Views First Take – The Six is Upside Down

Hate

When a new Drake album comes out you hear hate.

From the guy on the internet who is so convinced that Drake is nothing but garbage to the kid up the block who says that Kendrick is a better rapper and Drake is just biting off someone else.

Every time something new comes along like “Hotline Bling” and memes come out Drake is more than willing to be the brunt of the joke.  Take the Super Bowl ad for instance.

Hate

Some critics want to say 29 year old Drake is not relatable.  Really?  That’s a poor diss from Drake’s earlier days when rappers wanted to say he came from money.

Thanks to his new track, “Keep The Family Close,” I know Kennedy Road taught Drake not to trust people like that.  When Drake’s mom moved him from Weston Road to a Jewish neighborhood so he could get a better start in life he was looked down on by those he went to school with.  Guess he wasn’t relatable then either?

He dropped out of school to be that kid “Jimmy” on Degrassi High at 15 so he could take care of his mother’s medical bills.  He wasn’t using that money to go buy himself fancy cars, maybe he borrowed his uncle’s car to ride around and pick up girls.

Drake has explored those rumors many times, even in the video for “Started From the Bottom” off of his third album Nothing Was The Same when he shows the street he grew up on and the house that he lived in as a child.

A little over decade ago the rapper year old just left his single mother’s basement to go follow his dream of rapping and provide for her.  With an endorsement from Young Money label founder Lil’ Wayne, Drake took his mix-tape fame and left the friendly confines of his Forest Hill neighborhood.

Some people would never look back – but not Drake.  He’s given back to his community when he could and he’s made people of Toronto proud of their city.  Changing the way the world views the city – becoming the global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors, launching a line of clothing that includes a 6 on it and promoting an OVO fest in his home base.

Love

I’ve heard Drake grow as an artist and as a man through his words and his flows.  He’s still struggling but he’s exploring what it is that has made him.  He explores himself on Views as a man, as a rapper, as an icon for his beloved Toronto (the 9 , “I turn the six upside down, it’s a nine down) and as a partner.  “If I ever loved ya, I’ll always love ya that’s how I was raised” he professes on “Keep The Family Close.”

He’s made good on his promise to his mom to take care of her – even though he claims on “9” that “Momma hit my phone and said rap’s no good, better than her telling me the check’s no good.”  He’s been spotted on “Drake Night” at Raptors games in October with his mom in tow.

There’s too much hate and jealousy in the world.  People need to embrace each other.  Music does that.  Music makes people come together.  There’s so much to break us apart as a nation with elections and politics that when rap can bring races together how can that be wrong?  But when you go out in an OVO owl shirt and someone you don’t know that’s a different race says “hey nice shirt man” that’s love and that’s unity.  That’s what this is about.  It’s bigger than you and I.

Jealousy

Jealousy is just love and hate at the same time right Aubrey?

You know because you see him on Instagram doing this or on Twitter with this person.  He may have some flash, but at 20 something years old, you didn’t want that if you could have it?  Am I jealous of Drake?  No.  Do I wish I could do some of the things he does?  Maybe.  I’d love to shoot hoops with Steph Curry and make curry with Chef Curry but I don’t have to have all the other things.  Drake is where he’s at because he worked and he’s been grinding to get here.  Views points back to those roots but explores where he is. On Weston Road Flows he thinks “back when we couldn’t buy pizza cause we were down to pennies,” but now  “I’m happiest I can buy what I want.”  I would think most people would admit that they know the feeling.

Redemption

As Drake looks around at all he’s gained over the years, he looks at what he’s lost as well.  Those who left and gained something from their time with him while he is left wondering if he lost a piece of himself in the process.  On Redemption he wonders if “Redemptions on your mind when you think about me, oh please give me time,’cause I’m searchin’ for these words to say to you right now.”  Of all the songs, this seems to be the one where he opens himself the most, he gives us just enough, “I wonder when my shit drop do they listen?  Wonder if they’re second guessin’ their decisions?”  He exposes his wounds just a little bit more when he waxes “they would sell my secrets for a tropical vacation, sell my secrets back to me if I was payin’ who’s gonna save me when I need savin’?”  It’s amazing to see such a brash, ambitious and cocksure rapper open up himself after such rhymes like “Back to Back” and “Charged Up” last summer.

Views

Is Drake about himself?  Maybe?  Is Drake about his city?  You could say that.  Is Drake about his “day ones.” I could make a case for that argument.  More than anything Drake is about the music.  Since the time he started rapping he’s devoting his time, his energy and his life into his music.  That’s what this is about.  That’s what Views is about, the music and rap.  Whatever you want to call it, this is his most sincere production yet.  With big sound coming from the lyrics (some guest spots but only enough to keep the flow going), 40’s fingerprints all over the production and an album that I anticipated heavily and I haven’t been let down by.  I’m not worried about Drake being a political activist, I don’t need my favorite artist to tell me what I need to do to save the environment or be some sort of movement starter.  That’s not me.  I want Views.

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