Rap listeners were blessed with another offering from the six god last week. Wildly popular Toronto rapper, Drake, recently released his highly anticipated project Views, previously known as Views From The Six, following a set of well received singles like “Hotline Bling” and “Pop Style.”
Known previously for his more sensitive body of work, Drizzy has been elevated to the top of the rap game over his past couple projects by making his sound more tenacious and his personality larger. Some of the elements that made the softer Nothing was the same album and the more recent If You’re Reading This it’s too Late mixtape successes, are very present on this new set of tracks. So present are these influences that it could be said that the album’s attempt at a radio friendly sound is predictable and almost formulaic.
Saying only that the album sounds contrived however, would be leaving out the positive aspects of Views. The combination of Drake’s signature vocals and personal subject matter with his newer, sparse instrumentals allow for some really captivating songs that blend the highlights of his music like “Weston Road Flows” and the title track “Views.” Tracks like “Hype” and “Grammys” on the other hand, absolutely bang, with Six God coming off as awake and aggressive on the beat, recalling a more “Back to back” sound as opposed to a “Marvin’s Room” one.
This array of style however, calls into question the cohesiveness of Views as a whole. Jumping from R&B breakup ballads to 808 freestyles to Club beats can make this album feel, at times, like it lacks a narrative and that there was a shopping list of things put onto this project to add to its commercial appeal.
Along with its absence of a distinct identity, this album appears to be stuffed with filler material, making the project an hour and twenty minutes long and leaving the listener thinking, “Really Aubrey, did we need this third chorus-driven song with a caribbean inspired instrumental?”
Fans got exactly what they expected from Drake with this record, with all of the good and bad things that entails. Drizzy’s wordplay, delivery, and spacious beats are all here, but one thing that isn’t, is anything new. There are some great tracks on this new release, “Weston Road Flows” is really touching and “Hype” is a track with unparalleled energy, as previously mentioned, but neither would sound out of place anywhere in Drake’s discography.
The most obvious complaint to take away from “Views” however, is the fact that Kanye’s sick verse was cut from Pop Style, why did they do that? It was awesome!