by Katherine Butler
Canadian artist Drake released “a playlist,” in his words, titled More Life. Perhaps “project” might be an even better term to describe More Life because of its go-with-the-flow, unstructured, and creative nature. Drake continues to make it hard to categorize him into one genre—he does it all, and continues to keep doing more. His aesthetic proves to be something that continually changes.
While every track on the playlist is sure to keep listeners entertained, a few notable songs stand out.
A woman’s beautiful voice singing along to a gentle piano tune starts off the compilation. As her voice fades out, Drake’s enters along with a quick, catchy beat. His fast-paced rap style makes it difficult to follow his lyrics, but lines such as, “I drunk text J-Lo,” are quick to grab everyone’s attention. If you aren’t listening carefully, it is easy to miss his sly references to Jay Z and Meek Mill. “Free Smoke” certainly starts the playlist on a strong note.
In the third track of More Life, Drake experiments with dancehall music and gives us a mellow, easygoing beat just in time for the warmer seasons. Dancehall originated in the 1970s in Jamaica, and the title of “Passionfruit” explicitly makes this connection. In this song, Drake softly sings about the difficult feelings of trying to make a long distance relationship work. He sings, “Passionate from miles away/ Passive with the things you say/ Passin’ up on my old ways.” Later on in the song, it is revealed that the biggest obstacle he cannot overcome is maintaining trust and faithfulness. While “Passionfruit” has a lighthearted vibe, the lyrics reveal tough, very real issues relationships might face. Drake’s sensitive side, well established since albums such as Take Care, continues to prevail throughout More Life.
“KMT feat. Giggs”
In “KMT” (“Kiss My Teeth”), Drake continues to explore music from different countries by collaborating with UK grime artists Giggs and Skepta. Giggs also appears on the second track off More Life, “No Long Talk,” while Skepta shines in the tenth track, “Skepta Interlude.” “KMT” has a unique sound for Drake—the track sounds as if it could be background music for a villain. Giggs even ends the song with a reference to a superhero: “Batman, da-na-na-da-na.” This track has the potential to get listeners riled up and ready to go.
The eighteenth track features the momentous Kanye West. Specifically, we hear the old Kanye—think Graduation era. The duo switches between rapping and singing throughout the song, describing how far they have both come. Kanye declares their success is far from being over when he sings lines such as, “Watch out for me I’m about to glow,” and, “We just landed on a gold mine.” More Life is proof that at the very least, Drake is ready to tap into even more of his potential.
More Life’s guest features play a huge role in the songs in which they appear. It is clear Drake is giving the musicians he admires the spotlight they deserve, and he takes a back seat to his features on his own playlist. It also reveals how hungry he is to keep learning from the best in different musical genres—what better way to learn from others than working with them directly?
Drake’s innovation deserves applause and encouragement as he continues to push his boundaries as an artist.