On Thursday the 28th, Drake dropped his highly anticipated 4th studio album, Views.
Views is a mechanism through which Drake reflects on his career thus far; the good and the bad, his personal relationships, and the journey that his music has taken him on. However, it is primarily an open love letter to his beloved Toronto.
On his opening track we get a look at private matters in his song “Keep the Family Close.” He begins by solemnly singing “All of my ‘let’s just be friends are friends I don’t have anymore’/How do you not check on me when things go wrong? “
The hallmark of this album is that it contains more singing than any of his past projects. Though he experimented with this change in style on his last album NWTS, there are some songs where this new style dominates the piece (see One Dance, Faithful, Feel No Ways). However, Hype, Grammys, and 9 demonstrate that his aggressive yet revealing style is still intact.
One of the most interesting things about the album is the new sound that Drake seems to be testing out. Caribbean vibes and even lyrics in patois are riddled throughout the album, signaling a departure from Drake’s earlier style, which followed the simple rap instrumental blueprint that so many other rappers have subscribed to.
Though the album is a cohesive one, it does raise a few questions. The beginning of this year saw the explosion of a beef between Drake and Meek Mill over Drake’s alleged Ghostwriter, Quentin Miller. However, a look at the co-writers on the track listing reveals that Miller, who worked extensively on What a Time to be Alive, has seemingly been excluded from the project.
Think what you will, but Views is an exercise in artistic freedom, as well as a transformation of his wildly successful, sometimes aggressive, sometimes balladeering, always entertaining style.