“Add more chune for your headtop. So watch how you speak on my name, you know?”

Drake delivers on his newest project More Life as promised. This time he tries something different by deeming it a playlist instead of an album. The project is 22 tracks & rides roughly over 80 minutes. The long laundry list of features & producers is proof of the hard work OVO as a whole put into this playlist over the last 11 months. Similar to his last album Views, Drake explores a variety of genres including: hip-hop, r&b, dancehall, grime, & afrobeat. The grime and afrobeat genres are new in Drake’s repertoire. He brings in Giggs and Skepta from the London grime scene to contribute to the “greaze.”

Drake and Skepta

Skepta received high praises from his interlude but Giggs was scolded by most Americans for his verses. While no one deserves to be made fun of because of the music they make, there is a big difference between Skepta and Giggs. At first I didn’t agree with the public that Giggs is a terrible rapper, and still don’t, but as I read through the lyrics over and over I can see where Giggs doesn’t reach America’s high standard for rap. It doesn’t feel like he put much thought into his rhymes and his lacks creativity. Through the first 5-10 listens of “No Long Talk” and “KMT” I thought maybe I don’t understand what he’s saying because of his accent and London slang. After lengthy research and analyzation some of his lines still don’t make sense or just seem very juvenile and preliminary.

On “No Long Talk,” produced by CUbeatz and Murda, he says, “Man gets stuck in, yeah, we’re stuck in somethin/ Man gets rappin when we’re suckin somethin.” This is one Giggs worst bars on the album and I honestly don’t know how this got approved. Crazily a little after he switches his flow and rips through 6 bars. “I’m the best side, got the TEC lined/ In the whip, on the left side, on a death ride/ MAC-10 and the spesh files, and the TEC slide/ Nutty sh*t like something just climbed out of X-Files/ Textbook, like it’s old school, like in textiles/ Lighty, lookin healthy and she gets smiles.”  This is his best sequence in both of his verses. His “KMT” verse had absolutely no hope.

He racks up 3 strikes rather quickly with me and also the American public. Strike #1: “Bringin that dirty, dirty, bringin that certy.” I have to stop right here because he’s not “certified” in the US. This is definitely the first time he’s touched mainstream media here. Strike #2: “I’ve got bitches in merky, swervin, lookin all curvy/ And you already know I love them breasts, lookin all perky.” This actually made me giggle because he sounds like a middle schooler. On another note, yes rap music can get pretty degrading sometimes when referencing women. Most women overlook the degrading lines because at least it sounds good in the song and follows the theme. Here Giggs just doesn’t construct the lines well at all. Finally, strike #3: “Lookin all Christmas girft-wrapped, lookin all turkey.” I personally don’t like this line because majority of America does not eat turkey on Christmas, we eat ham.

Another problem I had with this song wasn’t even the song itself but the perception of the song. Drake is accused of stealing Florida rapper XXXTentacion’s flow on the song. A couple reasons that claim is false are first, Drake has used this flow/rhyme scheme before. On “We Made It” years ago he rapped in a 3 bar sequence but people seem to have amnesia. Second, this is not XXXTentacion’s flow. Most people who make this claim have only listened to his song “Look At Me” which is rather old by the way. If you listen to some of his other songs you can hear a variety of rhyme schemes and genres. It’s sadly unfair to Drake that people didn’t do their research on this one.

A surprising highlight of the “KMT” is that Drake and the producers Ness and Cameron Pasquale sampled the 2006 version of the theme song of Sonic the Hedgehog, “His World” by Tomoya Ohtani.

Views left a sour taste in many listeners’ mouths, not because they’re closed off to other genres but they felt like Drake was copying the styles instead of making them his own. For lack of a better phrase Drizzy was “trying too hard.” I was extremely skeptical when I heard he was giving it a second try but was pleasantly surprised by his results.

On “Blem” produced by T-Minus and “Madiba Riddim” produced by Frank Dukes and Nineteen85, Drake takes a swing at a Caribbean vibe and hits 2 homeruns. Drake uses the word blem as a double entendre to mean that he’s high from smoking and that high has made blunt and honest. Throughout the song Drake gets some things off of his chest. In the chorus he states to a woman he’s seeing, “I need you to stop runnin back to your ex, he’s a wasteman/I wanna know how come we can never slash and stay friends?” During our first listen my friends and I immediately stop the song to digest the realness of this statement and question. Every man has been faced with this dilemma and Drake, as per usual, captures the moment seamlessly. To cap it all off he samples Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” for the part of the songs outro, and grabs Lil Wayne to finish it.

Translated father rhythm, “Madiba Riddim” entails Drakes excursion through the mainstream music industry. “I cannot tell who is my friend/ I need distance between me and them.” This is the second time on More Life talks about putting distance between himself and people he can’t trust. On “Free Smoke” produced by Boi-1da he says, “I wanna move to Dubai/ So I don’t never have to kick it with none of you guys.” More on his music journey Drake states, “I seen man turn fool for the money one too many times/ I seen some girls turn they back on they best friend from time.” What’s sad about these lines is that they aren’t even exclusive to the industry, I see this every day.

Speaking of “Free Smoke” Drake had a lot more to get off his chest.

“N*ggas moves so waste/Please come outside the house and show yourself/ So I can say it to your face/ It’s bound to happen, man, it’s gotta happen now/ So let’s just get it out the way/ Lot of n*ggas goin bad on me/ Please, one at a time.”

“I’m not Kid ‘n Pay/ This kid doesn’t play about the flow/ Y’all keep playin with your nose/ You get high and do the most/ How you let the kid fightin/ ghost-writin rumors turn you to a ghost?”

We can all guess whose these lines are about so no need to go into it. Drake continues to issue more heat on “Gyalchester” produced by IBeats.

“They want me gone, wait for the kicker/Bury me now and I only get bigger/ That’s word to my nigga.”

Drake is done with the games and the talking and wants everyone to be aware. The industry is on notice and truthfully has been since he won his public dispute with Meek Mill. Ever since he was Jimmy on Degrassi people have been questioning Drake’s place in the industry but that time is over. But Drake wouldn’t be himself if he didn’t shout out his old ting with the Hermes link and ice blue mink (Rihanna).

2 Chainz and Drake

OVO showed tons of love with the features and samples they placed on More Life. I’m not surprised by the amount of love Atlanta shows on the playlist. On “Portland,” Drake taps CuBeatz and Murda for production and Quavo and Travis Scott for vocals. Although Drake had the best verse on the track, Quavo cannot be ignored. Quavo is an absolute star “with the left hand” and “the trap moves.” Atlanta comes back with 2 Chainz and Young Thug on “Sacrifices” produced by DeeJaeBee and T-Minus. 2 Chainz definitely shows up to the party. “Drench God with the 6 God, point guard and the two guard.” Drake and Tity Boi been washing the industry on tracks together since, what feels like, the beginning of time. The Drake and 2 Chainz dynamic is always exciting but Young Thug shows up with SIG and 20 round clip. He completely takes over the song and I forget he’s only featured. He talking that talk, talking about Derrick, Katrina, Dasani, clowns, minks, Sunny D, and of course big B’s. You name it, Jeffery rhymed it.

More Features, more samples. Kanye shows up “all glowed up” on “Glow” produced by Noah Goldstein, 40, and himself. Drake gets even more Drake by sampling his own song “Jungle” from If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. Drake and Kanye’s back and forth shows the industry what could come if they ever decide to do the highly rumored collaboration tape. To cap the song Drake brings in Earth, Wind & Fire to spread some “Devotion.” OVO label mate PartyNextDoor comes with feels. He starts his verse with, “Portland in my eye, as you beg I testified that/ I hate being alone, girl, you finally got me out my zone/ I know and I miss you, know how to treat you.” He turns on the old Kelly and Drake gets “a lil sexual” on “Since Way Back.” The producers Party, FLR, 40, G. Ry, M3rge and Deezy took it a step further and sampled “Clipped Wings” by R. Kelly. You can probably image how but Drake and producer Hagler sampled Jennifer Lopez’ “If You Had My Love” for “Teenage Fever.” Throughout the song he’s “out of body” because he’s met a new ting but his mind is on his old one.

“More life, more everything.” Drake definitely gave us more of everything on OVO Firm’s first playlist. It’s truly in his top 3 works (of course behind Take Care) and might slide into the #2 spot. Debate that with your friends as breakdown the lyrics. With that being said More Life receives a strong 9.5/10 from Freelancer which is a big improvement from Views a year ago. It’s available everywhere so don’t play yourself by not having the album readily accessible on your phone.

Ya dun now eh? Big up.

About The Author

I’m 20 years old coming from Atlanta and attending the University of Alabama. For the magazine I’m a music writer but in general I’m a writer, producer, and designer. With my writing I want to spread to others the wonders of hip-hop culture. Follow me on Twitter @28Wavy for new music and updates.

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