Drake gives more mediocrity on ‘More Life’
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In the follow-up to last year’s mediocre Views, Drake crafts what he has deemed a “playlist” as opposed to a new album. More Life seems to be a measured addition to Drake’s musical legacy, incorporating more rap-heavy tracks than his previous efforts while retaining his typically emotional, relatable lyrics and sample-heavy production.
On More Life, Drake attempts to pay homage to grime and the London music scene through songs such as “Madiba Riddim” and features from Giggs and Skepta, two grime artists who have been making waves as of late. Despite his efforts, Drake ultimately sounds like he’s simply exploiting another regional sound, which his detractors have accused him of previously. This “culture vulture” view of Drake dates back to the beginning of his career with his incorporation of Houston and Memphis’ musical elements.
One of the most noticeable things about More Life is its heavy reliance on features, which include two appearance by both Giggs and Young Thug as well as heavy-hitters such as Kanye West, 2 Chainz, Quavo and Travis Scott. Except for Giggs’ verse on “KMT”, all of More Life’s are quality contributions. In some instances, such as on the Quavo and Travis Scott-assisted “Portland”, Drake sounds out of place on his own song. On this track, Quavo and Travis utilize autotuned and repetitious lyrics to a quality that is found on all their collaborations. Drake can’t seem to keep up, though, and it feels like his verse was just tacked on to the beginning of a collaboration that Quavo and Travis had already made.
“Glow”, which features Kanye, is a highlight of this project and is sure to leave fans in even greater anticipation for the long-rumored Drake and Kanye collaboration album. Although clearly dominated by Kanye, it is only to the track’s benefit, and results in the confidence and resolve to succeed that is characteristic of any music Kanye is involved in.
Kanye’s domination on “Glow” speaks to the “playlist” nature of this project. Even though Drake has never stated this, it seems that regarding this project as a playlist as opposed to an album or mixtape means that it is not intended to be as Drake-centric as those other two project-types are bound to be. Songs such as “4422”, for example, feature vocals from almost exclusively another artist (Sampha).
“Passionfruit”, which is sure to be a radio hit in the vein of “One Dance”, revisits the tropical and dancehall sounds that Drake has recently incorporated in to his music, beginning with “Hotline Bling”. It serves to cement Drake’s legacy as a hitmaker in both the rap and pop spheres.
Despite its calculated nature, More Life is nothing more than a feature-reliant continuation of the sound that Drake seems absolutely opposed to changing. There’s no innovation or creativity to marvel at, deep and meaningful lyrics to ponder. More Life is simply Drake demonstrating his ability to sound like himself.