Nothing Was the Same finds Drake relying on his attention to detail, experimentation and respect of history to create his most polished effort to date.
Since the release of his first critically acclaimed project, 2009′s So Far Gone, Drake’s discography has played out much like an audio biopic. His latest effort, Nothing Was the Same, ironically offers much of the same–tales of family tension, relationships turned sour and the highs and lows of fame. Luckily for the 26-year-old rapper/crooner, nearly flawless execution helps keep his story from becoming too stale.
What sets Drake apart from his contemporaries is an unparalleled amount of range. Nothing Was the Same sees him drawing inspiration from several different rap scenes, R&B, electronic, soul and pop all while creating a cohesive sound. Whether borrowing Raekwon’s flow to reflect on his relationship with rap on “Wu Tang Forever” or using the sing-song rap made popular by Atlanta acts to mock strippers on “305 to My City,” Drake never seems out of place on the slow, atmospheric production masterfully created by Noah “40″ Shebib and company.
“Worst Behavior” sees Drake experimenting with song structure while still paying homage to the works that have inspired him the most. Producer DJ Dahi provides a mix of tight drums, erie vocal effects and a dreamy melody to set the stage for the unapologetically braggadocios rant. Drake even takes a fews shots at himself, rapping “hold up, hold my phone,” poking fun at his infamous Blackberry incident. The catchy hook and infectious drums make it one of the best tunes the album has to offer.
A Drake album isn’t a Drake album without a little bit of heartache, and “Connect” provides just that. The 40 and Hudson Mohawke produced track feels sonically reminiscent to So Far Gone, with a sample of Trae’s “Swang” helping to create that Texas sound Drake often emulated early in his career. Still, the track fits right alongside Drake’s ever evolving soundscape.
“Too much” provides an intimate look into Drake’s family life and the lows of his ascent to fame. “Heard once that in dire times when you need a sign, that’s when they appear/Guess since my text message didn’t resonate, I’ll just say it here,” he raps before providing an update on his mother’s waning health. Although it doesn’t evoke as much emotion as the Take Care masterpiece, “Look What You’ve Done,” engaging flows and brutal honesty make it a must listen.
Drake’s story still isn’t as interesting as say–a good kid from Compton, but a painstaking attention to detail, a healthy dose of experimentation and a respect for history result in one of the most polished body of works in already impressive discography. Nothing Was the Same sees Drake busting out almost all the techniques that make rap albums–new and old–great. A lack of enough truly compelling subject matter might be the only thing holding it back from being a classic.
Worst Behavior, Wu Tang Forever, The Language
measured by Jerel Marshall
Drake - Nothing Was the Same ,
1. Drake – Tuscan Leather Lyrics
2. Drake – Furthest Thing Lyrics
3. Drake – Started From The Bottom Lyrics
4. Drake – Wu-Tang Forever Lyrics
5. Drake – Own It Lyrics
6. Drake – Worst Behavior Lyrics
7. Drake – From Time Lyrics
8. Drake – Hold On We’re Going Home Lyrics
9. Drake – Connect Lyrics
10. Drake – The Language Lyrics
11. Drake – 305 to My City Lyrics
12. Drake – Too Much Lyrics
13. Drake – Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2 Lyrics
14. Drake – Come Thru Lyrics
15. Drake – All Me Lyrics
16. Drake – The Motion Lyrics