By Albert Wambura
This time Drake, the multi-award-winning recording artiste, went
down the afro-house route, and with much aplomb. Featuring afro house greats
like Black Coffee and Tresor on the production credits, it feels like the world
is finally catching up to the sublime tradition of African house music.
Last week Friday international rapper and singer Drake surprise-dropped his seventh studio album.
The record boasts input from usual Drizzy Drake production
collaborators Noah “40” Shebib, Tay Keith, Vinylz, and Cubeatz, and production
royalty Gordo, Beau Nox, Alex Lustig, Kid Masterpiece, Richard Zastenker,
Rampa, &Me, and Klahr. The rapper/singer has always tried to keep up with
global trends, causing some critics to label him as having “no distinctive
style”, and calling his brand an overly commercial one.
Production maestro Gordo has said that house was always an
African-American affair, with the art form finding a home (in its earlier days)
among Black neighbourhoods and gay clubs across America. “There’s always been
this weird thing in the dance world where the majority of DJs are white,”
“But we all know that house music back in the day in Chicago and
Detroit comes from the Black community and gay community. We started it, and
now, you know, all the biggest stars and DJs in the entire world, the majority
of them, are white.” This album, therefore, could be said to have a pseudo-political
twist to it, which is certainly not something we’ve come to expect of the ‘6
Internet music critic and YouTuber Anthony ‘the Needle drop’
Fantano has, well, criticised the album as yet another one of Drake’s misses,
claiming it’s bland and boring, with a lot of tackiness to it despite having a
strong concept from the get-go.
However, with Drake having been very visible
with every song or album release year-on-year for the past 9 years, it makes
sense that some have become weary of his cleanly-produced & well-written
lyrics, all tied together with his unique rapping/singing.
For an album for which there was little marketing, it’s been
received quite positively. Featuring the song ‘Jimmy Crooks’ in which rap game
mainstay 21Savage has a strong verse this record proves yet again why Drake
remains at the top of ‘The Game’ and further cements his status as an artiste
in touch with what’s popping, and isn’t afraid of making art that’s in tune
J. Cole is included among the listeners who thought the
album was excellent. The rapper, who is good friends with Drake, responded on
Instagram by posting a video clip of the last track on the album, Liability,
along with the remark, “Man, this album is just phenomenal.” A
compliment for Drake, surely.
beats, making itunique.place.Andalone,The record is packed with the syncopated beats, unique
sounds and subtle, understated rhythms that wouldn’t be that out of place
inside a club in Durban or Nairobi, and for that alone we here at Switch label
was a success. And an unqualified one at that.