Album Review: More Life
Album by Drake released on March 18th, 2017
"More chune for ya headtops, so watch how you speak on my name, y'know?"
Track 1: Free Smoke (Rating: 8/10)
The opening track begins with beautiful vocals by Nai Palm, a sample from Hiatus Kaiyote's "Building A Ladder", and as her vocals fade, you hear Drake call out his critics just before the beat drops. On this track, Drizzy challenges other rappers to take try to take his top spot in the rap game when he uses the term "free smoke", which he first used on the remix of Dave's "Wanna Know" in 2016. Drake also takes even more shots at Meek Mill due to their beef from 2016, mentions Jennifer Lopez (whom he was rumored to be dating), and mentions not taking Jay-Z's advice on how to handle criticism.
Track 2: No Long Talk (feat. Giggs) (Rating: 7.5/10)
This track shows Drake take on a UK persona, speaking on British street culture, and featuring UK rap star Giggs on the track to pay homage to the area. Giggs is very popular in th eUK, however he hasn't necessarily crossed over well in the US rap world yet. Drake has a decent verse, but Giggs seems to repeat himself on the end of each line, sounding really repetitive, and can turn on a listener. The beat does save the song from crashing down because of Giggs' verse however, with 808s that can make almost anyone bounce.
Track 3: Passionfruit (Rating: 10/10)
This album has been referred to by Drake as a "playlist", and this track gives it that feel. As the song begins, its stopped and restarted by Moodymann, giving a party vibe to the track. Then as the song is restarted, the beat drops, and we're given classic singing Drake. In this song, he speaks to a woman he's involved with, and about the relationship they have that's crumbling. The relationship between the two seems to have many issues, from being long distance, to trust issues, and even continuous break ups. During the song he's basically saying to leave things the way they are because they aren't worth saving at the moment. This track was perfect for a different tone after the first two tracks, with this one having an island type beat and vibe, with the singing instead of rapping making the song is even smoother.
Track 4: Jorja Interlude (Rating: 9/10)
This short interlude is a flawless transition from the end of "Passionfruit", and honestly, my first time hearing this I didn't know the track had changed. Jorja's vocals over this beat are crisp and Drake spits a few bars. However, the highlight of the track is the sample Drake took from his own song, the harmonica that Stevie Wonder played at the end of "Doing It Wrong", from the album many consider his best, Take Care. Many hardcore Drake fans immediately noticed the sample, and were excited to see that Take Care has lived on and made it to more recent songs from Drake.
Track 5: Get It Together (feat. Black Coffee & Jorja Smith) (Rating: 8.5/10)
Another flawless transition leads us back to a bouncy track, with Jorja Smith truly showing us her vocals on this one. She sings about being tired of the lonely life, needing a relationship with someone, and then Drake comes in on the chorus, speaking about how he needs to basically get his life together so that he can give her what she wants. The beat of the song is perfect with Jorja's voice, and Drake smoothly enters on the chorus everytime, giving a great song for couples to dance around to in the house, or even a smooth track to play on late night drives.
Track 6: Madiba Riddim (Rating: 7.5/10)
Island Drake returns, with the perfect island beat as a backdrop. He speaks to a woman about how much he's trying to please her, and he also speaks generally about how people have changed and how some people let money control them. Not the best song on the album, but still decent.
Track 7: Blem (Rating: 6.5/10)
This is island Drake at his peak, using a slight accent at times during the track. He speaks about how he's gonna do what he wants during his life and say what he wants. This track seems like a filler, with great production and a good beat, but just not his best work. Lil Wayne makes an appearance at the end of the track, with his signature lighter flick, but then doesn't appear on the rest of the album, which was terrible, especially for big Weezy fans.
Track 8: 4422 (feat. Sampha) (Rating: 8/10)
"4422" refers to an old passcode, and Sampha delivers the tear jerking vocals about an ex along with the melancholy beat. For those of you that start feeling quickly, this one will do it for you.
Track 9: Gyalchester (Rating: 8/10)
Drake spits about his success on this song, with "Hermes link, ice blue mink" being the main lines of the chorus that catch people's attention. Drake also references himself as "top 2" in the rap game and mentions that if he died now he'd become bigger than he already is. The beat is hard and gets you out of your feelings from the last track, if that's how you were feeling after Sampha's performance...
Track 10: Skepta Interlude (Rating: 7/10)
Skepta is UK rapper that Drake gives a track, and in my opinion he's better than Giggs. The beat on this track is made for him and he spits pretty decent bars with a few corny punchlines, but rap has to be fun sometimes right? In all seriousness though, a decent track, nothing special and nothing terrible.
Track 11: Portland (feat. Quavo & Travis $cott) (Rating: 10/10)
In my opinion this is the best track on the album. The recorder on the beat is perfect as soon as the song starts, and Drake comes at people saying that he stole X's flow in the first couple of lines. He also may have been throwing Jay-Z when saying "I could never have a kid then still be out here still kiddin' 'round" and "Fake fucked wit me back then, but its gettin' hard for you to fake it now, fuck being rich when I'm 40 man I'm tryna make it now". Quavo continues the hot streak he's been on with a perfect chorus, telling the listener to never let people try to ride their wave, and referencing himself as the GOAT with the lines "Michael Phelps with the swim moves, Michael Jordan with the tennis shoes". Quavo then spits some bars with his signature flow, gives us the chorus again and then Travis $cott enters and you know instantly with the subtle change in the beat with his adlibs in the background. This track is great for parties, with great production and great verses from all three artists.
Track 12: Sacrifices (feat. 2 Chainz & Young Thug) (Rating: 9.5/10)
This track is all bars. Drake speaks on his successes and failures over a great beat from T-Minus and DeeJae, with the chorus giving thanks to God for getting him to this point in his life. 2 Chainz establishes himself on this track with a strong verse, with plenty punchlines and double meanings. Now, Young Thug's verse was the best on the track, with this being the first tie I've ever heard him purely rap in a completely understandable voice, and it honestly made me a fan. When Thugger is actually pronouncing his words, you can see that he's a really good rapper. His double meanings were well placed and he had a great flow over this beat. An overall great track.
Track 13: Nothings Into Somethings (Rating: 8.5/10)
This is everything that you expect in a Drake track. The rap verse about how a woman has treated him, the smooth beat that makes it feel like a summer night, and Drizzy giving you vocals on the hook, with high notes too. A short and to the point track that makes you feel like you just lost your girlfriend, classic Drake.
Track 14: Teenage Fever (Rating: 8/10)
Drake seems to be talking to another woman about how he's moved on and found someone new on this track, saying "I met someone new last night and we kicked it, and I'm going back there tonight and you know what's on my mind...'. The chorus contains a sample of Jennifer Lopez's 1998 song "If You Had My Love", and the way its mixed fits perfectly on this slow and smooth beat
Track 15: KMT (feat. Giggs) (Rating: 8/10)
This track began a beef between Drake and Xxxtentacion, with X saying that Drake stole his flow for this song. Drake has denied these allegations, saying "Its crazy that people think that after all this time, after all I've been through, that I'm the type of person to....take that and make it my own, like I'm not stupid, I'm not a shit person like that, you know?" Xxxtentacion says Drake is lying and once he was released from prison, he dissed him over the radio during an interview and many times since then. I don't believe Drake has to respond to this anymore, just due to his position compared to X's, and on top of that, Drake has used a broken flow similar to this one before, so he may not have stolen the flow from X. Not saying he did or he didn't, I'll leave that up to you.
As far as the track itself, its a good song, with Drake flowing over this beat pretty smoothly. Giggs' verse is full of corny lines, and most people in the US aren't fans of it, but UK fans everywhere loved it. Personally, I'm not a fan of Giggs, but like I said before, rap has to be fun sometimes, and the Batman line that Giggs gave us at the end of this track was as fun as it gets.
Track 16: Lose You (Rating: 7.5/10)
This is another Drake song about a relationship that's failed. He also speaks about how people have changed as he's climbed up the hip-hop ladder. This beat is slow and also makes you feel like its nighttime, more smooth production from 40.
Track 17: Can't Have Everything (Rating: 8/10)
This beat bangs. The classic beat you'd make on the lunch table in elementary school, so Drake comes in with a flow that stays with the beat instead of trying to fit instead of trying to catch it at different points. It's a good flow and a good transition from a slower previous track. Drake also adds a voicemail from his mother at the end of the track, where she encourages him to stay positive.
Track 18: Glow (feat. Kanye West) (Rating: 9.5/10)
This is a great track. Kanye West and Drake haven't been able to drop a collaboration album yet, but is this track is anything like what the album would be, I'm sure the music industry would love it. Some have said that Drake brought the old Kanye back, but I don't necessarily see that. It's still the recent Kanye West, but not in a bad way. Kanye's is good on this beat, and he sings as well. Drake sings too of course, but that isn't the highlight of the track in my opinion. The sample of Earth, Wind & Fire is unexpected on the first listen, and was nostalgic for me for some reason. A classic song was intertwined perfectly into a modern hit, it was beautiful production by 40. Noah, and Kanye.
Track 19: Since Way Back (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR) (Rating: 7.5/10)
This is another Party and Drake R&B combo, smooth and slow with Party handling the vocals, and Drake singing some of his rap verses. We all know this combo so well, but it seems more like a filler track in its placement on the album. Just because it seems like filler doesn't make it a bad track however, the track is still decent, with more great production.
Track 20: Fake Love (Rating 8/10)
This track was released a couple of months before the album dropped, so it seems like Drake threw this track at the end to have a guaranteed charting song on the album. The track is good however, with Drizzy addressing the fact that people around him aren't really there for him, showing "fake love" as the title suggests.
Track 21: Ice Melts (feat. Young Thug) (Rating: 9/10)
This is another great feature by Young Thug on the album, but this time he's singing and adlibbing. Drake enters the track trying to get with a woman that just got out of a relationship, telling her that he understands why she acts the way that she does, he still wants her in his life, and he's doing his best to keep his patience.
Track 22: Do Not Disturb (Rating: 8.5/10)
This track reminds me of Drakes 30 for 30 freestyle, but with a stronger beat. Drake flows smoothly over this beat, speaking about Views and his recent success, people in his life back in the day vs now, and ends the track saying that he'll be back in 2018, making most listeners assume that's when his next studio album will be releasing.
Overall, I feel like More Life was everything that Views didn't live up to. Stronger beats, better verses, more features, and more consistency and flow throughout the album. I guess that Drake heard all of the slander that Views was getting, despite the huge album sales, and wanted to prove his critics wrong. In my opinion, he did a great job bouncing back from his performance on Views, and hopefully he can build on this for future releases. Ranking this album in his discography, I put it behind Take Care and NWTS, as his third best, narrowly better than IYRTITL.
Album Rating: 8.5/10