Drake had critical choices to make following Views From The 6, his last and arguably weakest full-length project. He could have continued to spiral down the moody rabbit hole he created; punctuated by lost love and mistrust, or hop on a new wave ignited by Views’ lighter moments like “One Dance” and “Controlla”. Thankfully, his newest offering More Life is a (somewhat) stronger march into the loose world of pure pop superstardom.
Aubrey has never been bashful about hopping on trends, which is the fabric weaving through the center of More Life.
Like his contemporary and frequent collaborator Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo, More Life is billed as a ‘playlist’, allowing it to twist and snake with mixtape appeal. Unlike TLOP, More Life does not feel like a work in progress, instead it’s a statement that Drake has found comfort in the chart-pop gloss of 2017. He’s most at home when crooning through “Passionfruit” and “Get It Together”, which both pay homage to the Grime gods; influenced heavily by the East London garage and jungle scene of the early 2000’s.
More Life wouldn’t be a Drake record without a healthy mix of certified bangers and bonafide duds. “Portland” is a monster, featuring turn up Kings Quavo and Travis Scott. The flute goes super hard, just check the memes. The downright laughable “KMT” showcases UK rapper Giggs, who you’ll either love or hate; and that divided feeling encapsulates the entire project. There’s a boatload of sounds, styles, and features throughout, which is both ambitious and obnoxious when trying to digest a 22-song project.
“Can’t Have Everything” and “Lose You” are brilliant snapshots of Drake’s 2017 landscape. They’re nostalgic enough to make you miss the old Drizzy, the punchline kid whose effortless raps rattle off with a sickening pace; but also prove this man has a firm grip on his worldly crown. Before you catch your breath “Glow” comes out of nowhere and redefines the way you listen to present day hip hop. Kanye West’s shine is contagious, igniting the most exciting 4 minutes on the album.
When More Life finally releases its grip you quickly realize Drake is unconcerned with time zones and meaningless genres. The project meanders from sound to sound simply because he’s the biggest star in the business, and ignores conventional wisdoms. He may be a chameleon to the purists longing for street raps or traditional time signatures, but for generation now, the social media mavericks with tiny attention spans, Drake is the leading man in this beautiful dark twisted fantasy.