Aubrey Drake Graham, aka Drizzy Drake Rogers, aka Drake, has the rap game set ablaze and there aren’t many who will dispute that point (well, perhaps Meek Mill).
Drake, along with other hip-hop giants like J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar, have mapped territory with their own respective angles at the game, and with that, it seems there are just a handful of artists on top of the rap mountain right now.
Drake and Future’s anticipated joint mixtape – What A Time To Be Alive – has created a massive amount of buzz and doesn’t anticipate to tarnish either rapper’s place on said mountain.
But it does raise numerous questions to the motives behind the mixtape, and whether or not Drake took the wrong path by attaching his name to the project.
Future has created his own lane in the rap game, and just like any successful artist out there – the ATL workhorse’s style is not for everyone. Meanwhile, the multi-talented Toronto product Drake is without a doubt the biggest name in hip hop today; balancing rap, pop, hip-hop, and R&B into his chart-topping style.
Centering around the trap sound that Future harnesses so well with his catchy voice and that “we don’t give a fuck” attitude, Drake’s knack for highlighting a track with his hooks seemed like a seamless venture. The hype train was firing on all cylinders.
And with some major highlights from the two rappers, What A Time To Be Alive features a few promising tracks and memorable production from Metro Boomin, Boi 1-da, Noah “40” Shebib and more.
However, with all of the hype and anticipation, the tape comes up short for a collaborative project between the two big talents.
First, What a Time to be Alive was sold directly through Apple Music and iTunes, bringing a completely different feel to the mixtape right from the start. Hell, if we’re being honest, me having to pay $11 for it doesn’t make it a true mixtape at all.
With many feeling that Drake changed the game back in February with his last mixtape project, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, his newest collaborative disc also challenges the distinctions between album and mixtape.
Drake has taken a new angle on the industry in 2015, and it’s very apparent on this newest release. What A Time To Be Alive has me unsure if the Toronto-based entertainer is completely in his lane here.
With skills and creative ideas that no one had really seen or heard before, Drake was able to channel his inner thoughts as a rapper, an R&B singer and a pop artist. His music appealed (and still does) to the masses and he knew exactly what he was doing during his come-up.
However, on his newest project with Future, it feels as if Drake is forcing it a bit. The two voices mesh great as they weave in and out of tracks. But for a 41-minute, $10 plus tax disc, I wanted more.
Call me selfish and spoiled, that’s fine, but I know that I’m not alone on this. Look, it’s not like there aren’t standout tracks (“I’m the Plug,” “Jumpman,” and “Big Rings”) but I left my listening session feeling as if Drake had sent many of the tracks to Future via email.
What A Time To Be Alive leaves the listener wanting more. From hits like “HYFR” to “Hotline Bling,” Drake has an amazing catalogue of music and messages throughout his time in the industry – but his new direction seems a bit off.
With a darker production and threatening tone on his last mixtape (plus the Meek Mill disses), Drake has hit the gym and let the people know he ain’t messin’ around no more. I can’t say that I’m completely on board with it, but hey – isn’t that the beauty of the music industry?