationships and his monetary success that we’ve heard before and it’s not delivered as tidy as it has been in the past.
In the past we’ve seen him trailblaze for new sounds and styles but on this project it seems he wanted to play it safe and just give us a collection of songs that would appeal to all corners of his fan base. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it will play a factor in the longevity of this album and how it ranks in comparison to his past work. Is it his best album to date? That’s debatable and way too early to tell. Views has to go against Father Time first and see how well it ages, but at this very moment it’s a solid body of work; and for Summer Sixteen it will definitely shine.
After spending a week with the album non-stop, I feel Drake needed to show us something different. He seems to be forcing the music and trying to relate at this point in his career. However, I would give the production a 10 out of 10. 40 as a producer has somehow elevated his game and continues to create incredible sounds for Drake to use. It’s remarkable the ear he has for sound. There’s so many intricacies within his beats that make it shine even after multiple plays. Drake could mumble on Fire & Desire and it would still sound incredible off of 40’s production alone. Also shout out Maneesh and all the other producers. Fantastic job on this project. As a Drake fan you’ll find something you love about this project within the 20 songs, and as a Drake fan you’ll also find something you hate about this project within the 20 songs, but that’s probably why you’re a Drake fan.
8 out of 10.