TITM Review: Views From the 6

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Our resident Torontonian finally, finally released his long anticipated album Views from the 6, or Views for short, last week and it has understandably become the main topic of conversation among many. Everywhere I go I’ve seen plenty people bring it up with some wanting to know how I feel about Drake’s new album personally, even people I didn’t know listened to rap. And on Twitter? Oh the hot takes were endless. As soon as it came out, I saw citizens of the Twitterverse saying that this was his best album ever (which is a lofty title considering how good Take Care was), that Views was a classic after listening to the first few seconds of it, and even that Views is better than Kanye’s whole discography (sigh I know, I know). On the flip side, some people deemed it trash right away or said he just dropped it to close out his rap career. Of course, Twitter is a twilight zone and you have to take most opinions on there with a grain of salt so I thought I’d be a reasonable adult by listening to it myself.

Now I know what you might be thinking: “Drake is mainstream and not even from Houston so why are you reviewing anything that comes from him?” Well, even if you aren’t from Houston it is very apparent the type of clout the Toronto rapper has built up over his rapping/singing career and the impact he has made in this city and abroad. The man can drop a track that will have a large part of the populace, both old and young, using quotables for Instagram and Snapchat captions for an extended period of time (I was one of those using “Views” in my captions before it even came out). Houston is the rapper’s claim to fame, his first big culture assimilation, and oh by the way he has his own day and yearly festival down here too. Whether you like him or not, the guy is very influential and is major part of the culture down here now. So with that being said, here’s my view on Views.

It was depressingly okay.

Let’s put things in perspective here. Drake has been working on this album for the past 2 years. 2 years. His personal producer, 40, let us know that they would take a more “experimental” route with the album, try “new flows” and really try to push boundaries this time around. Instead what we got is this melting pot of borrowed sounds and rhymes from places other than Toronto, same as what we’ve been getting from the rapper as of late. Maybe Views was a letdown because of such great expectations others and I gave to it, but Drake and Co. allowed us to make these assumptions. On every interview he got on and every other song released in the past 2 years, Drake managed to mention that he was still working on Views, effectively building up hype and suspense leading up to now. I wasn’t the only one here thinking that there was a chance this might be better than Take Care, his best album to date in my opinion. Take Care is a solid album from front to back that doesn’t have a single skippable track. Views had 20 tracks on it, the same amount as Take Care, but fell short in comparison. It’s not even that I’m mad he didn’t come through; I’m just disappointed with what Drake did with this opportunity.

Views is not without its jams though. If you came into this wanting and expecting the same moody guy that raps about holding on to multiple women at the same time with no signs of real commitment towards any of them (and you happen to be one of these people) then this is the album for you. “Redemption” showcased the classic must-win-my-ex-back-even-though-I-cheated-and-you’re-probably-better-off-with-someone-else theme from Drake that we know and love. I was a little sad to see the featureless versions of “Pop Style” and “Controlla” on Views instead (Popcaan sent that track to different heights) but enough exes names were mentioned throughout the project that it wasn’t a complete wash to me. The biggest letdown was “Grammys” though, because Future could have come a lot harder seeing what they’ve done together on WATTBA. Future still managed to wash Drake on his own song though, in case you were wondering. All and all, there’s about 5 or 6 songs that have real replay value and will make it to my Drake Hall of Fame of tracks still in heavy rotation. Would I call Views a classic? No. Is Views trash? No, not at all. But it just didn’t do it for me, or the culture.

While we’re on the topic, I thought I’d take the liberty of compiling a top 10 list of Drake tracks throughout his entire career. Obviously a list like this is HIGHLY debatable because Drake is big enough to the point where he has many subsets of fans within his fans. He’s also a very versatile artist and attracts different people for different reasons so I don’t expect many to agree with this 100 percent. But below is the rundown of my top 10 (FYI: I didn’t consider the tracks that Drake was just a feature in for the list):

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 10. Best I Ever Had

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9. Marvin’s Room

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8. Connect

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7. Headlines

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6. Club Paradise

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5. Days in the East

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4. Crew Love

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3. The Real Her

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2. Free Spirit

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1. Hate Sleeping Alone

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Honorable mentions: “Shot for Me”, “Know Yourself”, “Fear”, “Show Me a Good Time”

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Happy Thursday. For more uplifting thoughts and comedic relief, follow me on Twitter at @GotMarks

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