What is Drake? It’s too easy to sit down and call him a rapper, a singer or even an artist. The Degrassi actor-turned-superstar is on his third album, Nothing Was The Same, and continues to raise the bar. The way that Take Care struck your emotions is how he aims to do with a combination of both his talents. Drake is elite at this point. Hate him or not, that much credit is deserved. However, while a lot of the singing isn’t culminated, his rapping side is protruded to its highest levels.
The album’s introduction, “Tuscan Leather,” boasts an what could be an overwhelming six minutes equipped with a beat change that adds more energy halfway through. With this song, Drake sets up a lot of his usual talk; being personal with his feelings, honest about his situation with Young Money and Nicki Minaj, and throwing subliminal shots at “bench players.” He commanded the attention throughout with ease. On “The Language,” it’s a lot easier to grasp that attentive nature. This is part Kendrick Lamar response, part more subliminals to whoever. “Fuck going Platinum/ I look at my wrist and it’s already Platinum,” he says. The Kendrick pieces are nothing but playful jabs as he revisits his “Versace” flow. Birdman adds a short, boring verse to close the record. It’s not the only feature that should’ve been left off. “305 To My City” overall is a decent record when you take away Detail’s sub-par hook that offers little.
Nothing Was The Same evokes both relationship and family emotions, whether it’s currently happening or in the past. That’s always been a strong point for him too. We constantly see the world relating and using these lyrics to match their own situations. It’s going to happen again, right in time for the weather change. On “From Time,” he raps, “the one that I needed was Courtney from Hooters on Peachtree/ I’ve always been feeling like she was the piece to complete me/ Now she engaged to be married, what’s the rush on commitment?/ Know we were going through some shit, name a couple that isn’t.” He once said that the honesty in his music leaves him too exposed, but it’s exactly why fans flock to him, aside from being a great rapper. We know Drake behind the microphone, his faults and mistakes from past flings. It’s the reason we know Paris Morton is now married on the sequel to 2009’s “Paris Morton Music,” or relating one of our own family members to Drake’s uncle who feels like giving up on his bucket list through the words of “Too Much.”
Drake is a lot like Anakin Skywalker (minus, you know, turning to the dark side). Since he started in hip-hop, he’s showed signs of becoming a master of his craft and has always has the confidence that he needed to be ranked among the biggest names. It was as if he was the chosen one that Lil Wayne saw early on. He may be one of the hottest in the game but he’s not a jedi master yet. “Worst Behaviour” has a lot of potential when the DJ Dahi beat drops, but it’s wasted as he constantly repeats himself as if we didn’t understand him. Some may call it catchy but more could’ve been done to the song. The most memorable part is his third verse taking pieces from Mase’s “Mo Money, Mo Problems” and flipping them into his own situation. The exact same can be said about the second half to “Furthest Thing”; Jake One’s production commanded more attention as soon as the soulful beat hit. “Own It” is basically an unnecessary continuation of “Wu-Tang Forever” with more R&B flavor.
If nothing else, Drake’s junior album will continue to elevate him. His rapping is better, while his singing kind of takes a backseat. Where NWTS ranks among all his other projects remains to be seen, more time has to pass before it can be slid into his catalog in a numbered spot. Taking a guess, it’s either going to take the title or fall one short of Take Care status. For now, the album is enjoyable for a lot of reasons; one of the biggest being diversity. Whether it ended up a good album or not, the title holds incredible weight for his career, position in music and sitting in the throne.