Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Drake releases surprise mixtape, tops the music charts almost immediately

Review Rating: 5/5


“Drizzy” has done it yet again. After the commercial success of his third studio album (“Nothing Was The Same”), which also was the seventh best-selling album of 2013, Drake surprised fans by releasing a mixtape out of the blue on Feb. 13.

The mixtape, entitled “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”, instantly topped the music charts almost immediately after its release, selling 37,000 copies in its first week and debuting at number one on the Billboard 200.

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The success of the mixtape also allowed for Drake to become the first rapper to top Billboard’s Artist 100 chart.

What separates “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” from anything else Drake has released from his discography is the fact that this mixtape differs from traditional mixtape releases.

While most mixtapes put out are released for free, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” is commercialized and sold through ITunes.

The reason behind that is currently unknown, however the 17 track mixtape is one of Drake’s best works yet, showcasing his progression since he first released his debut studio album “Thank Me Later” back in 2010.

Drake delivers an insanely superb and diverse variety of tracks on the mixtape, ranging from “trap” songs, sing-a-longs, and slow melodies that are 100 percent honest and sincere lyrically wise.

Topics range between old flames, missing his hometown of Toronto, his problems with his record label Cash Money Records, and not giving a damn about what people say on social media.

The mixtape features production from notable producers including Drake’s closest friend and co-founder of Drake’s label (October’s Very Own), Noah “40 Shebib.

“If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” begins with the slow anthem “Legend”, in which Drake confidently proclaims that he will go down as a legend in music and makes it known that he is “6 G-O-D, I’m the holy one”, referring to the 416 area code of Toronto.

Throughout many tracks such as “Energy” and “No Tellin”, one can clearly hear Drake’s new vocal delivery and how he switches up the tempo between rapid flows and slow melodic rhymes.

Clearly, Drake wants it to be known to his fans and friends that he is drastically evolving into something better and even says so on “No Tellin” (“Please don’t speak to me like I’m that Drake from four years ago/I’m at a higher place”).

While many have criticized Drake to be an emotional and sensitive rapper, as he has addressed his ex-girlfriends and wrote many love songs in the past ranging from “Best I Ever Had”, “Marvins Room”, and “Hold On We’re Going Home”, Drake has more of a “don’t give a damn” attitude on the mixtape and is focused on continuing his successful rap career.

“My ex asked me, “Where you movin’?”/I said, “On to better things”, raps Drake on “10 Bands” proving that he is ready to embrace change.

However, if any Drake fan is hoping for a traditional Drake love anthem, they are in luck as “Jungle” addresses his need to find a soul mate and a former lover. (“She forgave me for everything, this a forever thing/Hate that I treated like it’s a whatever thing”)

Drake also takes the track “Star 67” to address his current on-going problem with his record label Cash Money Records. (“Walk up in my label like, where the check though?”)

“6 God” and “Know Yourself” are definitely the best tracks on the album as “6 God” was previously released a few months ago along with two other unreleased songs, apparently due to a hacker leaking the tracks.

“6 God” features Drake on another level as he raps very rapidly and angsty, establishing a new sound that Drake fans have come to appreciate and enjoy.

Meanwhile, “Know Yourself” features the infamous line “Running through the 6 with my woes!”, a phrase that is currently dominating the Twitter sphere as it is one of the top tweeted tweets by millions of people.

Drake’s use of the line refers to him roaming the streets of Toronto with his close friends back in the day as he hasn’t gotten to be home in a cool minute due to his stardom and fame.

The mixtape also features a couple of features by notable rappers/singers such as Drake’s protégé, PartyNextDoor, an up and coming R&B singer also from Toronto who is featured on “Preach” and “Wednesday Night Interlude”, both produced by Party himself, as well as producing “Legend”.

Lil Wayne is also featured on the upbeat “trap-esque” track “Used To”, while rising rapper/producer Travi$ Scott is featured on the lovey-dovey track “Company”, in which Drake familiarizes his fans with his traditional vocal style while Scott uses auto-tune heavily to provide a final verse.

The slow anthem of “Madonna” is another track worth mentioning as the lyrics are catchy (“Laced up, dripped up, sauced up/Damn, girl, I wanna ride with you”) and features Drake talking about wanting to hang out with a girl who he believes has the potential to be as big as Madonna.

Overall, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” is so far the best hip-hop/rap album put out this year and has Drake fans anticipating the release of his fourth studio album, “Views from the 6”, along with his headlining set at this year’s Coachella Music and Arts Festival.

The mixtape is definitely worth hearing from beginning to end and worth purchasing.

Stream the album below via Spotify.

OVO Presents a short film from Drake: ‘Jungle’ via YouTube.

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