As Drake and Future open up their Summer 16 tour tonight in my hometown of Austin, TX I’ve been brought back to a train of thought that I’ve had since Drake dropped Views a few months back. Was Views’ Billboard success going to deter us from the fact that this was nowhere near Drake’s best body of work? If anything it felt like it took not one step but maybe two or three backwards. My Twitter, FB and SnapChat are filled with videos and pictures of them rocking the stage tonight and the concert looks pretty lit. Now, before I even start this piece off let me start off by saying that I am a Drake fan through it all. Since the first time I heard So Far Gone, I was hooked. I said it from day one, nobody since Biggie have we heard a flow so unique and recognizable. Name another artist who will give you a mean 16 and then sing the hook to you just as viciously. There is none. Drake revolutionized not only the way we look at rappers but Hip-Hop music period, like him or not, that’s factual.
From So Far Gone to Views to every single and feature he’s been on in between, I’ve always supported Drake and the music he puts out. For one, most of the music he blesses us with is straight fire. Two, Drake has become an artist that is bigger than music. He transcends it, in my opinion, he’s the biggest main stream artist of this generation and I don’t think it’s even close. Drake has cemented himself as one of the leaders of the new school, alongside Kendrick Lamar and J.Cole.
With all that being said, am I allowed to say I was disappointed in Views? Now before you guys jump all in my mentions, take a second to hear me out the same way I gave this album three months to speak to me. I actually began to pen out a Drake piece a couple of weeks after he dropped the album but I quickly had a change of heart. I told a friend of mine how I had initially felt about Views and I got a response that I wasn’t really expecting. I told her that I was expecting something completely different, I told her I was expecting BARS on BARS. Keep in mind that Drake was coming off a year where he pretty much ended the career of Meek Mill with music. He didn’t get on Twitter and Instagram like Meek did, instead he hopped on the mic and obliterated his opponent the way Jordan did it in Game 6’s.
She told me that I should re-listen to the album without any expectations. That I should come in with a blank mind and take the album for what it was. I’m not going to lie, at first I was kind of pissed off, won’t front. I was simply voicing my opinion about how I wasn’t exactly feeling one of my favorite rappers’ album. But I was quickly reminded that you have the freedom of speech in this country and so did she. She is a huge Drake fan so I knew what I said was going to maybe rub her the wrong way but I needed that honest conversation. So I did what she said and gave the album another listen without any pre-judgment or expectations of what was to come, actually, I gave the album another 50 spins, and 50 is being light.
To be honest, it didn’t really help. I tried and I tried but I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t get myself to say, “I really like that Views album.” Give me a second to really explain myself.
I put Drake in a category by himself. Above Cole and Kendrick. What I mean is that he has figured out how to be bigger than any song he can ever put out, he has become not just an international brand. Oh no, Drake has done more than this, he has become the heartbeat of the culture.
When I heard Views I didn’t feel anything like I did when I heard Take Care or when I heard Nothing Was The Same. I didn’t want to go tweet about the album the same way I did when he dropped If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late or What A Time To Be Alive, alongside Future. You see, I wasn’t moved by the story or general mood of the album. The musical aspect and production flowed perfectly, Forty, Drake’s producer, is one of the best in the game for a reason. It sounded great MUSICALLY. but when it came to the flow, the passion, the inspired Drake I can feel flowing into my headphones, it wasn’t there. I was left wanting more even though the album was 20 songs long.
I felt like I was listening to a Take Care 2 but nowhere near as passionate and emotionally filled. I really thought this was Drake’s chance to grab the Hip-Hop game by the throat and solidify himself as the Alpha Dog. I was thinking that this album was going to solidly him in the All-Time greats category alongside Tupac, Biggie, Nas and Jay. I really think he is that incredible, so when I heard what I heard even after coming into it with a different mindset, I was disappointed.
Can you blame me though? We as fans have been hearing about Views for almost two years. We were blessed with incredible music between NWTS and Views so I thought he was going to use that momentum and give the world an undeniable classic. Drake had the opportunity to step up to the plate and knock it out the park but instead we got a piece of art that seemed to be regressing.
Is this going to piss some people off? Maybe. Was I intending to? Naw, not at all. Drake still has the opportunity to go down as one of the GOAT’s. With the calculated cold-blooded mentality, he approached Meek with, we Hip-Hop heads were upset it didn’t translate into one of the greatest albums we have ever heard, that’s all.