Aubrey Graham, better known as Drake, is set to release his third album next Tuesday, September 24. Going along with his progression title theme (Thank Me Later & Take Care), Nothing Was The Same follows the tale that Drake has been telling since the beginning of his rap career – the life of Aubrey "Drake" Graham. With the unveiling of the ambiguous album cover, fans didn’t know what to expect from this one. Not to worry though, this album offers the Drake that we have grown to know and love. Known for being very open about his life in his music, Drake does not fail to do so in this album. But it isn’t his story that captivates listeners, as anyone can tell their life story, but instead it's the way that he tells it. His lyrics in this album are top notch along with his delivery and flow that only seem to get better and better with each album.
Athough Drake's talent is undeniable in sense of his rhythmic prowess and flawless delivery, in terms of variation, both his lyrical approach and beat production remain stagnant. As for the lyrics, songs never seem to wander far from the theme of either heartbreak or status. However, in keeping in mind the audience that Drake playing to, and how these topics fare well among them, it is not surprising or disapointing. In popular music, these are themes that are constant. In terms of the unvaried beats, while the album is greatly produced and gears itself toward a singular direction, a little variation would not have hurt.
What we are left with is an album that is pop-radio and listener friendly, with a handful sing-a-long choruses and catchy lyrics and head bopping beats. It's got a bunch of stand out tracks from beginning to end like “Tuscan Leather”, “Furthest Thing”, “From Time”, “Too Much” and “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2”. In the end, we are more than satisfied with the album and will have it playing for a good while. Overall we'd give this album an 8 out of 10.
Below we give our personal track-by-track review of Nothing Was The Same.
From the very first track "Tuscan Leather", Drake's lyrical dexterity is at an all time high. His opening tracks are known to be his best efforts and this one does not fail to do the same. On this track he flexes on about all his accomplishments and his current state as one of rap’s most prevalent emcees. Over a six minute progressive instrumental, he makes sure to shout out his haters, his crew, his chains, his exes, his new girls, Martin Scorsese, Ellen DeGeneres and everything in between. By rhetorically asking “how much time is this nigga spending on the intro” he is just boasting that he can go on for longer but instead uses it as a transition into the next track. (9/10)
“Furthest Thing”, is a track that invites you into the studio with Drake as he goes over all the things he has been up to since day one of his rap career. He lists them clearly in the chant-worthy chorus, while he sing/raps his verses up until the beat changes mid-way through the song. The beat completely flips on us to bring us the ever so cocky Drake that we got to truly meet in his single "Started From the Bottom", which so happens to be the next track. (10/10)
Not much to say about “Started From The Bottom”. With the major radio play this song has gotten I think we all get the point that Drake started from the bottom… and now he’s here. (8/10)
In the ambitiously titled track “Wu-Tang Forever”, he makes sure to pay homage to the legendary rap collective as he borrows a sample from the Wu-Tang Clan classic, “It’s Yourz”, and recites a Raekwon bar word-for-word. In this track he brags on about how he now has the rap game in his hands just like a girl that once belonged to him. The track has received a lot of negative reception because of this, as a lot of people are saying that this song has no relevance to Wu-Tang. In contrast to that, it has been confirmed that members of Wu-Tang Clan have recorded a remix for the track, which will hopefully calm down the hating Wu-Tang fans. A greatly produced track nonetheless by OVO’s own, Noah “40” Shebib. (9/10)
Transitioning perfectly from the previous track, many won’t realize that “Own It” is its own separate track. This song actually is about a girl – perhaps the one he refers to in "Wu-Tang Forever" – who he admits his heart belongs to, but has not been in direct contact with because of his busy lifestyle. Awww Drake, getting all sensitive on us again. You may have had us a little confused at first, but we knew you still had it in you. This half hearted sentimental track is one of the quietest on the entire album, with the beat never really building into anything much more than some simple drums and bass. (7/10)
“Worst Behaviour” is a direct message to all his haters, who look down on him for whatever reasons. He simply puts them all down in any way possible, from saying he’s better lyrically, gets more girls, has more money, and just partakes in more baller-esque activities than them. Drake is high off of fame here and never looks down as he raps some of the cockiest lines on the album. The trap influenced beat on this track goes just as hard as Drake's claims. (9/10)
The next track, “From Time”, brings us back to the light-hearted Drake. He's accompanied by Jhene Aiko for the chorus who sings of her strong love for both Aubrey and herself. This gets Drake all emotional who opens up about meaningful conversations that he has had with his family and friends. He raps about his doubts and pressures that come with love when being in the position that he’s in. Real deep lyrics here from Drake, which sound amazing over the piano intrumental. (9/10)
His latest single off the album, is definitely for the ladies. He sings about a girl that caught his eye, and has influenced him to croon “Hold On, We’re Going Home”. Drake “wanted to channelize the Michael Jackson-Quincy Jones sound with the song.” A greatly produced track that definitely captivated that sound and brought it to the mainstream light once again. Hope to hear more tracks like this in the future. (10/10)
He continues to talk about a female that he has had relations with on his next track “Connect”. Here he is attempting to compare a loose relationship that he wants to make serious, to the swing of a bat aiming for the bleachers. The beat for this one was finessed by up-and-coming G.O.O.D. Music producer Hudson Mohawke (“Mercy”, “Blood On The Leaves”). (9/10)
Back with his bragging persona he goes off on all rappers that think they’re comparable to him on "The Language". While not calling anyone out specific, we all know who he’s subliminally talking about.. hmmm perhaps Kendrick? He claims to not be phased by anyone’s music or disses so he’s just gonna keep on doing what he’s doing – making music and money. (8/10)
“305 To My City” is dedicated to the working girls that he has met through touring. A slow track to vibe out to. But like "Own It", there isn't much to the beat and the lyrics are sub-par. (7/10)
On the personal track "Too Much” Drake steps back and relives the moments in his life when he would overthink and doubt himself. The chorus was hooked up by Sampha - who in our opinion really makes this song as good as it is. (9/10)
We then get a short interlude sample from old school artist Jimmy Smith, addressing the audience in hope that they had enjoyed the album. This leads into the outro, and hands down the best track of the album “Pound Cake/ Paris Morton Music 2”. This track is technically two seperate songs. With a two-verse feature from Jay Z, “Pound Cake” is a straight up god like creation. Both emcees float over the polished beat to give some of their smoothest bars in recent time. “Paris Morton Music 2” is a sequel to Drake’s remix of “Aston Marton Music” by Rick Ross. Giving off the same sophisticated sound as its original, Drake raps about the upper class lifestyle he has become accustomed to. This was definitely an amazing way to close out the album. *Applause* (10/10)
If you were to get the special edition of Nothing Was the Same, you’d get two bonus tracks, “Come Thru” and “All Me”. “Come Thru” is a slow song that invites his girl to come along with him for the trip he will ensue on after the album is over. Greatly produced track that showcases a number of Drake's signature flows. (8/10)
Well, that’s it for us. Go get the album and see what you think for yourself!