‘More Life:’ A playlist by October Firm

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On Saturday, March 18, musical artist Drake dropped his recent 22-song project “More Life.” The project premiered on iTunes Radio at 5 p.m.

Drake calls his latest project a playlist and not an album because of the lack of flow in the overall project; there is a wide variety of music styles and genres. It was truly an eclectic mix of music. Unlike typical albums, “More Life” does not tell one big cohesive story. A good way to describe “More Life” is to describe it as Drake’s current Pinterest board of music because it is kind of everywhere with his current musical interests. We see a lot of influence from the U.K.’s grime scene as well as some Caribbean influence on “More Life.” While it is always pretty risky to experiment with sound, Drake succeeds and delivers some unique sounds and tracks with “More Life.”

There are a couple of tracks that really captured my interest in the project. The first song that held my interest was “Passionfruit.” When I first heard this song, I felt like Drake threw me into the middle of a game of “Ocarina of Time” or “SuperMario 64.” The beat was bouncy and light. The overall song sounds happy despite the lyrics being a depressing story about an apparent relationship falling apart. “Passionfruit” is one of the tracks that has been influenced by the island sound that Drake is experimenting with. In fact, a good chunk of the first half of “More Life” utilizes the bouncy beats of island-esque music. “Blem” is another song that utilizes the sound of Caribbean dance hall.

Drake also played around with South African house music in his track “Get It Together.”  This song features Jorja Smith, a  low-key artist that was brought to the forefront of the scene with this feature. If there’s one thing I appreciate about Drake, it is his ability to find talent in some of the least mainstream places. The man always has his ear to the ground.  This song, like the previous songs I mentioned above, is also bouncy and light. These tracks are truly the kind of songs you would get up and just kind of dance to. You can’t help but bob your head at a quick pace to these songs.

Another major style that Drake dabbles in is grime. Grime is a genre that emerged out of the U.K. and draws its influence from Jamaican dancehall and hip-hop. Rapping is a huge component of grime and yet grime does not sound like the kind of hip-hop we hear in the United States. “No Long Talk” is a good example of what Drake can accomplish under the influence of grime. He features Giggs and Skepta, two artists from the U.K. we would have no idea about over here in the states. So, like with Jorja Smith, we see Drake introducing some more unique artists into the mainstream.  I absolutely loved the tracks that featured these British rap artists and it definitely got me hooked and looking into more grime music.

One of my favorite songs on the project is “Portland.” I liked this song because it was goofy in some aspects but still brought a pretty bumping beat. The song sounds like Drake hired a fourth grader to play a recorder in the background throughout the song. The soft fluty sounds combined with the hard beat and bass was a dichotomy that was pleasant to my ears.  This track also features verses from rapper Quavo and Travi$ Scott. Both of these features fit perfectly onto the beat. Both artists are also hype, so I was very excited to hear this track knowing that these two were featured on it. Some o the lyrics even made me laugh, but in a good way.

My favorite song on the entire project above all else is “Lose You.” The song is slow and the beat reminded me of Drake’s older stuff. I am a sucker for older and slower Drake which is probably why I vibed with this song the most. In this song, Drake is rapping and singing from the heart. The song is Drake asking his loved ones if he lost them in his journey to become a successful rapper. If there’s one thing Drake is known for, it’s for getting in his feelings. He is just so good at it and this song is proof.

Overall, I was really happy with “More Life.” I think that even though Drake globe-trotted for the sound of this project, he still sounds like himself and that’s something I can really appreciate about the project. I think a lot of people are not used to the random mix of genres, but I think it’s important not to let that hinder one’s opinions. This project is nothing like his older stuff so there is no comparison. “More Life” is definitely different but it’s an amazing different and it makes me even more excited to see where Drake is taking his music.