If You’re Reading This…

By Terrance Smith

DrakeOn February 12 Drake released “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”. The “mixtape” is available for purchase on iTunes for $12.99; a rarity among hip hop mix tapes which are often free and downloadable from a website. The release also followed a trend set by Beyonce in 2013 with her surprise release of “Beyonce” without any promotion or prior notice. Though the mix tape wasn’t prefaced by any commercial promotion, speculation has been going on for months that Drake would be releasing a new project. Drake finally confirmed with the iTunes link to the tape on Twitter.

The mixtape contains 17 songs and has a run time of 1 hour and 9 minutes.  Upon first listen the record runs very smooth and the tracks seem to flow seamlessly. There are several tracks that stand out such as “Legend”, “Energy”, “Know Yourself”, “6 Man” and “6PM In New York”. After two listens the record has a very slow paced vibe which may or may not be appealing to the listener. The production is similar on quite a few tracks, giving them similar sounds and makes some tracks easily forgettable. However, if a slow paced, vocal-heavy Drake is your interest this may be the record for you.

To further dive in depth into this record, the aspects of the album such as lyrics, production, and cohesiveness should be examined. The lyrics on this project are slightly above average, at best. Drake’s wordplay, lyricism, and subject matter have become slightly repetitive. Drake wants the listener to know that he’s come a long way, he’s the hottest thing out and Toronto is his home. 

On the other hand, the album’s production is well executed. The beats and the quality of tones match very well and they enhance the quality of the project immensely. In fact, listeners may enjoy the production more than the lyrics.

A benefit of this level of production is also the cohesiveness that it allows for. Most of the mix tape flows together and this project seems to be something that the listener can press play without skipping around. For most of Drake’s projects that has been something that has been able to do so very well.

Drake put together a quality project for the average listener. Drake’s die-hard fans may be disappointed with the project because it definitely doesn’t rise to the level of “So Far Gone” or “Comeback Season” which showed better combinations of lyrical content and are still regarded as some of his best works.

If you never listened to Drake and wanted to be exposed to him, this would not be a good introduction to his music because he has much stronger work available. The project has moments when it highlights Drake’s versatility as he is able to sing and rap, but overall it fails to stand out among Drake’s other records.

The final rating of this record receives a 7/10. The mixtape has its high points, but they tie with the bad ones. Unfortunately this project may have very little replay value, but with Drake’s reputation for hit making only time will tell.

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