Drake really is a singular voice in the rap scene. He’s the “quietest” rapper around with his muted production, slow tempos, and introspective lyrics. He’s rarely producing the next club banger or rapping about his “hos”. It’s an approach that’s brought him a lot of praise and a lot of jeers, but hey, the man has huge sales and a Grammy for Best Rap Album to back it up so it’s working.
His third album, Nothing Was The Same, doesn’t totally live up to its title. It does bring some new ideas to the table: first single “Started From The Bottom” features one of his catchy hooks, and second single, “Hold On, We’re Going Home”, has Drake singing, and it’s spectacular. His breakthrough single, “Find Your Love”, shows off his pipes as well, but “Hold On, We’re Going Home” takes it to a whole other level. It’s an warm and energetic track that would make Miguel jealous. Drake should sing more often.
The rest of the album doesn’t hit as high as those 2 tracks, but “Own It”, “Too Much”, “From Time”, “The Motion”, and “Come Thru” help make this Drake’s most interesting album, but he still has the same problem that he last 2 albums has. He does create interesting lyrics, but he relies too heavily on them. There’s absolutely nothing interesting going on in the production on these songs. His music is so focused on simplistic beats that it’s hard to excite the listener’s ears. While he doesn’t have to go as experimental as Kanye West, he could take a page out of Yeezus’ book. You never know what Kanye is going to do next musically and it’s exciting, and Mr. West still writes playful, personal lyrics.
Drake just keeps things so basic that it begins to bore, and it’s a shame because he’s saying so many interesting things. He just forgets that the best music is one where great lyrics and great accompaniment are balanced properly. Drake is an artist that I continue to appreciate his talent, but wish he delivered better material.