Thursday, February 19, 2015

Review: 'If You're Reading This, It's Too Late' is Not Worth the Money

Late Thursday night, Drake suddenly dropped a new... something on iTunes. For the last few months, there had been rumors that he would be dropping a new mixtape in January, which was confirmed by P.Reign. But, instead Drake released a for-retail project, which costs a whopping $13 for seventeen tracks. Nevertheless, by Tuesday, If You're Reading This, It's Too Late managed to sell 495,000 copies with literally no promotion.

IYRTITL may be a commercial project, but it fully feels like a mixtape. Most tracks are banger-esque, with bass-heavy, rattling production. There's very little connection between the tracks, and it basically feels like a collection of filler tracks, and throw-away singles. It's new Drake material, but it's nothing new at all. I can't stress enough how repetitive and monotonous. Not only do many tracks sound similar, but the entire album just sounds like a slightly more aggressive Nothing Was The Same. It's Drake complaining about women and wealth, then boasting about his wealth and women, It's a selfish album, but most of Drake's work is selfish. But what's most noticeable is the reused flows. Drake delivers every single bar like he has before, ranging from the laid-back, yet boastful flow, to the half rapping/half singing flow, to the nearly shouting flow. A lot of songs sound basically like a sequel to past Drake tracks. "You & The 6" has the same theme as "From Time", the beat on "No Tellin'" sounds similar to "0/100", and the flow on "6PM in New York" is literally the exact same as on "Tuscan Leather".

Production is handled by Boi-1-da, Noah "40", PARTYNEXTDOOR, and WundaGirl, who've all heavily been apart of Drake's production over the last few years. Drake's strength has always come from his producers, and while it would be hard for any of these producers to craft a bad track, I've heard better beats from them. They're pretty simple, and sound much more like mixtape beats then album beats. Still nice beats, but not great. PARTYNEXTDOOR and Travi$ Scott appear on IYRTITL, with PARTY getting a solo interlude, plus the previously released "Used To" with Lil Wayne appears on this tape. PARTY turns up the auto-tune a bit to high on "Preach", which can get somewhat annoying. And on "Company", Drake starts out with a slow, boring intro, but then Travi$ Scott takes over both the production and the vocals. He turns the song into a banger, and completely owns that song. And while I think the project is very unoriginal, it is extremely listenable. Drake's lyrics aren't clever, or insightful, and mostly selfish, but they are catchy as hell. I find myself chanting "RUNNING THROUGH THE SIX WITH MY WOES" from "Know Yourself". So while I don't respect the project, or Drake, very much, I still can't stop listening to it.

There is a rumor that this project is just so that Drake can leave Cash Money. Lil Wayne signed a four album contract with Cash Money, and it's speculated that Drake did as well. Releasing IYRTITL as a commercial album is smart from a business perspective, but rude from a musical one. Charging fans $13 for what is basically a throw-away mixtape isn't very respectable. And if this contract idea isn't true at all, then this mixtape is probably a precursor to Drake's next proper album Views From the 6.  If that's the case, then prepare for Views From the 6 to basically be a murkier version of Nothing Was The Same.

Lyrical Skill- 2.5

Technical Skill- 2

Production- 3.5

Listenability- 5

Features- 3

Consistency/Theme- 1

Notable Tracks- "Company", "Jungle", "Energy", "Know Yourself"

Overall Rating- 3

No comments:

Post a Comment