Drake’s “For Life” delivers the B-Sides

Drake is pretty much an unstoppable force. He has been dropping hits since the mid 2000s, only getting more popular as time as gone by. His unique brand of emotional rapping struck a chord worldwide, especially thanks to Lil Wayne, who saw his talents early on and signed Drake to Young Money Entertainment.

Drake’s newest output “More Life,” released on Young Money Records, is a “playlist of original music” instead of [being called] an album, mixtape, EP, etc. and that is what it feels like. A compilation of songs thrown together with no real sense of an album. Most of the songs feel very run-of-the-mill Drake.

That being said, there are some cool moments on this “playlist.” Drake’s feature of three U.K. based rappers, Sampha, Skepta and Giggs, have entertaining features. Especially Sampha, who lends his lush vocals on “4422” behind an atmospheric soundscape.

U.S. rappers featuring U.K. rappers does not happen too often, let alone three times in one project. Other features from 2 Chainz, Young Thug and Quavo of the Migos are highlights are the album, as well as “Glow”, featuring Kanye West.

Besides the U.K. trio of rappers, this features list is the usual cast for Drake. It feels as if he knows who he needs around him on his projects to pump his songs up and grab the attention of listeners (who all already going to listen because Drake’s name is on it).

There are some good songs that feature Drake by himself. “Do Not Disturb” is a song about Drake’s life in the industry, and how he copes with it by himself and through other people.

Lines such as “Especially people that want to lecture me/And frame it like they just want the best for me/Or they check for me, whatever splits it up/So there’s more for them and there’s less for me,” tells Drake’s story about trying to think for himself and looking after himself when he is one of the biggest stars in the world.

“Fake Love,” the single that was out before “More Life” was released, is also a track that shines within the project. A song also about being a celebrity and its strain on relationships, Drake is frustrated that people are being fake “straight up to his face.”

Drake definitely has it figured it out. His brand of emotional rap and R&B, and his recent embrace of dancehall sounds. His lyrical content, talking about the thing he knows about, being famous and how it influences people that he loves, has found itself a nice niche and a huge fan base. Drake could confidently drop any project at any moment and could garner an impressive amount of listens no matter the actual content of the tape.

Verdict: “More Life” is a playlist, but it feels like a mixtape. There are only a couple moments worth mentioning on this project, including the verses from the UK rappers and Drake has a couple good songs himself, but this project seems to be missing effort.

Best Tracks: “Madiba Riddim,” “Do Not Disturb” and “4422”

Grade: C+