Why Drake’s “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late” Didn’t Fall Short (Review)

by ASHLEY MARTIN 

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, Drake released what is believed to be a mixtape of 17 songs. If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late brought in almost $400k within hours of its arrival on iTunes.

Drake’s latest work is full of bangers that have had lyrics floating across social media for the past four days. While his hits like “Worst Behavior” and “Lord Knows” were indeed unforgettable tracks, the mixtape is full of songs which have a similar impact. As far as I know, Drake’s official album, “Views from the 6” is still anticipated. If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late was the smooth, lyrical appetizer his fans needed to hold them over for the main course.

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It begins with “Legend,” the least one dimensional song on the mixtape. Legend reminded Drake fans of how versatile he can be. The first 15 seconds of the opening track is a sample from the song “Get Away” by Oakland singer, Kehlani.

While most artists sample music from other mainstream artists in their mix tapes, it’s refreshing to recognize music from artists who many may not have been discovered yet. Besides that little sample, there’s no denying that the Tupac-style line “Oh my God, oh my God. If I die I’m a legend,” was one of the catchiest lines of the whole mixtape.

Songs like “Energy” and “The 6” give off a more aggressive vibe that listeners may not be used to hearing from Drake. Records like those do not show off the rapper’s ability to balance the hip hop spectrum with a softer flow, but they reveal a side of Drake that lots of his fans have been looking for. Even though he shoots down the notion of him being too soft in this project, he stays true to himself in tracks like “Now and Forever” and “You and the 6.” Both prove his ability to be in touch with his emotional side and family ties are still apparent in his music.

Top song of the mixtape? Cue drum roll please, “6pm in New York.” Drake fans immediately recognized this as sequels to his “9am in Dallas” and “5am in Toronto.” He waited to the very end to spit some of his best bars. The strategy worked, the listeners want more.

I tried to make this as objective as possible, because I am a HUGE Drake fan. However, I also recognized a good work of music when it comes along.

Here we are five days later, and people are already quoting If You’re Reading This.. lyrics all over social media platforms. I hear “No Tellin'” being bumped from car speakers at stoplights. Snapchat videos have “Know Yourself” playing the background and people are gathering to drink and hang out with the mixtape as their soundtrack. Seems familiar doesn’t it? It happens every time Drake releases a new album or mixtape. So did he fall short of our expectations? Clearly not.

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