— Drizzy (@Drake) February 14, 2015
In his new mixtape, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Drake gives fans a look at what he’s been doing since the release of his platinum album, Nothing Was the Same, as well as what direction he’s headed in with his much anticipated album, Views from the 6; due later this year.
The morning of the release, Drake tweeted out a link to his website, octobersveryown.com, where he posted a surprise 14 minute video titled “Jungle.” The video shows Drake in his hometown of Toronto riding around with his friends, giving viewers a glimpse of what his life is like. It features clips of two songs from his mixtape: “Know Yourself,” and “Jungle,” which left fans very eager to hear the mixtape that has been rumored to come out since late 2014. The central theme for the video, as well as for his most recent mixtape and upcoming album, is Toronto.
In his song “No Tellin,” Drake drifts further away from the extremely emotional guy lost in his fame — which we saw in his Grammy-winning song “Take Care” — by using lyrics like “please do not speak to me like I’m that Drake from four years ago; I’m at a higher place.” We see a Drake that is growing, taking in a lot of influence from what’s prominent in rap, while also staying true to himself and doing what makes him unique.
Drake is able to connect with fans in this mixtape the way he always has; with relatable lines about relationships and general life situations. “Know Yourself” stands out as the new anthem for the streets of Toronto, and “No Tellin'” shows Drake switching up his flow. These songs showcase his tougher and less emotional side, allowing him to develop into a force not to be messed with, and solidifying his position atop the rap game.
“You & the 6” is a tribute to Drake’s mom, where he thanks her for the way she raised him and the city she raised him in, stating that it saved his life and made him who he is. The penultimate track, “Jungle,” is the one previewed in his video, and shows Drake’s longtime friend and production partner Noah “40” Shebib’s amazing production skills. Here is the Drake everyone expected to hear at least once; the one who talks about relationships that went sour and contemplates what went wrong and how he wishes he could fix it.
These days, producers matter almost as much as the rappers themselves. Unlike most of his albums, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, was not mostly produced by Shebib. A lot of the project was produced by Toronto producer Boi-1da, with contributions from PartyNextDoor, Vinylz, Eric Dngus and others. Every beat on this mixtape is stellar, especially with the insane beat changes in some of the songs. The production itself elevates the tape to new heights.
Even though the mixtape was rumored to be released soon, the world went crazy when Drake dropped it with no warning. Once again, he captured the spotlight in pop culture. However, speculation stirs that Drake decided to release the mixtape as an album on iTunes to complete his four-album contract with Cash Money Records, and leave future options open.
This project can only make Drake fans hopeful for the future, since all of these songs are being released because they weren’t good enough to make it on Views from the 6. If these songs didn’t make the final cut, it’s yet to be determined what the album will be like. Until then, expect to see tweets and Instagram photos quoting lines from this mixtape. Within three days, it went viral, selling 535,000 copies between the Thursday night it was released through the following Sunday.
If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late can be purchased on iTunes for $12.99.
words_ryan garcia. photo_via twitter.