Saturday, October 12, 2013

Album Review | Nothing Was the Same - Drake


I've been a huge fan of Drake since circa 2007, the same year 'Comeback Season' dropped. It wasn't until after that mix tape when I went back and listened to 'Room for Improvement', which was released the previous year. When he first made an appearance on the scene, there wasn't anyone out there like him, at least not in mainstream hip-hop, so I could really appreciate his rather mellow and introspective verses.

At the time, Drake was a level headed artist in a class of his own. He wasn't forcing fame by rapping about things outside of his league. Even when he adds new elements such as R&B vocals on certain tracks from time to time, he blends it together well. I believe the main reason he is able to be so successful today in his career is because he never compromised himself in spite of what garbage still pollutes the music industry and the peer pressure to conform to what is acceptable. 

When 'Nothing Was the Same' dropped, I judged the album prematurely.  I heard a few songs and automatically agreed with the hype of it being this over emotional compilation of nostalgic love songs.  When I finally listened to this album in full, however, that shifted into total disagreement mode. I noticed something beyond what everyone was saying. Yes, here and there were songs catered to relationships and women, but his delivery throughout is flawless. Too many rappers compromise the lyricism aspect of creating an album, so I've always respected Drake for staying true to his niche of writing thought-provoking lyrics.  In addition to lyrical genius, this record is a range of topics and moods. There is a cool word play happening on every track, where he goes from sentimentally talking about relationships to a vulgar confidence in how success happened without breaking balance. 

It wasn't hard for me to pick  7/15 favorites, but there they are:
Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music II (ft. Jay Z)
The Language 
Hold on We're Going Home 
Wu-tang Forever 
Worst Behavior 
From Time (ft. Jhene Aiko)
Furthest Thing

This was a really good year for hip-hop, even for reviews I haven't done. I'm loving that the more "conscious" rappers are becoming relevant again and hoping that good music continues to saturate the sound waves.

Follow me on Twitter: @TheSkyBoxSuite | @ChymereA

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