Call it an album, call it a mixtape or call it an EP, Drake’s “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late,” will quench fans thirst for new music from the young money artist.
What to Expect
The Toronto artist took a page out of Beyonce’s book when he dropped the project without any real promotion or notice. “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late” is not any more lyrical or vocal than any other Drake album or mixtape. Even though it is less vulnerable than his cult mixtape “So Far Gone,” or last album, “Nothing Was The Same,” it still has enough catchy hooks and bangers to be a stable for the Drake faithful.
More than just a catchy hook, the song tells about the artists’ problems, even if they are money and women. Either way, the hook, “I was riding around the six with my woes,” is catchy enough to sing along to, and the bass knocks enough to bump in the car or your headphones.
Disregard the inaudible mumbles of the hook, as this is probably the best beat in the album. There are some live instrumentals combined with “a little more” Ginuwine sample that make the beat easy on the ears.
The song tells about Drake’s struggle with there being no telling where his life or success is going. He reassures his identity by saying he isn’t the same Drake he was four years ago as he is in a higher place. Not to mention the punchline, “I mean besides Ricky Ross, Aubrey the biggest boss here,” will be stuck in listeners’ heads.
The opening song sets the tempo for the album by utilizing Ginuwine’s “So Anxious” instrumental to tell about his death making him a legend. It’s relatable, as Drake repeats he can’t tell where he’s going but he’s got it mapped out strong.
Surprise, a Lil Wayne feature? Even if the beat sounds like something you would expect from Cash Money, Wayne and Drake both bring heat. Even when you know what to expect, the duo’s exciting new punchlines in this song is about dealing with the pressure of blowing up to the top and staying there.
As one of the few features on the project, Travi$ Scott is always a name that excites fans. Scott brings a nice contrast to Drake’s slower flow through most of the album. Plus, the slow gritty beat brings some G.O.O.D Music swag to the album.
“You & The 6”
Probably the realest song on the project, Drake talks about conversations with his mother. Anyone who has dealt with pressure and advice from their parents can relate to the frustration Drake expresses to his mother through this track.
If you know any Drake fans or are one yourself, you would have already heard this song. He falls into a familiar formula with lots of repetition of the ad-lib boi. As if hip-hop needed anymore of that.
Telling his ex he’s moving on to new things and saying he needs a Nike fit band to count the run are both great lines, but outside of those punchlines, it follows the familiar Drake flow.
Unless you’re a fan of the “Partynextdoor” sound, this song is nothing more than another repeated hook, on a slow beat, with some more auto-tune.
As if hip-hop needed another rapper talking about his haters, Drake figured why not throw some gunshots at the beginning? The Eazy-E sample is cool, but not enough to listen to Drake say he has enemies about a hundred times.
“6PM in New York”
Drake concludes the album with an upbeat extended verse and no hook. He reveals everything about his success with women and whatever else is on his mind, but it just sounds like rambling. Even if he manages to flow well and stay on beat, he could have ended it on something more compelling or vulnerable, rather than trying to go off on a beat since his rhymes aren’t the best selling point.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the album, which has cover work reminiscent of a suicide letter outlines, Drake’s struggles with money and success similar to Notorious B.I.G.’s “Ready to Die.” Despite the nostalgic theme of more money and more problems, the mixtape reflects the way hip-hop has changed by utilizing vocal hooks, samples and lots of bass.
Nevertheless, if you’re a Drake fan you are sure to hear a few of the tracks off of the new project, even if the content is not super innovative. If you want light music to turn up to or slow music to cry to, Drake brings it all.
“If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late” is just the next example of the versatility that makes Drake so appealing. Hence, the seventeen tracklist earns four out of five stars, as it should satisfy hardcore and casual Drake listeners’ need for more until his next studio album.