Saturday, 30 April 2016



I have developed this ritual over the last few years where whenever an artist I really love drops a new album, I like to do absolutely nothing when I first play it through. I listened to Yeezus for the first time on a beach in Turkey with my eyes closed and headphones in. I listened to Nothing Was The Same (Drake's third studio album) with a girl that Take Care (Drake's second studio album) was a very special record in our relationship. I listened to The Life of Pablo on a flight back from Dam, just in my own little zone. It started by accident, but I feel because I tend to listen to music in dribs and drabs through out my average day, this is a nice way to pay a project the attention it deserves.

Last night I made an Apple Music account and set an alarm ready to wake up and listen to Views, the highly anticipated new record from Drake. His deal with Beats1 and Apple music makes this whole process seem very exciting and a lot less mental. I don't feel like such a neurotic, OCD maniac. I feel like the way music is digitally distributed via the net these days with these new streaming platforms makes for these moments where the whole world is listening at once. Last night in the small hours, Zane Lowe played a medley of Drake records old and new, and then went on to interview Drizzy before premiering the album. This has all come a very nice, perfectly formed circle because it was years ago that I heard Drake for the first time via Zane Lowe.

Listening to Views this morning in bed I had a moment of reflection where I considered Drake's social impact. Myself and so many other people have been anticipating this record for so long, and since his last proper, full length album in 2013 Drake has grown into this icon of modern popular culture. Constant memes. Constant smash hits. Constant success. Constantly raising the bar. It's hard to go a day without accidentally seeing his face. Listening to the record I considered how monumental this could be as a flag in the ground for youth culture and the direction and influence over mainstream (not even just hip hop but) music for the next however long. Looking at how so many artists were inspired by Nothing Was The Same and even Take Care before that, it'll be interesting to see how important Views becomes.

I cast my mind back to Jay Z's quip on the track 'A Star Is Born' from Jay's 2009 album Blueprint 3. Jay Z said 'Drakes up next, see what he do with it.' I wonder if even someone as astute and intuitive as Jay Z predicted this level of super stardom for Drizzy.

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