A playlist by October Firm
We have literally been talking about who we would pick for album of the year since February of 2017. It came down to Kendrick Lamar, Jay-Z & Drake. While all three album are very unique to each other, two of them break new grounds in music itself in terms of instrumental production, those albums being 4:44 & More Life. Drake dubs More Life as a playlist which complicates things a bit, although this is all relative and semantics. More Life wins for two main reasons, Drake went overseas and brought a ton of that inspired creativity back to the states, music after all is universal. He introduced us to rappers like Giggs, and his song “Passionfruit” has an instrumental that predates & transcends our current generation all at once. His album brings Hip Hop, R&B, Dancehall, together in a cohesive project. Actually the songs are so carefully ordered that the misplacement of just one would throw off the entire album and the sound that Drake has developed.
That’s really the story with More Life. It’s the sound, it’s entirely unique to what current music is today, all while remaining relatively familiar to our ear. Drakes features pushes this sound even further giving the album a certain culture to it that is unheard of. Every artist featured on More Life plays to their strengths. “No Long Talk” featuring Giggs is unapologeticlly English inspired while still giving Americans that beat that is unapologeticlly produced by Murda Beatz. “Jorja Interlude” takes Drake away from the equations showing restraint, while letting Jorda simply do his thing. This is art, this is track ordering calibration at its finest, knowing how the pieces and flows of different tracks fit together. We’ve seen this on Beyonce’s “Lemonade” album with the track “Forward”. These are just a few examples of what makes More Life sonically diverse and a masterpiece. Although Drake could have used more live instrumentation on the album he’s established himself as a MC and that makes up for the very few omissions of certain instruments.
Conceptually More Life does not take on a political social stance but instead Drake does what Drake does best, he writes about life. “Sacrifices” although we could have done without the 2 Chainz feature, “Nothings into Somethings” “Lose You” “Can’t Have Everything” “Glow” “Since way back when” featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR and “Do Not Disturb”. These are all the tracks that could have been place on a different album and would have made a mark on what it means to feel. Drake brings you into his world. For example, Beyonce’s “I Am…Sasha Fierce”, the first eight songs on that album show her in her most vulnerable state. These songs show Drake in that same state.
Drake showed the most progress as a musician, he brought in so many influences and created this album in such a cohesive way that it made the world of a difference. We award Drake album of the year not because he spoke on political injustice, or because he used visuals to convey a message, but because he has created a musical masterpiece using on music and lyrics. Music that was so carefully curated, carefully placed, that it felt like design in itself.
Congratulations Drake from XMC.