Author: Anthony Ward
Drake released his highly anticipated record, VIEWS, in the early morning hours on the last Friday in April. After his late summer beef with his previous ally who quickly became a bitter rival, Meek Mill, Drake announced that 2016 was going to be his year for the taking. He solidified himself as hip hop’s man to beat when he unexpectedly dropped “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” on which he proved that his abilities spanned much farther than crooning R&B and pop hits.
Drake leads off VIEWS with a slower, malignantly written track titled “Keep The Family Close” where he immediately announces “All of my let’s just be friends are friends I don’t have anymore.” He makes it quite clear that he refuses to sit idly by while people turn their backs on him when he stops providing for them.
He follows up this track with “9” which is, in my opinion, one of the albums lowest points. In “9” he declares his seemingly unending love for Toronto once again.
“U With Me?” comes next and is arguably one of Drake’s best efforts to date. It’s a heartfelt track that would fit perfectly on a “Take Care” re-release. Drake beckons to an ex-lover who appears to have lost interest in Drake as he furthers his interest in the fast paced lifestyle in which he is known for living.
The fourth track on VIEWS continues with the theme of addressing an ex-lover and shows us some of Drake’s soft side that we all love to see. In the melodic “Feel No Ways” Drake confesses that he put all he had into a relationship that had to end in order for him to reach his true potential.
“Hype” is one of the more upbeat tracks on VIEWS, very much akin to the common style of “If You’re Reading This.” On this track it seems as if the self proclaimed “6 God” is denouncing his involvement with Meek Mill and any beef related to the Philadelphia rapper. Although Drake seemed to have ended whatever went on between the two artists with his smash hit “Back To Back” Mill continued to poke and prod at Drake, even as recent as last month. It’s very apparent in “Hype” that Drake is no longer amused or interested in Meek Mill or his persistence to continue a “battle” that much of the internet collectively decided was won by the Toronto native following OVO Fest, at which he paraded memes mocking Meek Mill and the weak effort he made to respond to “Back To Back.”
“Weston Road Flows” has rhythmic content very reminiscent of “Nothing Was The Same” era Drake but lacks in the lyrical skill that Drizzy brought to the table with the 2013 release.
“Redemption” provides arguably the best vocal performance of Drake’s career as he croons lyrics that he uses in attempt to explain and justify the way he feels about a past lover. On this track he taps into his selfish ways with lyrics like “I know you seeing someone that loves you and I don’t wanna see you with no one else.” But taps into the heartbreak he feels to address the ex lover with the line “I miss the feeling of you missing me.” If you’re looking to VIEWS to caption that Instagram photo following your painful breakup, look no further. “Redemption” is VIEWS “Marvin’s Room.”
“With You” features a guest spot from a fellow OVO artist PARTYNEXTDOOR. The track taps into both artists soft side as they proclaim their loyalty and commitment over a very radio friendly pop beat.
The weakest effort on VIEWS comes in the form of “Faithful.” With an oddly placed Pimp C verse immediately followed by one of Drake’s weakest verses on the album, and possibly of his career, this one falls short, in my opinion.
“Still Here” follows up “Faithful” and picks up the pace as well as the energy and comes in as one of VIEWS best tracks. With a killer beat produced by Drake’s go-to studio producer, Noah “40” Shebib and one of the catchiest hooks Drake brings to the table on the record, this song is guaranteed to be a hit.
“Controlla” is a track Drake teased weeks before the release of VIEWS. The release of the record premiers a new version of the song, this time without the feature from Popcaan.
“One Dance” was originally one of my least favorite tracks on VIEWS but given time, it grew on me drastically. Drake provides silky smooth lyrics over a remixed beat of Kyla’s “Do You Mind.” If you’re looking for the song to dance along to, this is it.
Drake and Future join forces yet again to collaborate on “Grammy’s.” Although the track is recorded over a spectacular beat produced by Yung Exclusive, Cardo and 40, both artists fall seemingly short when it comes to lyrical content.
“Child’s Play” brings forth a less sensitive side of Drake in his effort to tell off a love interest. He argues that the aforementioned girl is only where she is because of his success and charity.
“Pop Style” is another previously released track that Drake redacted a feature from in order to add more of his own lyricism to. Although he offers some great bars in the re-released version it’s almost impossible for us to overlook that God-awful “got so many chains they call me Chaining Tatum” line. Come on, Drizzy. If you’re gonna write stuff that bad, we’d prefer you just pay Quentin Miller to write verses for you.
Drake and his rumored love interest Rihanna team up for “Too Good” a track in which both artists announce their discontent in a relationship that they believe they’re being neglected in.
“Fire and Desire” is very reminiscent of “So Far Gone” era Drake in the best possible way. On this track we witness a Drake who’s striving for the love of a woman and not bragging about already having it. It’s nice to see him slow things down and return to his somewhat humble roots of bragging about how great his girl is instead of bragging about how great he is to his girl.
The album close with the maliciously driven title track “VIEWS.” It is made very clear that there is no time or energy for anyone looking to oppose Drake and as we saw in his ordeal with Meek Mill, Drake takes it seriously when someone messes with his business. He brags that from the day he was 20, he’s proven that he has been working to get to the place he’s at now and he doesn’t envision himself stopping anytime soon.
Overall, we rate VIEWS at a 7/10. It definitely isn’t Drake’s best effort but if we’re being honest, he’s saturated us with so much phenomenal content that our expectations are set about as high as the pedestal Drake has found himself sitting upon. Sit back, enjoy the record and we can almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
Songs To Listen To: U With Me?; Still Here; Child’s Play; VIEWS