The promotion leading up to the latest album by Canadian rapper Drake has become an all out media blitz with TV appearances that include ESPN’s First Take, and a commercial for EA Sports FIFA soccer. The new release titled, Nothing Was The Same, shows no willingness of Drake to go deeper into uncharted terrain. Instead, His march is on safe ground. The former Canadian TV star proves once again that he is no great hip-hop revolutionary. In this album, his third studio release, he trots out the obligatory cavalcade of guest performers, which includes Jay Z, 2 Chainz, Big Sean and singers Sampha, and Jhene Aiko. His team of producers led by Noah “40” Shebib carve out divergent soundscapes.
While largely uneven, this effort has major highs. “Furthest Thing” and the top 40 hit “Started From The Bottom” takes LEGOs and builds skyscrapers with them. “Tuscan Leather” seriously flirts with spoken word, and takes the elevator past the top floor into the stratosphere and out to space. All of the singing performances, which are not done by Drake, are radiant and alluring. His singing is, at best, tolerable. However, despite stellar production, “305 To My City,” “Connect,” and “Own It,” are often stagnate, wallowing in repetition, and simply never quite get off the ground.
Nothing Was The Same debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200 album chart upon its release, and sold 658,000 copies in its first week of release . With Lil Wayne’s creativity leveling off, to say the least, his “discovery,” Drake, is now Bad Boy Records’ premier thoroughbred. This New Orleans based company are perennial home run hit makers, so don’t expect Drake to run too far from the track as long as he remains in the Bad Boy stable.