Most hip-hop albums these days have two release dates: There’s the one when it’s projected to hit retail outlets and then there’s the one when the project leaks, spreading across the Internet for fans to break apart and let off enough digital chatter to possibly spawn a couple trending topics.
On Sunday night, Drake’s Nothing Was the Same hit the Web, nine days ahead of its proper September 24 release date. No word on whether Drizzy’s label Cash Money has any contingency plans for the predictable leak, but it’s not like rabid Internet fans will wait for the Universal-backed cash cow to figure it out.
The 13-track LP (15, if you count the two bonus tracks) starts with “Tuscan Leather,” a lengthy, six-minute song that prompts even Drake to rap, “How much time is this n—a spendin’ on the Intro?” At the end of one full listen it becomes apparent, again, how comfortably Drizzy can ease into groovy tempos from rap digs.
Drake Makes Songs For The People
It isn’t as much a talent as it is a comment on the totality of Drake’s musical DNA that the Toronto MC can so easily shift from rapping to singing. “Wu-Tang Forever,” despite its gritty title, is a melodic sex ode, a theme that Drizzy follows on the very next track, “Own It.”
“My biggest thing is … if you wanna listen to Drake music for the rest of your life — I welcome it, I want you to listen to it, I want you to be a part of it — just don’t ever be surprised when I’m singing or using melody,” Drizzy told MTV News back in August after he performed at his own OVO Festival. “I’m doing that on this album. This album is not some straight rap album; I’ll never do a straight rap album. That’s not how I came into this and that’s never what I’ll do. I make songs for the people.”
Drake Knows Rap Is All About The Detail
There are plenty of rap moments though. On “Worst Behavior,” he spits about cleaning his Air Jordan sneakers with a toothbrush and evading the police, while on “305 to My City,” he employs a syrupy flow over a subdued Detail instrumental.
Fans got their first taste of “Too Much” when the OVO Sound star debuted the track on Friday night on “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” But the studio version is a much clearer dive into the rapper’s personal life once again, detailing his relationships with his uncle and mother, who according to Drake has turned into a recluse of sorts.
Drake Plants His Flag
Drake ends NWTS just as he started, with slick rhymes and a nimble flow, only this time he’s teamed with Jay Z on “Pound Cake/ Paris Morton Music 2.” It’s here where Drizzy stands at the top of the heap, shaking his flag to make sure it’s firmly planted.
“F— all that happy to be here sh– that y’all want me on,” he begins on “Paris Morton” before making this grand proclamation: “Like I’m supposed to alert n—as that about to drop something crazy and not say I’m the greatest of my generation.”