Playlist

Drake More Life Album Anniversary

Not everyone was a Drake fan VIEWS when it arrived in 2016. Although a smash hit – it spent 13 weeks atop the Billboard 200 and earned the rapper his first No. 1 solo with “One Dance” – the LP has was criticized by some critics who felt that the rapper had given up on creative innovation. in favor of broad commercial appeal. Drake seemed to heed their demands. Not even a year later, the Toronto native has recruited some of the world’s hottest up-and-coming artists and corrected his trajectory with his very first playlist, 2017’s More life.

Release more life as a playlist – as opposed to an LP or mixtape – was the first of a few smart decisions Drake made for the project. The accolade helped lower critics’ expectations for the feature, and also took away some of the pressure Drake likely would have put on himself if this were an official album. And he certainly used that freedom to his advantage.

While, lyrically, more life is still mostly about Drake’s usual fare, like complicated women and defending his rap throne, the project offers fans something that VIEWS step: sound diversity. This change can be partly attributed to Drake’s smart second move. Instead of relying primarily on frequent OVO collaborator Noah “40” Shebib, Drake sought out beats from a collection of 24 new producers (Shebib still lends a hand on six tracks) to more lifefully immersed in the worlds of grime, British rap, dancehall and house.

On the T-Minus-produced “Blem,” for example, whose title is Jamaican slang for feeling high on a drug, Drake airs his grievances about a flaky lover using a mixture of patois and English to a rhythm inspired by the Caribbean.

I wanna know, how come we can never decide and stay friends?
I’m blem for real, I might just say what I feel

On “Passionfruit,” produced by British multi-hyphen Nana Rogues, the rapper delves even deeper into the tropical worlds of house and dancehall we’ve tasted on more pop stages. VIEWS cuts like “Controlla” and “Hotline Bling.” Yet, in true OG Drake fashion, the lyrics focus on trying to establish a relationship of trust with a long-distance lover.

Passionate miles away
Passive with the things you say
Passin’ on my old ways
I can’t blame you, no, no

Some more life the cuts were so sound outside of a typical Drake track that he chose not to be cutting edge at all – another genius idea made possible by releasing the project as a playlist. On “Get It Together,” Drake takes a step back and lets Jorja Smith’s sweet R&B vocals shine through to the beat of South African house producer Black Coffee. Drake only intervenes to join her on the chorus.

You need me to put this shit together
So we can come together

He’s also taking a backseat on Kanye West’s collab “Glow.” The majority of the song, which has 20 co-writers, goes to Ye, who recounts his journey to success and the haters who doubted him along the way.

Pour out your heart, no one shows love
They laughed when my whip was on the tow truck
‘Til me and bein’ finally broke up

On “Skepta Interlude”, Drizzy doesn’t bother to introduce himself at all, giving the full song to Skepta in order to shine a light on British grime. He does the same on the eighth track on the playlist, “4422”, where electronic singer Sampha talks about trying – and failing – to escape the hurt someone has caused him.

I run, but I can’t run away
You say you’ve changed
But you never change

Elsewhere on more life, Drake adds his Midas touch to the sounds of British rap star Giggs, alternative R&B artist PARTYNEXTDOOR and melodic trap pioneer Young Thug, among others. Concluding with a total of 11 feature films, the project positions Drake not only as someone with great musical taste, but also as an artist who can cross a variety of genres.

more life was both a critical and commercial triumph when it arrived in 2017. The Playlist broke multiple streaming records and spent three weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Three songs from the project also cracked the Top 10 on the Hot 100, including the enduring “Passionfruit,” which climbed to No. 8 and has since surpassed one billion streams. on Spotify. The success probably comes as no surprise to most – Drake was already at the top of his game when the playlist was released. But hopefully it taught Drake an important lesson: You don’t have to water down creative expression to ensure mainstream appeal. Certainly not at his level.

You can read all the lyrics of more life on Genius now.