More exposure leaves the door open for more interpretation, right? As we sit just a few days removed from the release of Drake’s highly anticipated album “VIEWS,” the reVIEWS for his follow up to “Nothing Was The Same” (IYRTITL was a mixtape, remember?) are at an all time high. But with this much exposure shouldn’t this be normal? Just head to the home page of iTunes (see below) and the scrolling header is nothing but Drake.
Drake has taken months of anticipation and capitalized in sales, according to Billboard it’s set to sell upwards of 800,000 units in the first week. Some laughed at his meme-like album cover art (myself included) but Drake capitalized once again by playing along with the fun to reveal artist features with his mini self perched on their shoulders. But when it comes to the music, the speculation and what-ifs seem to outweigh the positive ‘views’ of the project itself. Are we transitioning into a time when surprise album drops are met with higher regard as the excitement outweighs possible disappointment from built up exposure? There are definite signs of this phenomenon when looking through the “VIEWS” rollout.
Early leaks of “Controlla” complete with a verse from Popcaan lead way to confusion and disappointment when the final album cut left off the Jamaican artist who brought the dance-hall feel of the track together. Instead replaced by an outro from Beenie Man on “Controlla,” Popcaan’s addition to “Too Good” from the sample of his song “Love Yuh Bad” was an injustice to most.
The early release of “Pop Style” gave way to poor reviews from fans who were disappointed with Jay-Z’s 2 bar contribution. In turn taking a page from Kanye’s “The Life Of Pablo” playbook, Drake yanked ‘The Throne’ just like Kanye did to Vic Mensa on “Wolves” (before changing it back after backlash, of course).
Of course there are highlights to “VIEWS,” one track that was released early, “One Dance,” shines bright with a slowed-down sample of Crazy Cousinz’ “Do You Mind” featuring Kyla. Paying homage to the UK’s short-lived genre of ‘Funky House,’ Drake and 40 mold together a cohesive sound with British roots.
Drake hits home with “Weston Road Flows” while singing over a slow-burning sample of Mary J. Blige’s “Mary’s Joint.” Reminiscing on his time growing up in the 6 on Weston Road, Drizzy details his relationship with his friend Renny and how they looked up to his older brother. 40 gets added to the mix among filler lines about raining money like the Oklahoma City Thunder and avoiding Kanye drama by claiming he’s the best rapper under the age of 35.
Twenty songs deep and a 82 minutes later, “VIEWS” is a solid body of work but is overshadowed by anticipation and previous exposure. Content wise it flows more like a sequel to “Take Care” and less of a victory lap following “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” and “What A Time To Be Alive.”