What does Drake do following a heated, money-based fallout with his record label? Release an appropriately named 17-track album of course.

It seems Drake did a Beyoncé in dropping a whole album without any warning, but unlike Queen B, this surreptitiousness comes from a far more bitter place.

Perhaps not being the most cryptic of lyrics, album

If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late doesn’t leave us guessing whether it brewed over the hot feud between Drake and Cash Money or not.

OpenerLegend’ comes in strong with the Toronto rapper’s smooth, crooning vocals gliding over a slow tempo beat, typically evading any self-deprecating lyrics, he sings “All I know, If I die / I’m a motherfucking legend”.

Next up, song ‘Energy’ gives us that super catchy hook we’ll have in our heads for the next week, telling us “I’ve got enemies / Got a lot of enemies / Got a lot of people tryna drain me of this energy / Tryna take away from a nigga”. If the lyrics aren’t enough, the dark, hypnotic, but also rather basic beat will help drive listeners towards a notion of retribution and frustration akin to the artist himself. Hopefully anyway.

In the song ‘Star67’ Drake puts his anger into more specific context with lyrics “Brand new Beretta / Can’t wait to let it go / Walk up in my label like Where the check though? / Yeah I said it,” perhaps something we were all anticipating at some point in the album.

However, to break things up, Drake’s protégé PARTYNEXTDOOR features midway through the album for some heavily auto-tuned vocals in the songs ‘Preach’ and ‘Wednesday Night Interlude’ – both of which give listeners a dose of dreamy, undulating synth soundscapes that seem far removed from the rest of the album’s energy.

With its upbeat tempo and old school beat, ‘6pm In New York’ retaliates to rapper Tyga’s public insult: I heard a lil lil homie talking reckless in vibe / Quite a platform you chose, you shoulda kept it inside/ Oh you tried, it’s so childish calling my name on the world stag / You need to act your age and not your girl’s age.”

For the most part of If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late the beats are kept low key, basic, and not so much the danceable and more commercialized R’n’B tracks we heard in his 2013 album Nothing Was The Same.

Drake proves indignation and animosity are still the most salient ingredients in rap – and in turn, it’s an album best listened to on repeat.

7/10

 

If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late was released on February 13th through Cash Money Records.