MORE LIFE by drake.
“who knows where I’ll end up when that shit gets old,
maybe it never gets old and that’s just how it goes”.
“More Life” is a Jamaican slang phrase. It basically means you’re going to continue enjoying life in a good way and that’s what this new Drake project is all about. Drake plans to continue living his zenith and high roller lifestyle for much longer.
“Views”, Drake’s last project which even though had a few hit bangers like “One Dance” with Wizkid and “Hotline Bling”, proved to be a personal and innovative endpoint for him. He had crushed all existing beefs between him and so called frenemies, his more frequent and constant collaborations with his right-hand man, Noah ‘40’ Shebib, was getting boring and there was a little bit of stagnation in his flow deliveries and creativity. It didn’t matter though as his millions of fans would still consume anything he had put out, he wasn’t gonna fall. He had quite quietly admitted to this throughout the warm and generous More Life project and that was the antidote to the rather up-top inertia right there. More Life, a playlist, not an album nor a mere mixtape, but something, a project that would force him out into the limelight again on a much more bigger stage through a more reserved platform. This would be presently and in future considered a major turning point in contemporary music.
More Life was subject to many speculative release dates, with it initially set for December 2016. However, it was pushed forward to January after Drake suffered an ankle injury on the Summer Sixteen Tour. Further dates were also rumoured up until the official announcement was made in March 2017 via commercials released through Instagram. More Life was preceded by three singles: “Fake Love”, “Sneakin’” featuring 21 Savage, and “Two Birds, One Stone”. The songs premiered on October 23, 2016, during Drake’s thirtieth birthday edition of OVO Sound Radio. The episode also housed Drake’s collaboration with Dave on “Wanna Know (Remix)”. “Fake Love”, “Sneakin” and “Two Birds, One Stone” were all released as commercial singles six days later, however, “Fake Love” was the sole track that remained on More Life.
The project’s production was handled by more expert and capable producers like Allen Ritter, Boi-1da, Frank Dukes, Murda Beatz, Nineteen 85, Supah Mario, Black Coffee, Kanye West and of course 40. Guest appearances on the project include Giggs, Jorja Smith, Sampha, Skepta, Travi$ Scott, Quavo, 2 Chainz, Young Thug, Kanye West and OVO partner, PartyNextDoor. The way the whole project was set-up, other artistes on the project may not be considered as features, it’s more like Drake was singing or rapping using their voices, you know, like when God uses someone to preach the gospel to other people.
“Dis a habibis ting, yeah?”
Drake asks on the intro of the “Portland” track featuring Travi$ Scott and Quavo. The phrase is a mix of Arabic and Caribbean slangs. This gives an insight on what you can and should expect on the playlist as it plays on. On the project, we could see, feel and experience the influence of other cultures. Guest features were dominated by British acts Giggs, Jorja Smith, Sampha and Skepta. A few of the productions on the project were handled by South African producer, Black Coffee with the “Madiba Riddim” track also being a tribute to South African former leader, Nelson Mandela. A host of other genres from all over the world like dancehall, grime and afro-beats are present and also adlibs and slangs originating from the UK and the Caribbeans fills the project.
The More Life playlist starts off with a beautiful sampling of Naomi Saalfield’s vocals preceding a fierce introduction to the playlist as Drake tries to emphasise his prima donna status in the rap game, dismissing any existing beefs or competition although still fighting off rumours that could soil his name and legacy badly.
“How you let the kid fightin’
ghost writin’ rumours turn you to a ghost”
It proceeds to the lush and lovely “Passionfruit” track that describes the struggles of protecting a relationship, trying to keep being faithful and trustworthy, from miles away.
Moving on to the “Get It Together” featuring Jorja Smith and “Madiba Riddim” tracks, we could strongly feel the afro-beats vibes coming with them, though still bearing the really under toned melancholic themes of Drake trying hardly to keep his most important relationships going.
In the next few tracks, we experience Drake’s great love for the British music scene where he features, in individual tracks, Sampha and Skepta respectively.
“Gyalchester” is a very hard trap patois-lingua influenced track that stresses Drizzy’s place in the rap game. Baka, Drake’s dangerous bodyguard, who’s had several issues with the law, also has his vocals recorded on the track.
Throughout the whole project, as we have evidently seen, Drake finds a way to represent his most favourite genres and the trap genre is not left out as he features Travi$ Scott and Quavo on the “Portland” track and 2 Chainz and Young Thug on the “Sacrifices” track. Thug is also featured on the cheerful and jolly “Ice Melts” track that describes Drake trying to convince a woman who has just previously had a bad spell in a relationship to give him a chance. It is not clear who Drake is serenading in this track but speculations suggest it might be Nicki Minaj or Rihanna.
The “Teenage Fever” track samples the lovely and nostalgic 1998 Jennifer Lopez’s “If You Had My Love” song and it exposes Drake’s youth fantasies of wanting to have Jennifer Lopez and him living out his dreams now.
“Can’t Have Everything” is a quick reminder of the purpose of the entire project. Here Drake shares the frustration of how he will never be able to have everything he wants or desires but then, nothing would stop him on continuing his quest on captivating the world with his music. At the end of the track, Drake shares a voice message of his mum trying to keep him on track by advising him to let go of any negativity as that would hold him back in fulfilling his purpose.
Drake satisfied his fans on the “Glow” track not only with a very much anticipated collaboration between himself and Kanye West but also with the sampling of “Devotion” by Earth, Wind and Fire. That was crazy.
Finally, the playlist rounds off with a much more exposed, insecure or vulnerable version of Drake rapping about a lot of issues ranging from his past and present rap feuds, to how he stays up at the top no matter what he does, to his failed romantic relationships with different women. Also, Drake gives us a much needed info on when next we should expect a project from him which is 2018. That doesn’t really seem like a long time.
More guests, more genres, more producers, more slangs, and more life. It’s a worldwide ting. Who knows, with the amount of the variety of worldwide involvement in this project, I could have been part of this, or maybe you, maybe you felled the trees used for the papers where the original lyrics of the songs were written, maybe my uncle planted the weed mans was smoking on while in the studio recording the songs, who knows? This is a really beautiful and perfect compilation by Drake. Personally, I feel this is like the best thing Drake has ever put out, the progression in creativity is so obvious with him borrowing different music styles from different cultures from different parts of the world although a lot of people went negative by accusing Drake of biting off off other rappers’ flows, the most talked about on the project being the “KMT” track featuring Giggs which sounds like “Look At Me” by presently incarcerated rapper, XXXTENTACION. With this project, I feel Drake could and should be considered a major force in the industry now and not just a top rapper. Concerning competitions with Drake, right now is really not the best time as the man, Champagnepapi, continues to prove his success with hard work, project by project. I just feel people should concentrate on their own careers and try to make things work for them, rather than trying to soil another man’s name for his endless achievements and accomplishments, you know. The playlist as it is called, is a really long compilation, long enough for you to forget about other musicians and keep you talking about Drake and his music. On a side note, do not listen to this playlist with your shuffle on, don’t play yourself, that’s continuity right there. Do you ever have that feeling of fulfilment and accomplishment? You know, that sweet feeling of watching your hard work and determination pay off, I think that would be Drake right now.