It’s no secret that Views will offer an in-depth look at Toronto from the eyes of the man who gave the city a fighting chance in the jungle called hip-hop. But, the truth of the matter is this has the potential to be a make-or-break release for Drake. I don't think that's the case…and I'll tell you why:
Better Than Good Enough
Drake has been under a microscope like no other young rapper has ever been under before. The intense pressure to deliver on Views is unlike anything his peers have dealt with, a pressure that Drizzy set on his own terms. Let’s take it all the way back to the summer of 2014, when Drake dropped “0 to 100/The Catch Up.” He explicitly warned the world that an album was coming when he said “Listen up, boy, you're better off eavesdroppin'/We already got spring 2015 poppin'/PND droppin', Reps-up P droppin'/Majid Jordan droppin', OB droppin', not to mention me droppin'.”
After hearing the verse, Drake fans around the world thought, "Oh snap! This is about to be the album we've all been waiting for." October's Very Own is prepared to deliver a classic that he, arguably, had yet to release"
In the spring of 2015 If You're Reading This It’s Too Late was released as a surprise project. Certainly not in comparison with Views, but the mixtape, with album-quality marketing, offered us 17 tracks of pure flames. This carried us throughout the entire summer and throughout the rest of 2015. Even with a lauded project and a heavyweight deal with Apple Music, Drake reassured his fans that Views was the focus and it would be better than we expected.
Beef Well Done
With accolades and achievements lining up after one another, haters, had once again, raised their pitchforks at Drake in an attempt to knock him down a few notches. It wasn't until Meek Mill initiated a highly-publicized feud that the aforementioned haters were seemingly given more fuel to the fire. For those who don’t remember, Meek made the claim that Drake was not the MC we made him out to be and that he essentially was a fraud. In his infamous Twitter rant, the Philly Dreamchaser said, "He don't write his own raps!" Mill also claimed having reference records that would discredit the talent of his former friend.
This was the first time since Drake's rise that I looked at the 6 God as vulnerable, even mortal. Thinking to myself, Damn, could this be it for The Boy? Well...that quickly backfired for Meek. Just as fast as Meek's comments came my previous doubts left my mind. Why? Because whether the claims were true or false, this man knows how to play the game better than most rappers.
Instead of practicing his "Twitter Fingers," Drake let his music and rhymes speak for themselves. The very "lyricism" Meek criticized ended up being Drizzy's biggest weapon. Drake, who once said "dis me and you'll never hear a reply for it," recanted his 2009 statement when he dropped "Charged Up" as a warning to Meek Mill and any possible challengers. To really make a point, he didn't give Meek Mill a chance to think, let alone respond. That's when "Back to Back" came four days later, and to further put salt on the wound, it became the only dis track ever to be nominated for a Grammy. Talk about a comeback! Drake didn't just dis Meek Mill, he put him on a national hot seat that he can't seem to get off of, a meme-generating joke that will forever be engrained into his career.
Who Really Think They Can Get In the Way?
With the bar set really high, Drake knows what he as to prove. Coming this far in his career, do people really believe he will fail us? I think so, not because he isn't capable of succeeding, but because people aren't rooting for him like they used to.
He's been Steph Curry with the shot since the release of So Far Gone and now people want to know if he can still deliver. The answer to the question in everyone's mind is YES. Hell yes, Drake can and will deliver because he's earned his way into a veteran spot in the rap game and it's going to be kind of hard to knock him down for a while.
My hope for Views is that Drake changes the opinions of the doubters and haters once again, like he always does. With an album slated to release with 20 tracks, Drake runs several risks, such as over saturation and listeners fatigue, but Drake has never done anything without thinking at least two steps ahead of everyone else. If anything, this 20-track album will be a two-part conceptualization of Drake's life story on a level deeper than we’ve ever seen; which will be interesting because, really, how much deeper and personal can Drake get?
However, the truth is luckily for Drake, even if Views isn't what we want it to be (i.e., a classic album) "they'll still play it though, 'cause it's that new Drizzy Drake, that's just the way it go."