Views on “Views”

It’s not enough for me to say that I “like” Drake or am his #1 fan. I’d like to consider myself a Drake connoisseur and have watched him develop from a narrow, black kid with a Jewfro (is that politically incorrect because he really is Jewish and he had a fro soo…) to a Grammy award-winning rapper whose ability to lament over brooding beats leaves me transfixed. I’ve been physically attracted to Aubrey since his head was too big for his body (something we both have in common) but it was the content of his work that made me fall head over heels.

In a world where Young Thug, Migos (who claims to be our generation’s “OutKast” -___-), and other piss poor excuses for rappers run rampant, Drake has always been a blessed escape for me — especially his earlier works. He focused on his inability to fit into the rap game — and really, life in general — due to his affluent background and mixed race (neither Black nor Jewish enough to find a niche), the negative effects growing up without a father had on his ability to sustain a healthy relationship, heartbreak, and his determination to accomplish everything he ever set out to do. He was hungry. He demanded to be taken seriously and did what he had to do to strike a deal and gain respect. Each song on his mixtapes spoke to me — Heartbreak Drake, Comeback Season, Room for Improvement and don’t you dare forget So Far Gone — and it probably doesn’t hurt that the person who really put me on to him was my first love (yes, even 7 years late I still think of him every time I hear his mixtapes…the definition of “Drakin”).

It never fails that whenever I hear of a new album release, my anxiety goes through the roof. I obviously know what he’s going to talk about (women, relationships — or lack thereof — and the roadblocks he faces in the industry) so I’m more concerned with the how. What effects will his beats have on me (“Own It” on NWTS actually brought me to tears)? How much will 40 contribute? What’s his wordplay going to be like? Is it possible for me to get a day off from work so I can listen to the album uninterrupted at least twice?! So naturally, I experienced the same feelings and asked the same questions when I heard that Views was well on its way. Knowing that 40 had his hand on every track (his best friend and probably one of the best music producers in the game) made me that much more excited for the album plus, it didn’t help that he kept pushing the release date back. I excused him though because I figured more time would allow him to deliver a flawless project. The album was released via iTunes on April 29 but because I was not an Apple user at the time (shout out Team iPhone!), I had to get my hands on the album through…uh…other, more resourceful methods (shout out to S-Daht lol!). So when I finally sat down and listened to the album I was…

Unimpressed. So unimpressed that I continued to listen to it in its entirety for 2 weeks straight just waiting for something to grab my attention. I was ready to be in my feelings throughout the entire album! Tissues in tow, chile! But my sensitive, hungry Drake was no where to be found. Instead I was listening to an individual who made it and was so consumed with success that money was the only thing that held any significance to him. I mean, to hear someone who was always begging to be loved admit that relationships “slow down the vision” and that he’s “not in a position to deal with commitment” made me question if too much hunger is a bad thing. He seems to dismiss all of his relationships, referring to his exes as merely “women” and property, and focus on the importance of the maintaining his status in the rap game (sounds vaguely like my experience with dating but we’ll save that for another day).

The only thing that saved this album was Noah “40” Shebib. Pure genius, dawg. This many was able to craft beats and the entire album to reflect the seasons. The “winter” portion featured songs with brooding, haunting beats and lyrics that revealed Drake’s inability to respect commitment. “Spring” lightened up a bit and we transitioned BEAUTIFULLY to “summer” with rhythms that took me right back to Jamaica. Unfortunately, that ridiculous interlude transitioned us back to winter and in all honesty, that’s where he lost me. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to the actual structure of the album, I highly suggest it. You won’t be disappointed.

So now I’m left to wonder, what’s next? I mean he’s clearly building his empire so I wonder if he’ll end up like Jay and just focus on the business for a while. I’m not sure what he could possibly speak on in his next album. I mean, he achieved everything he said he was going to and then some. He got the money, the women, and most importantly the status that he so desperately wanted at the beginning of his career and now I fear that this is it for him. Don’t get it twisted, I’m always going to vouch for bae (beard or no beard, good music or caca) but I do hope that he “hasn’t become like most people in his position and become complacent.”