This Friday, the world’s side piece, Aubrey Drake Graham, will release his latest record, Views from the 6. If we learned one thing from If You’re Reading This It's Too Late's surprise arrival last year, it's that The Boy likes to keep us guessing. And how much do we really know about Views? There's that cover. There are the songs we've heard so far — “Summer Sixteen,” which sounds like an outtake from his last album; “Pop Style”; and “One Dance” — none of which have any guarantee of featuring on the final tracklist. (Update: We have a tracklist! But we still don't know much about who's guesting on it or what it will sound like.)
In the absence of a Pinterest board, we might as well look to some of Drake's recent collaborations to get an idea of where his head is at on Views. Those features show that he's been listening to everything from U.K. grime (Skepta) to West African pop (Nigerian rap phenom Wizkid) to Jamaican dancehall (Popcaan) — which makes sense, considering his well-known pride in Toronto's diverse cultural makeup. With that in mind, here are six more artists we'd really love to hear crop up on Views.
Last year saw Wiki – best known as the gap-toothed frontman of cult New York rap cabal Ratking – releasing his first solo album, Lil Me, to widespread praise, with co-signs ranging from sample-chopping O.G. Madlib to England’s most respected recent export, grime star Skepta. (Speaking of which, Skepta’s hot-ass verse on the remix of Wiki's “God Bless Me” brings to mind that boast/joke Drake made many months ago about being the first Canadian to sign to Skepta's label and crew BBK. If he likes Skepta that much, he's probably up on Wiki, right?) Wiki’s up-too-late squeaky-wheel grind wouldn’t have sounded out of place on much of If You’re Reading This, and could help add grit to Drake’s notoriously clean delivery.
Though Heems has, of late, favored curating museum exhibitions and organizing experimental jazz performances with Vijay Iyer, a Drake feature could be the perfect way for him to get back into rapping after last year’s stellar Eat Pray Thug. The Queens-born and -raised MC's ease with both rapid-fire, reference-heavy rhymes and a laid-back dancehall style is something we can see Drake appreciating in a major way. If he pops up on Views with a sweet 16, it would make our year.
Drake’s interest in Nigerian Afropop has drawn attention in recent months, and he has already given wunderkind Wizkid a verse on his single “One Dance.” Stylish and soulful Nigerian fan favorite D’Banj would be another logical choice for a Views feature — especially since Kanye signed him to G.O.O.D. Music a few years ago, and we know how much Drake and Kanye love competing with each other (just ask either of them about the other one's pool size).
ILoveMakonnen and Lil B
If you were to sit in on a study hall at Slick Rick High School, Makonnen and Lil B would be Beavis and Butt-Head, sitting in the back together. We’re truly blessed to be living at a time when two of rap’s weirdest have synced up and formed a power duo. Drake has his own complicated history with Makonnen, who announced last week that he has left Drake's OVO label after signing there circa "Tuesday." Still, wouldn't it be nice to hear them together again? We can always hope. Extra bonus: Lil B could ensure that Views and Drake's beloved Toronto Raptors would dodge the Based God’s curse.
Lady Leshurr (pronounced "leisure" with a sweet accent) shocked the shit out of the rap community last year with her "Queen’s Speech" series. More short films than short videos, they showed the Birmingham, U.K., rapper walking around her hometown looking fresh to death and rapping like a machine gun while occasional words flew across the screen like PowerPoint effects. She sampled Sister Nancy's "Bam Bam" more than a year before Kanye used it on The Life of Pablo, and she recently dropped a sick freestyle over Desiigner’s breakout smash "Panda." If Drake wants to step outside the BBK family when it comes to spotlighting rappers from that side of the pond, Leshurr is an obvious choice: She’s an unbelievable lyricist who brings megawatt energy to any track she's on.
NYC mayor Bill de Blasio
OK, bear with us here. A couple of weeks ago, New York's Bill de Blasio — who is otherwise generally sort of cool by association? — tried to rap. It gets worse: He did this alongside Hillary Clinton (an embarrassing hype person) and Leslie Odom Jr., a member of the cast of Hamilton (who was presumably embarrassed for him). And then it got worse still: De Blasio and Clinton tag-teamed an extremely corny, uncomfortably racist joke that fell way flat. You know what? This is a terrible idea. Bill de Blasio should stay far, far away from Views. But maybe, if Drizzy's feeling generous, he can text the mayor his ghostwriter’s number on the low.