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‘More Life’ Reveals a Stronger, More Powerful Drake

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The wait is over! Finally, the album (or playlist) entitled “More Life” by platinum recording artist, Drake is out! After numerous push-backs, Drake follows up his previous album “Views” with a stronger and more powerful piece of work. This album comes as a surprise, not just because of the pleasant mix of styles that Drake puts together piece by piece, but also because of the way he accomplishes this.

Honestly, after “Views,” my interest in Drake decreased by a fair amount. I didn’t believe “Views” was necessarily a bad album; however, I did believe it wasn’t all the way there, quality-wise. Drake is no doubt a quality artist, and “More Life” indeed proves this. The style that Drake brings to this project differs greatly from “Views.” Not only are there more songs (22 tracks clock in at 82 minutes), this album is all-around more groovy than “Views” ever was or ever will be.

One favorable factor is the number of dance beats on “More Life.” Drake is known to occasionally bring out a reggaeton and tropical feel to his music. He’s used it before in popular songs like “Controlla” and “Fake Love,” from everything from the accents to the beat itself. I find myself getting down to tracks I never dreamed in a million years I would be getting down to. So, if you find yourself in a dancing mood, pick up your headphones, plug in your speaker and turn the volume up to the max. Drake has you covered.

What I also find extraordinary about this album is that it’s not technically a Drake album. In posts on social media, Drake calls it a playlist. “More Life” isn’t just a collection of new Drake tracks; he shares the stage with a plethora of other talented and rising artists. Somehow and someway, they came together, conjoining their different styles to make a brilliant piece of work.

Drake does a great job with the features on “More Life,” too. Songs like “Glow,” featuring Kanye West, simply work because it’s a story of the two artists’ “come up.” In this day and time, many of the teenagers of our generation are worried about something called a “glo up,” a term which means that after a couple of years a person changes for the better, whether it be by looks, wealth or anything else. Kanye and Drake both talk about their come up, using lyrics such as “No more 9 to 5, autopilot drive” and “I just take the dreams I’ve been sold and sell ’em for more, you already know” to express how they “started from the bottom” and now “are here.”

Another track, “Portland,” is pure trap, showing off Drake’s diversity of styles. What better way to make a trap track than having two of the biggest trap stars, Quavo from Migos and Travis Scott, feature? The track resonates with teens around the world simply because it’s lit. The beat bumps, and people enjoy the lyrics that the artists spit. Some songs feature other well-known artists, including Young Thug, 2 Chainz and PartyNextDoor, but what makes this playlist great is that it features some artists who are relatively unknown and only have cult followings in scattered places around the world. Artists such as Skepta, Giggs, Jorja Smith and others are getting recognition by being featured on this project. In a sense, Drake is literally putting these artists on the map and giving them the recognition they deserve. Being a fan of Skepta, I’m flat-out proud that this was able to happen.

Although there is a fair amount of singing on this album, Drake doesn’t let down the fans who enjoy his rapping. Songs like “Gyalchester,” “Portland,” “Free Smoke” and “Sacrifices” are some of the tracks that feature rap music for those wanting to listen to only that. But “More Life” is a versatile project, designed to please the fans who want to hear him sing and the ones who just want to hear him rap. With the help of the artists mentioned above, Drake pulls through with an ample share of both.

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Production-wise, the album has its ups and downs; however, the good outweighs the bad. With any song, the beat is the magnet, which has the ability to pull listeners in. Although shaky in some tracks, the song quality is nevertheless high and a most definite improvement from Drake’s previous album. The opening track, “Free Smoke,” is an example of a beat that works. It starts off slowly with a woman singing. Automatically, you’re set to think it’s a generic intro. But Drake does the exact opposite, using a sample of his speech at the American Music Awards, then letting the beat drop. It’s a shocking introduction.

“Passionfruit,” one of the reggaeton style dance songs, is another example of a beat that works. “Passionfruit” is just simply groovy by itself, and Drake’s emotional singing mixed with the wavy vibes the beat gives off make it a perfect chill song.

While the “More Life” playlist does not have vast displays of lyricism, most of the creative wordplay is saved for the love songs. For example, ”4422,” one of my favorite tracks and sung by Sampha, has one of the more confusing but heartfelt verses of the whole playlist. He sings, “44, 22/You build it up to break it halfway through/Just make the call, 22/But you’re just the same as I ever knew.” Due to Drake’s vast dating history (including a speculated romance with Jennifer Lopez), it’s going to be hard setting this song to a particular person. The vagueness of the lyrics make it hard, also. That’s probably a smart approach, because the more unanswered questions the listeners have equals the more plays the song gets from fans trying to figure those questions out. The more hits the song gets, the more money you make. All in all, it’s a well thought through marketing plan.

Drake’s evolution as the 2008 successor of Lil Wayne to being the one of the kings of this generation’s rap game has most definitely been one of the more talked about stories in rap history. Drake has improved greatly, in many ways. He’s known worldwide, he’s gotten richer, and he’s all around business smart. This playlist now has me majorly excited for what’s next with Drake and his future endeavors. He’s no longer someone I hold in low regard.

“More Life” has taught me something special: A good or bad album really doesn’t make the person. The person makes the album. No matter how good or bad a person’s music is, in the end, it’s just a piece of work. The personal grind that the person takes to make it possible speaks volumes. Every person who takes the time to put work in for our pleasure deserves a certain level of respect. With “More Life,” Drake has now gained mine. Drake and the everyone on his OVO Sound record label team should hold this “playlist” in high regard. It’s one for the ages.

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