More Life: More than an album

When I saw that Drake finally dropped his More Life playlist, I instantly began clearing space on my phone to make room for it.

You hear a lot of people say things like ‘I’m going to wait for the hype to die down’, but I’m definitely not one of those individuals. The second I pressed play, the hectic world of articles, exams and essays started to fade into the background. It was like I was sitting on a cloud looking down on the world through a fuzzy filter; music is the only antidote for my stress.

It seems like Drizzy always comes through at the most significant of times in that respect. A couple years back, when IYRTITL dropped unexpectedly, I was going through a pretty rough break-up. I wasn’t feeling the world at all, but the new Drake mixtape was the only rebound I needed.

A lot of times when artists get to this level, they disconnect from their fans. Their heads get huge, and they lose the ability to relate on an individual and personal level. Drake’s success hinges on this factor; despite his super-star status, he still makes tracks that feel like they were tailored just for you.

When I hear songs like “Passionfruit” or “Teenage Fever”, I’m conflicted by the fact that I can’t keep these gems all to myself. On the flip side of that, I want to wear these songs on my sleeve. If it was 2005, they would most definitely be the featured tracks on my Myspace page.

That’s the beauty of it.

Somehow, time and time again, Drake comes through with a swath of songs that are simultaneously ambiguous and specific. They seem to be off the cuff, but deeper investigation always reveals more calculation in his efforts. He might not be thinking about you as a specific person, but he is most definitely thinking about you as a fan. His music increasingly represents the diverse group of listeners that he has amassed over the past ten years.

This album has everything a Drake fan could ask for. From pumped-up chart toppers like “Fake Love”, to the dark, hard hitting bangers like “Can’t Have Everything” and “Free Smoke”, Drake seems to have covered all of his bases. He even throws in the archetypal, introspective Drake jaunts like “Do Not Disturb”, which dive deep into the pleasures and pressures that come with fame and fortune.

Perhaps the most interesting aspects of More Life don’t include the inevitable Young Thug features, or the way he mirrors the classic Lil Wayne flow on “Sacrifices” … or even the spotlight he shines on international artists like Skepta, Giggs and Jorja. No, the most significant thing about Drake’s new ‘playlist’ is just that: the fact that it is a playlist.

What does this even mean though? I have seen numerous profiles and previews online that barely scratch the surface as far as analysis goes. People might think that the concept of a ‘playlist’ means that the songs have less coherence, or that they aren’t really thematically linked, when the reality is that this is the opposite of the case.

More Life is far more than just an album, and if you want proof of that, all you have to do is purchase the album and hit the shuffle button.

You will see exactly what I mean from the first seamless song transition.

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