Drake – Views
Released: 29 April 2016
Tracks 7-11 is such a tough stretch to get through. And the first 3 or 4 tracks on the album feel long as hell. “Keep the Family Close” and “9” aren’t good openers in my opinion. Those two tracks aren’t intriguing enough to account for a combined 10 consecutive minutes. Especially not “9“, which sounds like an uninspired freestyle. There are a lot of moments during this album where I’m checking to see how many tracks are left because I want to skip the current song I’m on.
With Views, I think Drake wanted to create a more mellow-vibed album, which is fine, but this album feels low-energy and lifeless as opposed to “mellow”.
Drake could’ve benefited from having more features on VIEWS to manage the tempo and vibes on this album. “Controlla” needs a feature. “Pop Style“ could use a feature. Future’s feature on “Grammys” is what saved the song from my recycling bin. Those 2 minutes of Future rapping on “Grammys” is one of the only moments during Views that grabs my attention. Meanwhile, Drake did his best Future impression on “Grammys” which begs the question: Did Future write Drake’s verse on “Grammys“? It could just be Drake mirroring his style, but that is without a doubt Future’s flows and subtleties.
After listening to every album and mixtape in Future’s Beast Mode thru WAATBA 2015 run, I literally cannot unhear Future spitting Drake’s “Grammys” verse. It’s not a stretch of imagination to think so, since Future has writing credits on this album via “Feel No Ways“. It’s interesting that Future wrote some or all of “Feel No Ways” because it doesn’t feel like a Future song sonically, but the deep emotions and content are there. I think Future might have had a hand in this part which, coincidentally, is probably my favorite moment on the album:
“Feel a way, feel a way, young ***** feel a way
I’ve stopped listening to things you say
Cause you don’t mean it anyway, yeah
Feel a way, feel a way, young ***** feel a way
Maybe we just should have did things my way
Instead of the other way”
Sounds like something I could hear Future spitting on his Honest album or on a Nard & B produced track. “Childs Play” is another important moment on the album. I feel it is a near perfect song after the beat drops, but I can’t vibe with the first verse. Cheesecake Factory? Mad at his girl for driving his car to buy tampons? What? What’s the issue? But everything after the hook drops the second time is flight. All the flows, adlibs, delivery, words – everything.
- The hook on Child’s Play when the drums commence.
- “Child’s Play” is my “Come Thru” off this album. Really like both songs; both are well written and joyfully melodic.
- The voice changeup towards the end of “U With Me?” was a pleasant surprise.
- Weston Road Flows is that “Paris Morton Music“, “30 for 30“, “9AM in Dallas” introspective Drake. Like my guy F.T.S Music said, “Comeback season flow nigga!“
- The beat for “Pop Style” deserved much better verses (Chaining Tatum?) and Drake should really consider remixing the song because it’s a hit waiting to happen.
- Side note: Good gawd that first verse on “Pop Style” is some booboo. And Drake’s singing/yelling voice on this song is grating (same issue on “Still Here”). The song sounds rushed and/or incomplete.
- Too Good is a fun song and shows how hard Drake is reaching for that African/Carrib audience on this album with songs like Too Good, Controlla, One Dance, Work recently and with recent Wizkid and Popcaan features.
- Fire & Desire is one of the more intriguing songs on the album with its slow grind and reverb.
- The beat and sample on “Views“…another song that deserved better verses. The beginning of the song is great. I have no issues with the first verse, but as the song goes along Drake starts to sounds more and more bored, starting in the 2nd verse. By the last verse comes around it sounds like he’s reading directly from a piece of paper.
- Also, Summer’s Interlude sounds amazing.
I’ve listened to negative criticisms of this album saying that Drake is too much into his comfort zone on this album, which they say explains why the album feels so boring. But I wouldn’t say that Drake is in his comfort zone on this album because he’s doing different things with different sounds that haven’t been incorporated into his music before, including West African/Afrobeat and Caribbean-styled dancehall music. And he’s getting a wide variety songs and influences from artists like PARTYNEXTDOOR, Majid Jordan, Future, Wizkid, Popcaan and Kanye West as writers and features/influences on this album. I don’t know if I’d call that being in your “comfort zone.”
But rap wise, this album is underwhelming. He didn’t really take a step forward with his rapping here. I definitely think he was too much in his comfort zone rap-wise. Even the best rap song on this album, “Hype“, is a display of recycled flows and southern trap vibes from 2013-2015; he’s gotta switch his flows up ASAP. And it looks like he’s ready to take a sharp pop turn.
Here’s a tweet by DJ Akademiks that resonates with me ,
Here’s a quote from user LAX4LYFE5150 from IGN’s Hip-Hop boards that also resonates with me.
“The gap between Drake and his peers is a lot smaller than he thinks after this album. From an artistic standpoint Drake appears vulnerable.
All it takes is for one artist to have an amazing year or drop an amazing album to dethrone Drake from that top spot. Hip Hop fans are fickle and all it takes is for one big artist (Chance, Weeknd, Tiller, ASAP, Cole) to drop an amazing project that’s miles better than Views (which wouldn’t be hard) and people will begin to question Drake’s status at the top.”
Standout songs: One Dance, Controlla, Feel No Ways, U With Me?, Child’s Play, Hotline Bling
Other decent songs: Still Here, Hype, Weston Road Flows, Fire & Desire
Overall there aren’t a lot of highs on this album. But it’s an album with very strong singles. All of the singles (“One Dance“, “Controlla“, “Hotline Bling“) are great.
RATING: BELOW AVERAGE
Could not follow up the hype. Good commercial performance, but Drake’s worse critical reception yet and the reception seemed even worse within the Hip-Hop culture. Album feels long, stretched out, and at times downright boring. But it’s an album with very strong singles, all of the singles are great.