Arts & Life

Overdosed on competence

Drake kept true to his word after all; things have officially “popped.”

“We already got spring 2015 poppin’,” he raps in the single “0 to 100 / The Catch Up” from his fourth studio album. “Majid Jordan droppin’, OB droppin’, not to mention me droppin’.”

It was only a matter of time for Drake to release something more than a B-side tease between albums after keeping relatively quiet in 2014

Drake’s fourth part-album, part-mixtape “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” released Friday to iTunes. With no prior singles or announcement, he has employed the same “surprise release” marketing strategy popularized by Beyoncé.

Even though there’s no proof that “Reading” is exactly the drop he mentioned in July, the 17-track project certainly shows the sights and sounds of his hometown Toronto, which Drake has dubbed “the 6.” Drake’s signature sound of syncopated beats, muffled drums and brooding

keyboards are more minimalist than ever, crafted by “old Drake” and OVO in-house producers Boi-1da and Noah “40” Shebib.

In addition to the new beats, Drake’s cinematic atmospheres merged onto camera via his short film “Jungle,” a surreal, introspective journey posted to the blog of October’s Very Own, Drake’s record label, a day prior to the album’s release.

While the sound is laid-back, the lyrics are far from it.

On the booming opening track “Legend,” the self-proclaimed 6 God boasts, “I’m the one, one / Why do I feel like the only one? / Why do I feel like you owe me one? / 6 G-O-D, I’m the holy one.”

Tracks like “Energy” and “10 Bands” are hard-hitting, but Drake never loses his moody nature, wailing “was runnin’ through the six with my woes” on “Know Yourself.”

OVO label mate PARTYNEXTDOOR makes an appearance, lending his auto-tuned voice and futuristic R&B production. “Preach” and “Wednesday Night Interlude” are nice breaks, the former possessing a high-tempo, club outro worthy of any DJ’s remixing

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