Drake’s “Views” Falls Short On Expectations Despite Impressive Record Sales
By: Cece Atuanya
The “6 God” is back at it again dropping his fourth studio album Views. (2016) on the last Friday of April. Listeners and fans of the popular Hip Hop artist have been waiting for Views since his last released project If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late in 2015. Now that Views is finally here, it’s safe to say Drake has fallen a bit short this time around.
Prior to Views, Drake took the internet by storm dropping three diss tracks about rapper, Meek Mill. Mill took to twitter last year and tweeted that Drake used a ghost writer in his popular song “Rico” (off of his album Dreams Worth More Than Money). Instead of tweeting back, Drake released his first diss track “Charged Up” and didn’t stop there. The “6 God” followed up the track releasing two more, “Back to Back” and “Summer Sixteen.”
Momentum grew as fans and listeners of Drake waited for a release date for Views. With the collaboration album featuring popular Atlanta rapper Future on What a Time to be Alive (2015), the demand for Views grew and Drake became unstoppable. Weeks before Views dropped, Drake released two singles off of the album “Pop Style,” which originally featured Jay-Z and Kanye West and “One Dance,” which featured and sampled UK singer Kyla’s “Do You Mind” and popular Nigerian artist Wizkid.
With all the hype built up from his diss tracks towards Meek Mill and singles off of Views, fans were ready for the albums release. A day before the digital copy of Views was released, listeners who signed up for Apple Music were able to purchase Views off iTunes. But to make it fair to fans that did not have Apple Music, Drake premiered the album for listeners through his podcast, OVO Sound Radio.
After having ample time to let Views sink in, it’s unfortunate to say that the “6 God” failed to showcase any new flows or sound for his listeners. Once again, Drake gave us sappier love songs, issues with women in his past and flows dating back to his junior album, Nothing Was the Same (2013). So what was new? Not much.
The sampling of the classic DMX song “How’s it Goin’ Down” (1998) on Drake’s “U With Me?” sparked questions to Drake’s authenticity. DMX made an appearance on the popular morning talk show The Breakfast Club on Power 105.1 in 2012. He went on to say he didn’t like Drake, didn’t like his music and in general didn’t like him as a Hip Hop artist, according to Hotnewhiphop.com.
Queens Hip Hop artist N.O.R.E. credits himself for helping Drake and Drake’s producer, Noah “40” Shebib in getting the approval for the sample from DMX. A follower of N.O.R.E. on twitter asked him if he was on the phone with “40” and DMX, and N.O.R.E. retweeted him.
The album starts off with “Keep the Family Close,” and it’s no surprise that Drake has have several trust issues with women he dated and friend in the rap game. Tracks like “No New Friends” and “Trust Issues” (2013) resemble the same message as “Keep the Family Close.”
Up till this day, Take Care (2011) is one of Drake’s best put together studio albums and in it spoke heavily on his love life and issues with women. From 2011 to 2016, Drake’s normal theme includes talking about his love life which leaves listeners bored with his lack of substance.
Songs off his new album like “Redemption” and “Too Good” featuring Rihanna, are repetitious issues with his love life. His rapping on songs like “9” and “Hype”, show no growth in his style. His flows for the most part sound similar to the ones on IYRTITL.
Views wasn’t a total disappointment. Drake teamed up with Mary J. Blige to create one of his best songs on his new album, “Western Road Flows.” Sampling “Mary’s Joint” off of Mary J. Blige’s classic album My Life (1994). “One Dance” earned Drake a number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100.
According to the Los Angeles Times, 852,000 copies of Views were sold in its first week, topping Beyoncé’s Lemonade (2016), which sold 652,665 copies. A more impressive number, Views was stream 245 million times in its first week. Both numbers are expected to grow. Views is also number one on Billboard’s Rap and Hip Hop/R&B charts.
Drake has a lot to celebrate when it comes to the success of his fourth studio album, but he still has a lot to prove to if he wants to keep the attention of his listeners. Whether it be laziness or him being too comfortable as one of the hottest artists on the market, people are demanding to have the Take Care Drake back. Hopefully next time we hear from Drake, he’ll surprise us with substance, originality and in general, a hungrier “6 God.”