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Drake and Future “What a Time to Be Alive” Album Review

what-a-time-to-be-alive-drake-and-futureBehind a heavy bass that would make the windows in your car vibrate, Drake triumphantly shouts, “Man, what a time to be alive.” And yes indeed, what a time to be alive for Drake and Future and for any hip-hop fan. Future recently had his first number one album with the release of “Dirty Sprite 2” in late July. The album was full of southern trap influenced head bangers that one could blast in their room to ruin their mom’s book club meeting. “Dirty Sprite 2” also had a feature from Drake called “Where Ya At,” which was Future’s highest charting single, showing how successful the two of them could be on a track together.

If Future has had a 2015 full of good fortune, then Drake might have won the lottery twice. Drake dropped his fourth number one album with “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” with successful jubilant anthems like, “Know Yourself,” “Energy,” and “Legend.” Drake was also recently amidst a rap beef with Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill. Following Drake’s song “Back to Back” and a feeble response from Meek Mill, Drake claimed victory via memes and Twitter parody accounts. With both Drake and Future riding high on their success, there were rumors that both of them could release a joint project together. Nevertheless, “What a Time to be Alive” (WATTBA) was released on Apple Music on September 20, and I hastily joined Apple Music just to hear it.

Upon first listen, you can tell right off the bat that this is not a Drake album. Mostly, this is a Future album with Drake as a guest feature. The Future influence on WATTBA is evident with Metro Boomin as a producer, who has been Future’s go-to-guy from the rookie days. Drake, at times, seems almost as if he took a wrong turn somewhere and wandered onto a Future song and decided to record. Despite Drake occasionally feeling out of place on some tracks, he still delivers with pretty above par punch lines, with an exception to some corny ones. In WATTBA, we get Drake rapping with a lot of boastful energy that I haven’t heard since his “So Far Gone” mix tape when he had yet to become the household name that he is today . “Jumpman” is one song I believe will slowly become one of the hits on the album, with the Michael Jordan reference of jumpman and with the catchy-hype-up beat, I feel this is a song that will be played at NBA games in the coming months.

One of the standout tracks on the album is called “Diamonds Dancing.” Future, who is known mostly for mumbling through his verses and having an overall monotone voice in his choruses, actually delivers some screen-shot-2015-09-20-at-6-29-53-pmpitch change on the chorus of the song. Along with Future’s improved singing Metro Boomin really comes through with a soft, hypnotic beat during the verses and then brings in heavy drums for the chorus, which works perfectly for Drake and Future’s voices. Another highlight of the album is “Big Rings” which is a boastful anthem of Drake sticking to his favorite theme of “putting on for his team” speaking of how he will provide for his boys back home. Drake raps aggressively in the chorus, which I found a great shift from his mellow tone in “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.” Future also delivers a good verse mostly because his auto tuned voice fits very well with the bass, clap, bass, clap of the beat. Future does what he does best on “I’m the Plug” where he takes the piano chords and bass and makes it his. Drake seems the most out of place with this song, mostly because the southern trap beat isn’t really the style for the Canadian R&B artist.

Overall, this album had immense potential to stand toe to toe with Jay Z and Kanye’s “Watch the Throne” as one of the greatest collaborative albums in Hip Hop. Although I enjoyed this album for the most part, I feel some parts were rushed and scrambled together and if more time was taken with the album it could have made something really special. If more songs were made that incorporated Drake’s style than Future’s, the Drake verses wouldn’t have felt so out of place. However, despite these criticisms I think Drake and Future delivered on a number of songs especially with any song that Metro Boomin produced. This will definitely not be the last time you hear from Drake and Future for they are both at their peak of popularity right now and the view from above is gorgeous.

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Drake and Future “What a Time to Be Alive” Album Review