Album Review: Drakes 'VIEWS' Has An Anthem for Everyone

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When Drake released If You're Reading This It's Too Late last year he managed to create one of his best bodies of work as a rapper.

On the VIEWS album Drake not only displays heavy bars, he offers an extension of his complete artistry fueled by the city he loves.

In Drake's interview with Zane Lowe on Beats 1 Radio, he revealed that he never actually wants you to get his songs the first time you hear it. On VIEWS that couldn't be any more true.

After listening to the album for a total of four times since it's release just before midnight, it's clear that a lot of these songs have to played a couple of times before you get to the true essence of it all.

The VIEWS album kicks off Drake displaying his unique vocals over, "Keep the Family Close," a track that reminds us that we should always think about who we choose to let into our circle.

#VIEWS Now Available On iTunes

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Somehow there seems to be some betrayal being addressed as Drizzy sings, "and of course you went and chose a side that wasn't mind." There's no telling who he's talking about but we're not here to get the speculations and rumors going.

The album really shifts into gear on "9" where Drake shares his goals in life and the fact that he is ready to die for his city.

Following "9" Drake shocks us with "U With Me?," a song featuring a sample from Drake's harshest critic DMX.

There is a line from DMX's "What These B*tches Want" and Drake also uses a line from DMX's "How's It Goin' Down" rapping, "It's a lot of games is being played/How's it going down?/It's on till it's gone, then I gots to know now/Is you wit me or what?" We're not sure if this will exactly change the way DMX views Drake but it's well documented that X does not like Drizzy.

Following the brilliance and homage displayed on "U With Me?" Drake breaks into his Majid Jordan style with "Feel No Ways." It's a nice radio ready song that rides well through your car speakers.

Up next is "Hype," a track that is everything that it's title stands for.

Drake still claims Young Money and with the heavy beat and clever/unforgiving punchlines, he reminds us to never forget that he can really spit those sharp bars.

"Weston Road Flows" is really one of the big standouts on the album. The old school 90s styled arrangement fused with the "9AM In Dallas"-styled flow is a marriage made in heaven.

It transitions smoothly into "Redemption" which happens to be an anthem for any man who is looking to reach out to someone he has hurt.

Drake explains why he wasn't able to commit in past relationships that went wrong but asks what those women would have done had they been in his shoes.

It's pretty clear that "With You" is not the sound we expected from a collaboration between Drake and PARTYNEXTDOOR. That being said, the dancehall inspired island track has a light oceanic vibe that is perfect for the summertime.

"Faithful" featuring Pimp C and DVSN leaked prior to the release of VIEWS so fans pretty much knew what to expect. It's another strong track and getting a verse from Pimp C is not an easy task.

Drake makes sure to wake the listener up with the next track titled, "Still Here." This time Drizzy shows off his braggadocios nature and fixes up a nice upbeat track to give the listener a break from the deeper tracks.

Meanwhile, "Controlla" has everyone puzzled.

The song originally featured dancehall artist Popcaan however, this final version does not. Either way it's a bit of homage to the Caribana Festival in Toronto that celebrates the city's West Indian population.

The Beenie Man ad-lib at the end is also a nice authentic dancehall touch.

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The album then goes into "One Dance" featuring Wizkid and Kyla. The song was one of the stand alone singles released by Drake and is bound to be a Summer 16 hit for sure.

Next comes Drake and his newest partner in crime and upcoming tour buddy Future on "Grammys." The track drips full of the style featured on What A Time To Be Alive.

This is the turn up on song on the album and it will certainly have the trap bouncing.

On "Childs Play" Drake sings about a petty female who is trying to out their relationship despite his efforts to keep it a secret. What comes next is yet another head-scratcher.

The version of "Pop Style" featured on VIEWS does not feature The Throne (Kanye West & Jay Z).

Drake said things didn't work out financially when it came to the feature and that is why they were not featured on the album.

Drake reassured fans that he still has a ton of respect for Jay Z and Kanye and also teased upcoming songs and a possible mixtape with Kanye.

Drake links up with Rihanna for the second time in 2016 on their collaboration "Too Good." In his interview with Lowe, Drake says he felt like this track was a good followup to "Work." He's definitely correct as the island vibe is littered on this track just as it is with "Work," however it's more soca inspired then it is dancehall.

The artists sing accompanying verses in a what is a lovely addition to VIEWS.

The "Summers Over Interlude" is a classic sounding snippet and the artist singing is a bit of a mystery but the voice resembles Majid Al Maskati of Majid Jordan. "Fire & Desire" is an r&b heavy track that slows things down exponentially before breaking into "Views." The classic sample bleeds into the heavy beat produced by Maneesh.

Drake leaves us with some heavy lines where he both vents and brags about his life. He also reminds us that he still has more left to prove.

Family ting.

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For the "Hotline Bling" fans out there, Drake added the track as a bonus treat for fans.

His attachment to Toronto is completely unquestionable with VIEWS.

We already knew that Drake had a deep love for the people and the city he calls home, but on VIEWS the different levels to his artistry really is a reflection of the multiple influences in Toronto.

There are stories being told, more that's left to come and an artist who completely owns his identity.

VIEWS is an exceptional body of work and while not everyone cares for Drake's singing and slower tracks, it's very much a part of him and dates back to So Far Gone.

#VIEWS Tracklist

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