I recently stumbled upon a tweet saying that if prime DMX was to make an album called “For All The Dogs”, it would have really felt like it was for the dawgs adding that Drake’s corniness is annoying at this point. Well, a tweet of this nature actually summarizes the whole mood and feelings towards Drake’s eighth studio album, which was supposedly Drake giving us the ‘old Drake’ as he had promised earlier…but did he really give us the old Drake, or is this the same artist we have become accustomed to?
Rapper Cum podcast host Joe Budden went ahead to strongly criticize the music offered here, labeling it childish and telling Drake to start hanging out with people his age. Drake didn’t take it lightly, firing back with a strongly worded response where he labels Budden as the poster child of frustration and one who is not entitled to give opinions on how to achieve longevity since, in Drake’s eyes, he was a quitter.
Another critic noted that on this eighth album, a skilled Drake struggles to keep it interesting. His familiar concerns, while occasionally sincere, have become quite boring!
And while people continue debating whether this is his best or worst album ever, we will deconstruct it a little bit and see whether it fits the bill…but of course it does; – it’s Drake we are talking about here!
The features on this album were exceptional and added to its likeability. This album sees Drake feature SZA, Teezo Touchdown, 21 Savage, Yeat, J Cole, Chief Keef, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Bad Bunny, Lil Yatchy, Sexyy Red, and a special appearance by his son Adonis. Notable absentees were Future and Nicki Minaj, with many Minaj stans disappointed and labeling Drake a liar for suggesting that something was being cooked with her during his show in Detroit.
Teezo Touchdown really came through in the track “Amen” with his nimble flows and incredibly powerful lyrics, earning this track immediacy and genuine authenticity.
“IDGAF” is another raw masterpiece featuring Yeat, although fans have been quick to notice a vocal mixing mishap with that transition between Yeat’s and Drake’s performance not as smooth as you’d expect. It was also clear that this track was not recorded in the studio together. This track has gone on to overtake “First Person Shooter” featuring J. Cole, as the track with the most Spotify streams from the album.
“First Person Shooter” is another ear-catching tour de force in which J. Cole shines and really bodied Drake in every possible way. His verses are erudite, masterful, and delivered with a sense of purpose. Cole’s sharp, plainspoken, and intricate cadence blends favorably with Drake’s deadpan delivery. Cole’s wise and clearly fantastical worldview contrasts sharply with Drake’s who takes pains to present his expensive toys, vacations, and erotic dalliances as real-life adventures.
I feel the track “All the Parties” is great, but without Sexyy Red in it. Her performance is dang average and really not something that would intrigue anyone. I wonder why Drake couldn’t have saved a spot for Minaj and deemed it fit to work with Red…it’s his loss I guess!
“Calling for You” featuring 21 savage is also alright, minus the female interlude in between. I don’t think it was really necessary for the interlude, as it takes away from the track’s overall feel considering it’s a Drake, 21 Savage feature, you know!
My favorite solo performances from the album are “Virginia Beach”, “8am in Charlotte”, “Daylight” and “7969 Santa”.
As far as ranking goes, I’d give the album a solid 7.5…it’s not his best album ever, but it certainly isn’t his worst yet!