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Review: Drake, Future fuse strengths into one strong mixtape

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After much anticipation and many rumors, Drake and Future released their collaborative mixtape, “What a Time To Be Alive,” Sunday evening. The two have worked together as features on each other’s respective albums, but this time the two combine for an 11-song tracklist that many weren’t even sure was a true thing until a few days ago.

From the rumors, I was incredibly excited to see what these two artists could do together.  I am a huge Drake fan from his voice to his diss tracks to his catchy beats.  He is, in my opinion, one of the top artists out there today.  I also like Future, but hadn’t listened to a lot of his previous works. But I knew that these two could work together well.

Future opens up the album with “Digital Dash,” a song where he talks about hiding his “dope in the bushes,” as well as other references to drugs like Xanax and Actavis, but he doesn’t do this without purpose.  The serious tone Future brings, as well as his slick flow and the piano in the background, show that there will be some serious topics brought up on this album, while also having a nice tempo to listen to.  

The opening song also switches from Future to Drake after the chorus, and just from there it was easy to see why these two collaborated.  The two work seamlessly in lyrics, flow and their voices, with Future often getting the calm, consistent beats, and Drake switching between his singing ability and his ability to go off on a track.

“Live From the Gutter” is the third song on the mixtape, and is really the track where Future hits on the dark subjects.  From discussing his divorce with artist Ciara to talking about his rough upbringing, Future isn’t afraid to put it all out there on this song.

Next up is “Diamond Dancing,” my favorite song that featured both Drake and Future on this mixtape.  The undeniably catchy chorus and intense beat add up to a truly incredible song for both artists.  Drake brings the smooth voice on his verses, while Future brings the hard lyrics on his parts.  The hook is what stuck with me the most from this track, with the simple, “diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds on me dancing.” The unforgettable beat brings this song to the height of both artists’ ability.

“Plastic Bag,” a song about a stripper using a plastic bag to get all of the money on the floor from a night at the club, takes a racy subject like that and gives it a sweet, somewhat romantic tone. It shows the best of both these rappers’ abilities to slow it down and make an incredibly calm, chill song.

The final two songs on the album are individual songs from each of the two artists, and both show exactly why they are where they are today.  “Jersey” is Future’s solo song, and from the opening instrumental portion, it clearly felt like any Future song I had heard before.  Future’s only solo song is a very good one, with clever wordplay in the chorus and a good flow that will make any fan of his very happy.

Drake’s “30 for 30 Freestyle” wraps up the mixtape, and boy does it wrap up with a bang.  Drake goes in on a calm beat and is silky smooth for over four minutes.  From references to police brutality to the Michael Jackson court case to his own song from 2008, Drake makes sure he leaves no stone unturned.  This song gives us the best of what Drake can do and, for a Drake fan, it was all I could want.

Overall, “What a Time To Be Alive” is a great collab between two amazing artists.  The chemistry between Drake and Future is clear on every song in the mixtape, and their individual abilities come out in the closing tracks.  There aren’t any songs that I feel are absolute gold, but there are certainly no flops on the album either, just 11 incredibly solid songs from two of the best in the business.


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