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If you haven’t heard Drake’s new surprise commercial mixtape yet, you’re probably not a fan of Drake/hip hop/pop/R&B. But you might want to give it a go anyway, because although it’s not Drake’s best, it’s still pretty good, and it’s a great representation of why Drake is the future—so you might as well acquaint yourself with what’s likely to be the best album of 2015 before he releases the highly anticipated Views From The 6.
Drake is Canadian, and it’s definitely not summer over there. I made the mistake of listening for the first time in a semi-pleasant mood in a room drenched with sunlight. I do not recommend this. Perhaps instead listen at night time, maybe on a Wednesday, when you’re amidst a mid-week crisis. It’s times like those that Drake thrives. Save him for a rainy day or a cool night if you want a true and genuine Drake Experience.
As expected, the production is pretty nice. Drake has always been one for showcasing great production talent, and this mixtape is no different. Boi-1da (check: “6pm in New York”), 40 (check: “Jungle”) and PARTYNEXTDOOR (check: “Wednesday Night Interlude”) are the standouts, and they do a polished job with the slow, clean, smart beats that compliment Drake’s equally smooth voice and his always honest lyrics. Mazel tov! One interesting aspect of the mixtape is that Drake doesn’t mention his Jewish heritage like he usually does, perhaps a subtle critique of the Gaza situation. Drake instead focuses on “the 6,” his money, his women, and how he has to deal with all the fakes.
The first half isn’t as good as the second half and without any deliberate radio bangers, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late is a slow burn. It lasts a long time, like a fat blunt. Drake tells us he has been trying to cut down on smoking, because underneath the Drake is “Aubrey, the biggest boss” who’s a real person, and just like you he’s got his vices. His acknowledgement of both his flaws and his many strengths is what makes Drake so endearing and I think we can all benefit from Drake’s self awareness. Listen, because you will see yourself in Drake, and hopefully you will see some of Drake in you.