By Natalia Ahrens
Canadian rapper from Toronto, Canada, Aubrey Drake Graham, started his rapping career in 2006, with his first hit, “Over”, coming out in 2010. Drake’s most popular song is “One Dance”, released in 2016. Since the start of his career, Drake has released 8 studio albums, with the latest being For All the Dogs. Drake released this album on Oct. 6, 2023, and the duration is 84:50. It has 23 tracks, and over 10 features, from artists such as Teezo Touchdown, 21 Savage, J. Cole, Yeat, SZA, PartyNextDoor, Chief Keef, Bad Bunny, Sexyy Red, and Lil Yachty. In this article, I will be going over some key songs from his newest album, and what I think of them.
First, I would like to begin with some other critic’s thoughts. Sources such as HipHopDX and Yahoo! Entertainment describe For All the Dogs as his lowest ranked studio album. Personally, I think this album demonstrates how versatile Drake can be, and people just don’t always appreciate that. People wanted the old Drake back, not the versatility he’s been giving his fans on his past albums, such as Her Loss, and Honestly, Nevermind. There are 23 tracks on this album, but there are 4 I want to highlight, “Daylight”, “First Person Shooter”, “IDGAF”, and “Gently”. Starting with “Daylight”, there has been much controversy about this song. There have been rumors going around that this song is describing his supposed involvement with the death of XXXTentacion. Going back to June 18, 2018, rapper XXXTentacion, also known as Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, was shot and killed at age 20 in Orlando, Florida. Upon being shot, he was also robbed of over $50,000. The circumstances of his death were interesting, as he was shot around 4p.m., as it still would have been light outside. It was a conspiracy from the beginning that Drake had some type of involvement in XXXTentacion’s murder, as they were not on good terms. Drake has since heavily denied these claims, and 4 other suspects were charged in the murder. The rumors come into play with the song Daylight, as in the chorus, he repeats the lines “Shot him in daylight”. Even lyric website, Genius, alludes to these lines being about rapper XXXTentacion. This track is also one of two to feature Drake’s son, Adonis, on it.
The next song, “First Person Shooter,” featuring J. Cole, is another popular song on this album. This song has many lyrics about Drake being the most successful rapper in the world, as in the 1st verse, he says “Who is the G.O.A.T.? Who is the G.O.A.T.? Who is the G.O.A.T.?” It is often debated about who is the G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time), in rap, and the 2 most common names that are brought up in that discussion are Drake and J. Cole, themselves. In J. Cole’s verse, he says, “Love when they argue the hardest MC, Is it K-Dot? Is it Aubrey? Or me?” J. Cole refers to Kendrick Lamar when he says “K-Dot”, and is asking about who people think is the greatest of all time, him, Drake, or Kendrick Lamar?
Over Drake’s past few albums, some memes have emerged from them. One of the most recognizable memes, especially on TikTok, is off of album Her Loss, on song with 21 Savage, “Rich Flex”. People often refer to Drake as being slightly feminine, and having to ask 21 for help. The lyrics are as follows: “21, can you do somethin’ for me? Can you hit a lil’ rich flex for me?” On his newest album, his newest meme is emerging, on the song “IDGAF ” featuring YEAT. Personally, “IDGAF” is my favorite song off of the album, as the beat is very catchy, and it reminds me of some of the old Drake, but I also enjoy how Drake has opened up to collaborating with some of today’s most popular artists, from all over the world. This brings me into the next song, “Gently” featuring Bad Bunny. Bad Bunny, also known as Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, is a rapper and singer from Puerto Rico. Drake and Bad Bunny have collaborated before, on the song “MIA”. For those who aren’t very familiar with Bad Bunny, he sings/raps in Spanish, so Drake does, too, but not completely. People have not reacted the best to this song, as they say Drake’s Spanish sounds “amateur”, but I really like the beat of this song, as it has a reggaeton feel to it, and it just shows how truly versatile Drake can be.
As this is not a full representation on Drake’s new album, these are some highlights that I believe are worth a listen. I would recommend this album to anyone who loves the more versatile Drake, as he hits it spot on in this album. I would rate this album an 8/10, overall.