What’s Up With Drake?
After the insta-famous collaboration “Work” with Bad Gal Rihanna, Drake has been in quite the lyrical mood. In the past two weeks, having two songs leaked and two released, we are starting to see a new side to Drake as he embraces Caribbean beats, pop culture, and slang.
The first of two songs leaked on March 29th; a cover of “These Days” by Jackson Browne, was reportedly recorded in 2015 and thrown out. However as a Drake fan, one would question why it was thrown out. This pop ballad is very relative as it expresses his innermost thoughts and regrets. Drake has never shied away from his feelings so this song fits perfectly in his repertoire as he addresses his new life as a star. He keeps the first verse of the original to set the tone, but then begins to think about decisions that he has made. The second verse references his many lovers and begins to realize that perhaps those weren’t the best choices. The third verse invites the listener to review his past music to see his problem with relationships and commitment as he states, “Just listen to the life I’ve made in songs.” Tracks such as “Trust Issues,” “Marvin’s Room,” and “Find Your Love,” shows Drake’s fear of choosing the wrong person, which he believes is all he can find. The last verse is perhaps the saddest as Drake paints a picture for us of him sitting inside a chauffeured car looking out the window counting stars as if there is nothing else to do after reaching your dreams. After achieving his dreams of becoming a star, what is left to dream about? Where does he go from here?
The next track suggests that maybe he faces his fear and dives head first into the problem, a committed relationship with a woman.
“Controlla (ft. Popcaan)” is a dancehall infused track in which Drake expresses his emotion for a special someone who owning his affection, also holds a certain amount of control over the star. It has a Caribbean feel, which is very interesting, after his recent duet with Bad Gal Rihanna that is still topping the charts. The Barbadian beauty must have had the quite the effect to cause the star to change his sound. The first verse explains how it is hard to be on tour traveling constantly, while the person you are interested in is at home. To solve this problem Drake offers to buy her tickets to come see him and once she is there, he is not letting anything interrupt them enjoying their time together. The chorus follows as Drake tells this woman that she has complete control, wherever she wants him, he is there. This could be completely sexually, however Drake references Jodeci’s song “Cry For You,” in order to convince the listener that this is passion rather than lust as the song itself is a man’s vow to dedicate his whole life to capture a woman’s heart. As soon as he lays his heart out, he takes it back again in the next verse as he references who has control in the bedroom. He paints a picture as if he has a controller and as he “pushes her buttons,” she reacts on command. This girl seems special to Drake as he separates her from the rest of the gold diggers who wish that Drake would sing to them, but this is only for her. Popcaan’s verses, however, seem directed to the gold diggers, as he winds her down with aphrodisiacs such as liquor, drugs, and sex. Afterwards, he takes her shopping to release any more stress she may have. He does take a moment to mention her beauty, but not for long before his mind drifts back to sex. Drake then ends the song with his melodic vows to do anything for his beautiful Controlla.
The next two songs released this past Tuesday, April 5th, were quite phenomenal.
The first known as “Pop Style” featured The Throne, which surprised the listener, as they heard the voices of Jay Z and Kanye. The Throne was an ingenious reference to the recent collaborative album “Watch The Throne” starring the two rappers. The title itself “Pop Style” is a Jamaican term that means showing off. That is definitely the theme of the song as the chorus enters where Drake refers to them as “dumb rich” people who live daily life like the normal person does on their birthday. He describes his life as a rich guy; his first reference is respect to his mom who made him the man he is today before referencing his many chains, and status in the rap industry. Jay Z begins the next verse with a warning that his empire and identity as a rap god will never be tainted, by saying, “I cannot be got.” Kanye fills in the rest of the verse detailing his fame that allows him to know everyone, to speak his thoughts and spend his money without a care. Drake’s chorus ends the song, perfectly concluding this PSA announcement on ballin’.
The last song, is another Dancehall inspired track describing a popular Caribbean dance known as whining, in which a girl moves her hips to the beat. Drake begins the song with memories of him and a girl dancing as he thinks of all the violence outside. Like most guys, he wants one more great dance with a drink in his hand before returning to the terrifying streets or reality. He uses a popular Rastafarian phrase, “Strength and guidance,” to start the next verse as he references his humble beginnings to where he is now. Always in a rush, he reminds the girl to reply as soon as possible so they will not waste time fighting. The features, Wiz Kid and Kyla, bring the dance theme back in their verse and bridge describing common things to say to a girl when she’s whining. Drake ends the song with his catchy hook of needing one more dance before leaving.
Overall, Drake is heavily combining his signature sound with a lot of Caribbean influences. These songs are giving the listeners some new fire to leave, but leave them anxiously waiting for Drake’s newest album dropping titled “Views from the 6.”