Is ‘VIEWS’ Drake’s Best Album?

The 6 God has been on a roll since Nothing Was The Same.

In 2014 he made 0 to 100 a summer anthem, and in 2015 he did the same thing with Hotline Bling. He’s permeated the culture so much that you can’t visit the club without hearing Drake. And while many argue about which rapper is at the top of the game right now, I’ll throw in my own two cents:

When Drake drops something, the world seems to come to a standstill, and I haven’t seen any other rapper in the game be able to do that.

While VIEWS is the first solo “album” he’s dropped since NWTS, it certainly hasn’t felt like it.

In early 2015 we got If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, which had an icy feel to it that paired well with the harsh Winter he dropped it in. Then, later in 2015, we got What A Time To Be Alive, featuring a collection of bangers just begging to be played in clubs across North America.

Where is Drake right now though? The best way to find that out is to start listening to VIEWS.

First off, is Keep the Family Close about Nicki Minaj? I answer that with a resounding yes. He chose quite the topic to focus on for his intro. Normally he just brags–like–a lot on the opening track but not this time. This time he’s lamenting how Nicki basically forgot about him during the Meek Mill feud.

All of my “let’s just be friends” are friends I don’t have anymore.

-Keep the Family Close

But, on the first banger of the album, Drake gets back to form on “9,” rapping about fake friends, enemies, and how they still want to see his “Views” no matter what. Powerful Drizzy.

“U With Me?” is the first prototypical Drake reminiscing about a girl song. My favorite line is when he says he made a career out of reminiscin’, which is actually pretty accurate. It’s a strong song. I could feel his emotion when he started screaming at the end about a girl that knew him when “he had waves,” which must’ve been during Take Care? He talks about how she “slides on a late night” into his text messages, and how they’re both playing games with each other. Sometimes we just use people to get attention.

“Feel No Ways” is a continuation, albeit a more positive one, of Drake talking about a past love. It’s got a “Hold On We’re Going Home” vibe to it. This time he let go of the relationship early on to (assuming) see what he could do. I mean, all they used to do is stay in and get high together. It makes sense. But because of that his old girl is throwing it in his face, clearly a little pissed. Come on Drake, you did it to yourself.

Okay, now for “Hype,” one of the biggest bangers on the album. Just listen and enjoy it.

You try to give ’em your side of the story
They heard it, but they wasn’t hearin’ it

-Hype

“Weston Road Flows” won’t be played in the clubs anytime soon, but it still gives us a nice look at the old Drake.

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He raps about a fellow ambitious rapper he used to know who he has now surpassed. Weston Road is the road that Drake grew up on–just for background.

Been flowin’ stupid since Vince Carter was on some
through the legs arm in the hoop shit.

-Weston Road Flows

“Weston Road,” “Redemption,” and “With You” slow things down a bit here in the middle of the project. “With You” only has a few verses but it’s deeper than it looks. Drake links up with PARTYNEXTDOOR and Jeremih for this one, crooning about a girl that’s a little more independent than he might hope.

Choose your lover for the moment
Different story when I leave you
Story of just to keep you
I need you around, I need you, oh

-With You

Following this trio is another trio that speeds things back up slowly but surely. “Faithful” is largely a song about having sex, if you want me to be honest about it. It’s playful Drake, much needed after the three heavier songs before it. “Still Here” is our third dose of braggadocio Drake, and it sounds freaking awesome.

Then we have Controlla.

So far the sounds that we’ve come into contact with on VIEWS have been pretty reminiscent of past Drake projects, but Controlla is definitely a deviation. It sounds like “Work,” and has that Dancehall vibe to it. We weren’t expecting this one from The Boy..unless you heard the leak a few weeks ago, but that’s beside the point.

I guess I’ll stop at the midway point to talk about the sound of the album. Take Care, NWTS, and IYRTITL all had their own particular sound. Take Care could be mistaken for an R&B album, and IYRTITL was cold, with minimalistic beats. VIEWS seems to just be a mash-up of past and present Drake. There hasn’t really been much of a step forward so far, but it’s only halfway through.

Good news: “One Dance” continues the Dancehall vibe. But this one came out a few weeks ago, so we knew this was coming.

Strength and guidance
All that I’m wishing for my friends

-One Dance

Okay, so, “Grammys” deserves a Grammy. Somehow Drake and Future have managed to bless us one more time. Can “What A Time To Be Alive 2” come out this summer? Yeah? Much appreciated.

I pull up in yachts so big that they try to hit me with boat fines

-Grammys

“Child’s Play” is quite the song. It’s about Drake’s love with an immature girl from the hood that he just can’t let go, because, and here’s the kicker, the sex is too good. Good job Drake. You’ve let us all know multiple times on VIEWS that if the sex is good then you just can’t let it go. The funniest line is how he talks about how people that go to Cheesecake drive Camry’s and go to Disney. It’s true.

“Pop Style” sounds like it could’ve been on IYRTITL. And, continuing the jamaican themes in this album, Pop Style is a jamaican term meaning ballin’ apparently. But, as a quick aside, it makes sense that Drake would incorporate a lot of Jamaican influences on this album. People talk in Jamaican accents in barbershops and basketball courts all around the city. Just go watch Drake’s shortfilm “Jungle” and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

It’s a cool little subliminal thing.

“Too Good” is the first Drake and Rihanna collaboration on a Drake project since “Take Care,” and it was worth the wait. It’s about a couple who thinks their love is taken for granted.

It feels like the only time you see me
Is when you turn your head to the side and look at me differently

-Too Good

It’s a brilliant song.

Drake rounds out the album with three slower tracks. “Summers Over” is pretty self-explanatory. And when pondering it further, this album is very much made for the summer. It’s full of anthems for love and clubs, laced against warmer beats–much warmer than his previous “mixtape” released in January.

I love VIEWS, and I’m sure I’ll love it more and more as I listen to it, but it just didn’t seem as cohesive as a project compared to his past albums. It jumps around with a lot of different sounds and beats, but the subject material is still reminiscent of what’s made Drake popular.

He’s made his millions from nostalgia. That’s why we all feel his music, because we’ve all been in love too. Drake is dynamic, too. His relationships are playful, deep, emotional, and amusing. Sometimes he talks about being “too good” for somebody before talking about how he’s the opposite a few songs later.

How should we enjoy VIEWS? By treating it as a summer album. Listen to it while you’re falling in love with someone. Listen to it while prepping to go to the club. Listen to it when summer is ending and you’re reminiscing.

VIEWS: 8/10

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