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Music review: Drake exceeds expectations on ‘More Life’ playlist

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Rapper Drake has finally released his newest project, “More Life,” following a lot of delays, project rumors and silence from Drake himself. “More Life” is what I expected and more.

On October 23, just before his birthday, Drake announced on his Beats 1 Radio show, OVO Sound Radio, that “More Life” was in the process and released four singles. Of the singles released, “Fake Love” is the only one to make the new project.

In typical Drake fashion, he shows once again just how versatile of an artist he is. The project has extremes, whether it’s a slow R&B track or a fast-paced new age hip hop beat. Addressing many topics from his relationship with Jennifer Lopez to conflicts with other artists, it’s clear he is discussing his current life. Accusations and rumors aimed at him have all been addressed and properly taken of through “More Life.”

The opening track “Free Smoke” sets the tone for the project. Drake discusses that anyone can try to talk down on him, but he’s ready for anyone and anything. He takes more shots at Meek Mill, in attempt to bury their beef for good in his favor. In a sense of comical relief, he reveals that he drunk texts Jennifer Lopez in his spare time. It’s the outspoken Drake a lot of fans have been waiting for.

Drake is clearly inspired by the United Kingdom on the new project. Following “Free Smoke” is a track with up and coming English artist Giggs. “No Long Talk” uses British slang and song titles such as “Gyalchester” display the British influence. Giggs can also be heard on controversial song “KMT,” where Drake was accused of stealing an underground rapper’s flow.

“Madiba Riddim” recreates the tropical vibe that Drake has recently become fond of. It has a popular sound and relaxing vibe similar to “Controlla” or “One Dance.” He talks about how hard he is trying to make things work for him and his significant other. These tropical tones are also evident on “Passionfruit” and “Get It Together.”  Be prepared to hear these songs frequently.

Toward the middle of “More Life,” Drake uses popular features on back-to-back songs. He collaborates with Quavo from Migos and Travis Scott on upbeat radio-ready “Portland.” The next track, “Sacrifices” has a more serious tone and is one of my personal favorites. Features from Young Thug and 2 Chainz make the song even more exciting to the first time listener. Drake reiterates the current theme that he is ready for anyone and anything.

It wouldn’t be a Drake album without the morose touch he brings to his music. The project takes a turn at the 13th track with the sad and gut-wrenching “Nothings Into Somethings.” The next track, heavy-hearted “Teenage Fever” is another one of my personal favorites. It’s an absolute masterpiece, a standout of the project. He talks about things that came between him and his significant other at the time. A little further down the line, Drake revisits his underwater tones on “Lose You.” It’s a track asking his lover, friends and family if he has lost them in the immense amount of fame he has accumulated.

Drake features his most prized OVO artist, PARTYNEXTDOOR on “Since Way Back.” Produced by PARTYNEXTDOOR, the instrumental changes halfway through the song. This song embodies Drake’s record label Octobers Very Own sound. With a similar sound as the other artists on his OVO sound label, he shows he’s still the top dog.

Toward the end of the project, Drake puts two important songs on the album. “Ice Melts” features Young Thug, who turns the song into an anthem. With an upbeat feel, this song has serious potential to blow up. Drake and Young Thug collaborate well on the track.

Closing out “More Life” is the final track “Do Not Disturb.” This song is absolutely amazing. Like albums past, he closes out with a track that leaves nothing unsaid. The “Weston Road Flows” of the album, he catches a special flow. He assures he will be back in 2018 to give us another summary of his music and personal life.

This project has been absolutely top notch. The production, lyricism and versatility are all on display. The OVO sound team came together and created an album we will talk about for a long time. It was well worth the wait.

 
Well done, Drake.

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