When he’s not sizing up Nicki Minaj’s behind, getting snogged by Madonna, or getting dangerously close to Rihanna, Canadian rapper Drake has people around the globe whining their hips his to baby-making music. Views is his fourth album – not counting his critical and commercially successful 2015 mixtape, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late – and it’s his more palatable collection of music so far.
Drake doesn’t fit the mould of your typical rapper. There’s an underlying mood of vulnerability to many of his songs. That’s what gives him appeal to so many – female and male alike. But that same vulnerability, and the fact that he has “made a career of reminiscing”, has left some listeners easily bored of Drake’s music. It’s whiny rap – to describe it in a slightly less pejorative manner than a hardcore Kendrick Lamar fan did to me recently.
Like much of Drake’s previous work, the core of Views is about bigging up his fam’ (‘Keep the Family Close’, ‘Still Here’), slighting his haters (‘Pop Style’) and romancing women (‘Redemption’). It’s more of the same, really, but geed up thanks to superb beats by producers 40, Boi-1da and a two dozen others. There’s the woozy trap of ‘Faithful (feat. Pimp C & Dvsn)’, the melodic psych pop of friend-trouble soliloquy ‘Feel No Ways’, and the infectious dancehall-inspired rhythms of ‘Controlla’ and ‘One Dance (feat. Wizkid & Kyla)’, that were made for dabbing.
If you’re not partial to his vocal style or themes, Views probably won’t sway you into joining the Drake faithful. But the rhythms and swag on display here are so strong that you may find yourself nodding – or even dancing – along unexpectedly. In Drake’s own words: “my old flex is my new flex now”, and, you know, it’s actually pretty fly.
Views is out now on Young Money/Cash Money Records
Have you listened to this album? If so, what did you think of it? Tweet me @aarnlee.
Image: Caitlin Cronenberg/Young Money/Cash Money