Drake Confirms Global Ambitions with More Life

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Published March 31, 2017
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The Montclarion

After releasing Views in late April last year, the Canadian artist has returned with More Life.
Courtesy of Wikipedia

For some time now, it’s been speculated Drake has been trying to transition his music to the global stage. From Caribbean songs to features with British rappers – Drake has been planning for “More Life” to be a global compilations of songs. It’s a collection of tunes which he doesn’t even refer to as an album. “More Life” is a playlist. It’s a tactic used to label the compilation as a mixture of different types of songs with a variety of diverse flows and no specific story throughout. A playlist can be comprised of similar songs or just random songs. In this case, “More Life” is an assembly of the different genres Drake is able to mix together in his songs through influences from all over the world.

The 22-track playlist is a total of one hour and 25 minutes. The playlist starts out with a typical Drake rap song in “Free Smoke.” He mentions how he used to drunk text Jennifer Lopez and towards the end of the song, he throws shots at fellow foe Meek Mill, with the line, “How you let the kid fightin’ ghost-writin’ rumors turn you to a ghost?”

Then, the global influences begin. “No Long Talk” features British Rapper Giggs, who was born and raised in London, but is from Jamaican descent. Giggs is also featured in the song “KMT.” Both songs are riddled with influences of British street culture. Although some American Drake fans may not like Giggs’ verses, Drake has always had support from the United Kingdom (UK), and with these songs he is showing the love back.

Speaking of love, Drake always has something for that particular aspect. “Passionfruit” has been one of the most popular songs amongst fans. The song has a Caribbean, tropical influence to it, in which he describes the difficulties of maintaining a long distance relationship.

The tropical songs don’t stop there though. “Madiba Riddim” and “Blem” feature that popular Caribbean vibe reminiscent in songs such as “One Dance” and “Hotline Bling.” The word “Blem” means being high off of Marijuana. “Fake Love” is another prime example of past tropical songs, which by the way is also on the playlist. “Ice Melts” featuring Atlanta rapper Young Thug, has a cheery, reggae, dancehall type of vibe.

“Madiba Riddim” seems to pay tribute to the South African influence. “Madiba” was the clan name of the former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. It was used as a sign of respect and affection. In “Get It Together” Drake features up and coming British singer Jorja Smith and South African producer Black Coffee. Smith is also featured in another song, “Jorga Interlude.”

If you thought the British mentions stopped there, it’s about time you realized Drake really loves the UK. The softest and deepest thought provoking song of them all is “4422” featuring South London, singer Sampha. The British singer appeared in Drake songs before and has become a familiar voice for Drake fans. Some theories suggest the numbers represent area codes. The number 44 is the area code of the UK and 22 is the area code of Freetown, Sierra Leone, which is where Sampha’s family is from. Another word some listeners may be confused by, is “Gyalchester.” It’s the title of another British-Jamaican influenced song on the playlist. The word is a Jamaican term for the Manchester Parish of Jamaica. The word “Man” in Manchester is replaced with “Gyal” which means girl. It’s a term used to reference the beautiful women in the area. Drake has been hanging out in England a lot, and it is also a reference to the beautiful women in Manchester, England. He even brought along British rapper, Skepta in “Skepta Interlude” who demonstrated some of the gritty British Grime music genre in the song. Drake just finished up his European tour, Boy Meets World. Part of the playlist was made during his tour overseas and the United Kingdom was one of the biggest influences.

Of course, the 6 God is going to always show love to his home country of Canada. The Toronto native, enlisted Canadian R&B singer and fellow label mate, PARTYNEXTDOOR in “Since Way Back.” The U.S. got some love as well. “Portland” features a sick, melodic flute loop throughout the beat, with features from American rappers Quavo and Travis Scott. Kanye West even made a surprise appearance in “Glow” with a verse of his own and a part in the hook.

The playlist is a mixture of some of Drake’s unique sound. Through his music he gave opportunities to some unknown and up and coming artists, creating global relationships not only with the artists, but with their respective countries, genres and fan bases. Other than the globally integrated songs, “More Life” is polished with distinctive Drake records featuring his singing and soft instrumentals fused with deep rhymes. The transitions from one song to the next is flawless and is one of the best aspects of the playlist.

Although being labeled as a playlist by Drake himself, streaming services are still categorizing it as an album. In the first 24 hours, “More Life” broke Spotify and Apple Music streaming records, having 89.9 million streams on Apple Music and 61.3 million streams on Spotify. His OVO Sound radio show on Beats 1 Radio was the most listened to Beats 1 show to date.

From influences starting in Toronto, Atlanta, Portland, Jamaica, South Africa, to the UK – Drake has set a preview for future songs. He’s been even featured in Spanish songs before. The man is trying to conquer the world. What could be next?

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