Album Review: Drake – "If You're Reading This It's Too Late" 5-out-of-5 stars
Sun, 15 Feb 2015 10:44:44
Let's draw a comparison between Drake and William Shakespeare. Follow us here, because it works. Shakespeare implored, "To thine ownself be true." Now, one of the greatest rappers alive declares, "I've always been me. I guess I know myself" on "Know Yourself"—just one of many stand outs from his latest project, If You're Reading This It's Too Late. Drake certainly does know himself, and he boldly allows everybody into his world here. In the process, we get to know him a little better, but not enough to overshadow the fact that he has reached legendary status.
There's no veneer or curtains over If You're Reading This It's Too Late. It's Drake at his most raw. Given that fire, he doesn't take the throne by force. He steps into the seat at the top for the reason that he deserves it—because he's earned it over the course of three phenomenal albums prior.
The nocturnal, minimalist production, gunshots, and hazy soundscapes offer a playground for MC's rhymes to simply go wild. He delivers bars with a confidence and charisma that's unparalleled on the likes of "Legend" and "Energy," breaking the tense flow just long enough to deliver a stadium-size hook. "10 Bands" tempers instrumental futurism with classic storytelling as he announces, "I can tell you how it happened. I can tell you 'bout them safe house nights out in Calabasas." Drake sets the stage and opens up the gateway not only into his space, but into one of the best rap albums of the past decade.
"Used To" immediately establishes itself as one Drake's most bombastic and big collaborations with Lil Wayne, while Travi$ Scott infuses eerie trap magic into "Company." PARTYNEXTDOOR breathes undeniable energy into "Preach." Then, there's "You & The 6," one of hip-hop's most powerful odes to mom. Drake's honesty and candor are nothing short of captivating as his gives his mom the greatest gift. "6PM in New York" caps everything off with a bravado that nobody else in the game can replicate and Drake clinches the crown.
In the end, Drake knows himself, and everybody else needs to know he's the king.
Buy If You're Reading This It's Too Late at iTunes, or stream via Spotify:
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