Drake and Future, two of the most hardworking and successful rappers of 2015, almost broke the internet on Monday morning when they released a surprise (well, sort of) mixtape that went straight to number one in 25 countries. It is projected to break the 500,000 album sales barrier within the first week, and has been a source of joy for the Drake stans and the Future hive, of which the latter has grown in astronomical numbers in 2015 as a result of him dropping 4 mixtapes and an album within the year.
The album contains heavy trap beats most of which are handled by Future’s producer Metro Boomin; it is a typical trap album, a factor which immediately plays to Future’s advantage who has been hailed as the Trap Lord and Savior (Amen). Drake steps up too, with him delivering some of the hardest verses of his career so far; with Future’s consistently slow and druggy raps and melodies, Drake’s clearly audible and coherent raps provide a sort of relief for listeners who insist on being able to understand the music they are listening to. Drake’s overall bravado and confidence over beats which he has hardly employed in his life before gives birth to a new kind of Drake; Trap Drake. After several hours of listening, I’ve come up with an order: ‘Take Care’ Drake > Trap Drake > ‘Best I ever had’ Drake; all of them are pretty remarkable all the same though.
Despite how well the two blend, one can’t shake off the feeling that Drake was surprisingly outshined by Future on this mixtape. Okay, maybe it shouldn’t come as much as a surprise that Future outshines the 6 God, given the album had all qualities required for Future to shine; Metro Boomin and a constant supply of drugs (weed and codeine, that is). Actually, the mixtape seems like a Future mixtape whereby Drake just happens to be a guest rapper on it. Despite Drake’s good performance on this project, ‘What A Time To Be Alive’ only served to prove two things: First, you cannot and will not dethrone Future from his place as the Trap Lord (Sorry Fetty Wap). And secondly, Drake is good as a rapper on his own, but he is excellent when partnered with his producer and long-time friend, Oliver ‘40’ Shebib. In fact, the best Drake effort on this mixtape, ’30 for 30 freestyle’ was produced by 40.
My rating: 7.5/10. Strong contender for mixtape of the year, which is weird because the strongest competition is Future’s other 3 mixtapes ‘Monster’, ‘Beast Mode’ and ’56 nights’. Along with Drake’s ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’ this mixtape proves that this really is the year of the 6 God and the Atlanta Prince.
Doug L Fresh