[Music Review] Let’s Talk About “More Life”…

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Wow… March went by so fast! But you guys know that I wouldn’t let this month slip away without talking about the highly anticipated project from my favorite, Drizzy Drake. I actually took my time with this review because I feel like writing a review within a few hours of release may present inaccurate reactions. I wanted to wait to see how this album grew on me as well as how the rest of the world responded…I’m ready to talk about this now.

“More Life” has solidified Drake as a legend. Yes, a legend, I said it. This young guy from Toronto is a musical legend- note how I didn’t say rap legend.

Jumping right in, on release night, I put this album on shuffle and the first song that came on was “Lose You.” This song is a fan favorite, as well as mine, because it shows the skills that brought Drake to the top. A smooth beat and reminiscent flow as he talks about his growth through the music industry. The title of this song is so fitting because with the release of songs like “Hotline Bling” and “Hold On, We’re Going Home”, as well as the ghost writer beef with Meek Mill, have caused many to question Drake’s credibility as well as his rap skills. He won our hearts in ’09 and ’10 with these skills and he wants to make sure he continues to keep it, so he flexed those rap skills. He still got the honey for the bees.

One line that especially stuck out to me in “Lose You” is “If I’m not on the charts, my XO n*ggas eatin’/ 52 consecutive weekends, shout out to Weeknd.” What Drake is saying here is that whenever he’s not in possession of the top songs, his label mates are- not only has Drake brought himself up, but he brought a long so many other talented artists from his city and allowed them to shine as well. A real legend the person who can share their spot without fear of losing it because it’s so solidified. If we’re being truthful, a co-sign from Drake is equivalent to a cosign from Beyonce these days. I mean, just look at the data- Drake featured UK rapper Giggs on two songs on “More Life” and Giggs sales were up 147% in 24 hours. Do you understand how major that is? The value in being featured on a Drake track and gaining the ears of his fans, what that can do to someone’s career. Drake went from the guy who got popular from features to putting people on with features. Things like this is exactly why I don’t understand how someone can even begin to discredit Drake, but like he said, “I know I deserve more, but I just never say it.” Well, Drake, I’m saying it for you.

Drake is also a legend because he can stretch across so many different genres and just make good music. Tracks like “Passionfruit” bring out a Caribbean theme, “Gyalchester” and “Blem” show off his appreciation of the UK grime music scene,  especially with the inclusion of UK artists Jorja Smith, Giggs, and Skepta, “Teenage Fever” is full on R&B, and “Free Smoke” and “Portland” are full on Atlanta trap music. Drake literally takes us around the world and gives us culture with this playlist; if you can’t appreciate that, get a passport. The biggest names in music, the icons, Michael Jackson status, are remembered because of their ability to connect and be versatile and gain listeners who favor all types of music. Drake has mastered this, don’t let his age fool you.

For Drake to be signed to a major record label and be able to release a whopping 22 track project, with some songs such as “4422” and “Skepta Interlude” not even featuring him, just speaks volumes to his status and impact. Labels are very apprehensive about long projects and it’s highly unlikely for the featured artists to not even be on some tracks, but Drake’s star shines so bright that he can afford to do this. Iconic. When you’re established, you don’t worry about being knocked off.

This playlist also had so many quotable lyrics- the entire “Glow” song, “I am not Kid & Play, this kid does not play about the flows,” “How you let the kid fighting ghost writer rumors turn you into a ghost, “If we do a song it’s like taking my kids to work with me/ you one day star.” Drake even made “I don’t take naps” sound like the hardest bar of 2017.

The project was so apologetically Drake, the accents, the culture, the differing styles. “Madiba Riddim” makes me want to go dance on a beach with coconut water but “Free Smoke” & “KMT” make me wanna pull up and get lit.

Listening to this, I had an epiphany. It had occurred to me that it didn’t really sound like an album, but a playlist. And that’s exactly what Drake calls this. All of the songs, as wildly different as they are, go together, in the way that a playlist of your favorite songs would, so his mission was definitely accomplished. Every song on this playlist is worth a listen, unlike with most albums where there is a song or two you skip, in this case every song is hand picked and perfect. Drake definitely worked hard on this, in fact, he and 2 Chainz recorded over 8 songs before Drake was satisfied with the song that made the cut, “Sacrifices.” I’m glad too, because it’s one of my favorites.

Drake releasing this as a playlist really just shows how conscious and aware he is of the current state of the music industry, with playlists being one of the biggest selling points of music streaming services. Every day, Apple Music and Tidal have new playlists for that day of the week, and celebrity’s have taken streaming deals that also included them making their on playlists. Even Barack Obama has a playlist that he made. A legend always is keeping up and paving a way in the game…sounds like Drake.

Drake’s ear for production has also always been slept on, for reasons unbeknownst to me. But one of the major elements that makes Drake’s music so amazing is the backgrounds and beats he used. Also, his usage of samples has been great since his Comeback Season mixtape.

This playlist definitely solidified Drake’s spot as a legend, so anyone who thinks otherwise is just a hater or doesn’t understand music (leave your comments below on this.)

I’m so proud of Drake, the legend, for this, and excited to hear what the summary coming in 2018 he speaks of in the closing track, “Do Not Disturb” is.

Drake’s “More Life” was nothing short of amazing, he never fails to impress. This project fit right in with his discography, it didn’t replace anything, as I still crave to hear “Replacement Girl” from time to time, but Drake is always consistent with good music. I can go from “Best I Ever Had” and “Asthma Team” to “Weston Road Flows” and “Get It Together” with ease, nothing short of quality.

Other Notables

  • This man sampled his own song! “Jorja Interlude” features “Marvin’s Room”
  • He got the old Kanye rap style back
  • Young Thug on two tracks and he can be clearly understood (Magic only Drake could pull off)

October Firm came through!

P.S “More Life” also broke numerous streaming records, but that’s expected, especially since Drake is breaking his own records at this point.

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