Drake's 'More Life' Playlist Is Redefining Borders of Blackness in Pop

Rapper Drake performs onstage at the 2016 iHeartRadio Music Festival at T Mobile Arena

He is quick to remind us of his calculated moves at the top. Yes, it's a Drake record.

In a music genre associated with crime and "street cred", do Drake's soft-spoken lyrics and public love-life feel out of place? But it's hard to feel empathy toward such a self-absorbed narrative that continues to thread throughout his releases. Featuring popular artists and rappers such as Young Thug, Travis Scott, Sampha and Quavo, More Life diversifies Drake's musical style. Skepta and Jorja Smith, two other British artists in the same genre who also appear on the album, saw more modest increases (21% and 12%, respectively). Hopefully he does so, and brings more life to far less tracks.

I mean, after news of Drake spending time with a retired porn star became public, I, along with everyone else, thought he cheated on her or at the very least was seeing other people on the side in their non-exclusive relationship.

The opening track 'Free Smoke' features the line "I drunk text J-Lo / Old number so it bounce back / Boi-1da got the bounce back", suggesting that J-Lo has iced him out since a year ago. Drake's absence on the interludes was a daring decision and provides some of the weakest moments on "More Life"; However, it also introduces a slew of American fans to the rising talents. (The track uses part of the series' "His World" theme song.) But that's not the only striking sample woven into More Life. It seems nearly as if West is emulating Drake's reflective style only with a more positive outlook.

If you had my love, and I gave you all my trust Would you comfort me? Despite Drake's careful efforts to create a sonic mosaic that mimics Toronto's own cultural patchwork, at 22 tracks, there's bound to be a few missteps. Undoubtedly, Drake can assemble producers and features that serve the project at hand and build a solid, cohesive product. The production group also features a wide range of artists such as Noah "40" Shebib, London On Da Track, Kanye West, Murda, Nineteen85, Boi-1da, Vinylz and Frank Dukes.

Free Smoke was the album's most-streamed track on Apple Music, followed by Portland and Passionfruit. The record gained 61.3 million global streams, smashing the previous record of 56.7 million, held by Ed Sheeran's recently released "Divide" ('÷').

Trending over the death of a music legend, More Life is out and the streets are certainly talking about it in spades.

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