On Sept. 6 Drake via Instagram announced that he would release a new album titled “For All The Dogs” on Sept. 22. Shortly after, the Canadian rapper postponed the release to Oct. 6 stating his “It's All a Blur” tour with 21 Savage to be the reason. Finally, at 6 a.m. Friday he released his almost 90-minute 23-track album.
Following “Her Loss," a collaborative album with 21 Savage, many fans were looking for Drake to go back to his older self, which he hinted at doing in his poetry book "Titles Ruin Everything." "Old Drake" typically refers to his work before 2016 when the artist was still making a name for himself. Add the fact that he is one song away from tying Michael Jackson for most number-one songs by a male soloist, many fans expected some of Drake’s work.
The features on this project are attention-grabbing and perfectly curated. Such as the potential fan favorite, “Rich Baby Daddy,” featuring St. Louis rapper Sexyy Red and SZA, “IDGAF” with Yeat, and “Daylight” featuring his son Adonis. The feature that steals the show however is Teezo Touchdown, whose angelic voice appears twice on “Amen” and “7969 Santa.” In addition to the great supporting cast, the production quality was high which is typical for Drake’s work. This combination of artists and production make for a fun and diverse album. For instance, Drake switches from producer Conductor Williams' more traditional hip-hop beat on “8 am in Charlotte," to an upbeat Reggaeton style on “Gently" with Puerto Rico’s Bad Bunny. These are not the only genres he plays with; others include trap-soul, house, rage, and more.
Typically albums are used as a way for an artist to express change in their lives or growth in their music. “For All the Dogs" was less of an album and more of a compilation of songs. Made in the middle of a national tour, this album feels rushed. Besides the occasional barking in the background of tracks and the monologue from Snoop Dogg, there is no central theme tying this album together. In addition to this, many songs are longwinded with half of the tracks reaching over four minutes. The actual material and lyrics are shallow as usual for Drake, but leave an even more sour taste as he continually takes the time to diss female artists. One example of this is Rihanna in “Fear of Heights.”
“Why they make it sound like I'm still hung up on you/ That could never be Gyal can't run me…I'm anti, I'm anti/ Yeah, and the sex was average with you/ Yeah, I'm anti 'cause I had it with you,” Drake rapped in "Fear of Heights."
His best literary attempts are in these quick jabs using terms such as “gyal” referring to Rihanna’s Caribean heritage and “anti” which is the title of her 2016 album. Finally, even though the feature list was exciting, it was plain to see that Drake is trying to appear current and with the times by including trendy artists. For those artists, it feels as if he truly did not collaborate with them and only inserted them to increase listening. This could not be the same for other features such as J. Cole or Lil Yachty.
At this point in his career, Drake has little to prove. This mindset seems to appear in his music as many songs are shallow. It is by no means a sign that Drake is falling apart. However, as he has stated that this album will be his last project for a long time, it is disappointing to see that he released a project with so many holes.
Rating: 6 out of 10.