Album Review- Drake- Nothing Was the Same

Well look here, a full two weeks early and 7 days before a normal leak, Drake's much anticipated album, "Nothing Was The Same" hit the webs shortly after one of the songs was released and created a firestorm of controversy. While already highly anticipated, the pressure got even greater after Kendrick Lamar's 'control' verse set the stage for what most are looking at as a battle of the new age of rap supremacy. The critics are perched to see if Drake can keep up and deliver the blend of hits and solid rap that has become his hallmark.

He starts out good enough with an intro that channels the recent decision of artists like Justin Timberlake and Jay-z to take one track and turn it into something else by it's end with "Tuscan Leather" which changes twice, starting with an incredibly annoying track and ending in a more melodic, typical Drake fashion. This leads to "Furthest Thing" which is more of Drake's pseudo love songs as he talks about not being perfect and still doing things he probably shouldn't.

Now the single, "Started From The Bottom" has been out forever and I can say I thought it was better than it is. The lyrics are extra basic and the beat and hook while catchy, don't make up for the basic rhymes I wouldn't expect from Drake. Meanwhile, "Wu-Tang Forever" caused a lot of hate on the net followed by defense because the title set up expectations that ended up not being anything near what we were thinking collectively. However, upon further examination, I see slight subtle jabs and hooks aimed at a former lover of Drake who has red hair and the ex of hers that engaged in a public feud and altercation with Drizzy. With that thought this song gets upgraded by a lot. Further evidence of this is when this song segues into "Own it"where he's kind of telling her to own what she does and he is going to "own that shit" if you get the sexual innuendo. He also throws a few more shots at dudes who talk more than women.

Now about the time I was thinking the album needed to pick the pace back up again, Drake comes with "Worst Behavior" where he attempts to channel the South and talk about how he's flexing and going to come back home partying and wilding but the song never really gains any steam and just seems like a really long and lazy interlude for a less talented artist. Now, "From Time" featuring an upcoming artist, Jhene Aiko, is actually a song that I like. It's that normal Drake stuff but I think the fact that he wasn't on the hook helped. Now, the hit right now all over pop radio is "Hold on, We're Going Home" and it's crazy how much the effects create this song. I mean Drake doesn't even sound like singing Drake, they have auto tune, multipliers, amplifiers and everything else on this technological marvel. It's kind of annoying yet not that bad but it seems to lack something and that's probably because they have it so cleaned up it seems unnatural.

"Connect" is more for the ladies again as he speaks about making that connection with a woman. "The Language" seems in the end to be the closest thing to a direct response to Kendrick Lamar, though that isn't particularly needed. But even as a general song this isn't as good as "HYFR" or "The Motto" because the hook is so awkward and awful. The verses are alright but not anything exciting. "305 to my City" is about getting 'it' and holding it down or something. This song featuring Detail is plain awful.

"Too Much" is Drake talking about the pressure and trying to keep his head on straight and not do too much. Sampha carries the hook and this is what I was expecting from Drake throughout the entire album. The regular version of the album ends with "Pound cake/ Paris Morton Music 2" featuring none other than Jay-z. Drake raps fine, but Jay takes the cake with a decent though not great verse but it's made better by the line directed at Beanie Sigel for "Being in his feelings".

Now I know I'm not the biggest Drake fan but this is extremely disappointing from a guy who is looked at to be the cream of the crop when it comes to this current generation of pop stars. He has been ultra successful and he is lacking the traditional hits he is known for. The bars are extremely lazy this go-round and the production is so slow and moody. This album isn't particularly strong on either front that you would expect. The one artist I expected to benefit from "Control" was Drake because he is talented enough and smart enough to focus on making solid songs but this album misses the mark. Much like Kanye and Jay-z get mulligans in their illustrious careers, I can only hope this album is a slight misstep and not a sign of things to come.

Rating: 2.5/5


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