Drake, both in his music and personality, has never been afraid of wearing his emotions and feelings towards people on his sleeves. This continues on his new project More Life, in which he seems to not only embrace, but show a magnitude of admiration for a variety of artists and genres that he respects. Finally, he has been able to demonstrate his admiration for UK grime with not just a song, but an album, after signing with Skepta’s BBK label almost a year ago. ‘KMT’ featuring grime star Giggs was debuted on his Boy Meets World European tour, and has Giggs very much in the driving seat, with Drake as a passenger.
Many of the collaboration songs have Drake as the passenger, with him allowing the featuring artist to take the wheel, and his main producer Noah Shebib supplying the fuel. The best example of this can be found in ‘Glow’, which features Kanye West, but could be easily plucked from The Life of Pablo (2016).
The production on More Life is very typical of current rap trends, however, the first half of the album still contains production of African and Caribbean vibes, similar to ones heard in hit songs from Views (2016) such as ‘Controlla’ and ‘One Dance’. ‘Passionfruit’ is a great example of this, and has some of the strongest production on More Life, coupled with lyricism that would be expected on his former album Views. As the album moves on, Grime starts to creep into the album, and ending with what sounds like old Drizzy, concluding as an inconsistent, but well-worked album production.
Although I enjoyed the production of More Life, some may see it as lazy, especially if one listens to artists such as Kendrick Lamar or Kanye West who feature distinctive production styles and lyricism throughout their own work. ‘Portland’, for example, uses nearly the exact same production and beat style as Future’s ‘Mask Off’; not great for an artist like Drake who is expected to, and has lead popular music in recent years. More Life also seems to bring unnecessary skits and pauses which can disrupt the flow of the album, and don’t seem to add important context, they can seem out of place and rather confusing at times.
Despite Drake’s insistence that it is a playlist, More Life has proved to be one of Drake’s most innovative album attempts so far, and yet he has retained the elements that have become recognisable over his career. Drake keeps evolving and his penetration into UK grime proves this to not only be present, but rather unexpected for a lot of his fans. More Life, is the most recent example of Drake continuing to innovate, evolve and retain what has made him so successful, and one of the biggest stars on the planet.