Despite being labeled a “mixtape,” Drake’s fourth album, finally out physically, is yet another slice of excellence from the Toronto rapper. Opener “Legend” again details Drake’s meteoric rise along the lines of Nothing Was the Same’s “Started From the Bottom” (“If I die, I’m a legend,” he declares after detailing his successes) over a spare, ghostly beat. But it’s never all about braggadocio with Drake, as paranoid lyrics like “it’s so hard for me to let new people in” seep in. That continues onto single “Energy,” with its refrain “got a lotta enemies” and lines like “I got girls in real life tryin’ to fuck up my day/Fuck goin’ online, that ain’t part of my day.” Drake gets a lot of grief for complaining, but he’s also his own worst enemy and critic, calling himself out for “thinking about money and women 24/7” on “Know Myself” in a way that helps make him more compelling. Those other Drake complaints—that he’s not hard enough, that he’s not the best pure rapper—are routinely silenced by the pure quality of tracks like “Madonna,” a perfect example of how Drake’s unique cadences and lyrical candidness more than make for any perceived weaknesses. If You’re Reading This doesn’t have a crossover track with appeal approaching megahit “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” but Drake doesn’t really need that at this point to make a strong album, and the production across the album is stellar nonetheless, freeing Drake and his collaborators to focus in on what makes him sound great rather than individual tracks. No-nonsense beats by Boi-1da jibe well with PartyNextDoor’s codeine-fueled productions, among others who worked on the album. If You’re Reading This’ 17 tracks run long without the bigger production of a similarly long album like Take Care, but there aren’t really any weak songs, either. Latter-half tracks like his back-and-forth with Lil Wayne (who’s in fine form here) on “Used To,” the reflective raps on “Now & Forever” over Eric Dingus’ “Trap House 3 Remix” (no, that’s not Grimes) and suddenly animated closer “6PM in New York” all count as highlights. However much If You’re Reading This might be a smaller release between blockbusters, it feels as essential as anything Drake has done.
The lineup for Coachella 2015 has been announced, and there are some surprises in there.
First up, we've got AC/DC headlining day one (Friday April 10 and 17). (Day one gets even more "dad rock" when you notice that Steely Dan is also playing.) Jack White headlines day two (April 11 and 18) and Drake is on top day three (April 12 and 19).
Lykke Li - Live at Amoeba Hollywood, Aug. 25, 2008
We've got lots of great stuff for tweens at Amoeba, from posters of teen heartthrobs to the latest records by Ariana Grande and One Direction. Here are 20 we think would be perfect gifts for the not-quite-teenagers in your life.
For the boy-bander:
The fourth album by European boy band One Direction shows added maturity in the lads' songwriting, with help from Good Charlotte, McFly, Kodaline, The 1975, John Legend and Emeli Sande. Features the songs "Steal My Girl" and "Night Changes."
1) Drake Nothing Was The Same (Cash Money)
2) Earl Sweatshirt Doris (Columbia)
3) Jay-Z Magna Carta Holy Grail (Def Jam)
4) Kanye West Yeezus (Def Jam)
5) LMNO After The Fact (Up-Above)
Since its release last week, Drake's latest full-length offering, Nothing Was The Same on Cash Money Records, has rocketed to the number one position on the latest Amoeba Hip-Hop Chart at the Hollywood store, where it even edges out recent month chart staples from the likes of Kanye West (Yeezus) and Jay-Z (Magna Carta Holy Grail) - the latter of whom makes a cameo on this latest from Drake. The Amoeba.com review gives this new Drake release (the artist's third studio album in as many years) a two thumbs up rating, calling it "some of his best material yet" and claims that the album "features some of Drake’s best rhymes yet." Of the Canadian-born artist's current status (one that draws a lot of criticism over such issues as his background as former child television star. Over the past week, Kendrick Lamar labelled him a "sensitive rapper."), "Drake’s got little left to prove. If the haters provide fuel for his fire, haters keep hatin’ cause Nothing Was the Same is a beautiful smackdown." Indeed when it comes to competition Drake is a clear all around winner in terms of popularity with music buyers. As well as topping the latest Amoeba chart, he also went to number one with a bullet on the Billboard album chart, selling a reported 658,000 units in its first week.