When More Life started it seemed like Drake was dipping into the gospel-inspired beats popularised by Chance the Rapper and Kanye West with Free Smoke. Then Drake interrupts with a Toronto accented threat before going into Trap. Instantly we are shown what has made Drake such a prolific and gifted artist; his ability to both echo and dictate popular culture. This time he does it with a balanced blend of Trap, Afro-Dancehall music and a love for the U.K.
The U.K. first. Drake has long established his love for Grime and he showed it by filling his album with features from prominent U.K. artists; Giggs, Skepta and Sampha.
Toronto, where Drake was raised, has a long history with Grime due to it being heavily influenced by Caribbean emigration. It also explains some of Drake’s linguistic delivery- a bonafide Toronto ‘rudeboy’ accent which blends expertly with songs such as No Long Talk and Gyalchester.
Unfortunately this is probably one of the weaker points of the album. Drake perhaps trying to introduce the wider U.S. centric Hip-Hop world to Grime, the beats and some of Gigg’s rhymes felt muted or dulled. Noiser baselines and a harsher delivery from Giggs may have won over some of the more skeptical American fans. Skepta however provided some redemption in Skepta’s Interlude. And like most things with Drake- he will get everyone rapping along soon enough.
Trap fans will also be pleased with the album. Drake continues to serve up future club favourites with Quavo, Travis Scott and 2 Chains, full of bravado, double entendres and barely veiled shade on songs like Portland and Ice Melts.
Next is his continued love affair with Afro-Caribbean inspired tracks. Get It Together, Madiba Riddim and Blem, that introduce Black Coffee the South-African House Producer, serve as a powerful trio, catchy and bound to be hit makers.
Drake also satisfies fans of his ’emo-rap’ with the help of Sampha and a nostalgic nod to the ‘noughties’ with a J-LO sample.
Overall More Life is a well balanced and enjoyable album that will please his many different types of fans. Clearly, as it has already broken several streaming records.
Stand Out Tracks:
Writers: Aubrey Graham, Nana Rogues
Producers: Nana Rogues
With playful, tropical vibes that remind you of summer, Passionfruit is also surprisingly soothing. Drake is at his best here as he talks about the difficulties of maintaining trust in a long distance relationship. It definitely will be the song of Summer 2017.
Writers: T-Minus and Aubrey Graham
Producers: T-Minus and Frank Dukes
Another future club-banger, heavily Caribbean inspired track. Drake speaks candidily to a woman about their relationship because he is ‘blem’ (a British slang for High).