‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late‘ is the fourth mixtape by Drake. We all know who Drake is in 2017 but it was this record that brought him to my attention in 2015. I hadn’t been a fan of his previous records apart from a few tracks, but when I heard ‘Energy’, the second single released from ‘If You’re…’ I started to take him seriously. It was like he had changed his tone and all of a sudden he meant business.
There’s a hell of a lot of confidence and cockiness on this record. Drake came out and essentially placed himself at the top of the mountain and let it to be judged by everyone he now considered inferior. Not that he didn’t think that of himself already, most rappers do, but this time he had substance to back up the claim. Tracks such as ‘Energy’, ’10 Bands’, ‘Know Yourself’, ‘No Tellin’, ‘Used To’, ‘Star 67’ and ‘6 Man’, 7 of 17 tracks, were not to be taken for granted. Of the rest of the record, there’s still another 3 or 4 tracks that match the ones I’ve mentioned so as a whole it’s a strong record. Some tracks are straight up rap, 2015 rap that is and not early 90’s. Now they talk about money and making it but back in the day the hip-hop/rap which caused a movement talked about money and what to do with it. There was purpose to that music. Regardless, Drake still sets himself apart with this one. From the straight up rap to more spoken word and storytelling, there is a good blend here to keep you focused. His secret weapon is his producer ’40’, whose more ambient sound production helps to create an aura around Drakes versus.He keeps some old Drake in there too, love rap and all that jazz.
The down side of the record is that despite the fact that 8 or 9 tracks are good, the other half of the record can be skipped. It’s the kind of self obsessed attempt at art and it just doesn’t cut it. You could be mistaken for thinking it’s not Drake either but one of many rappers and that’s a real shame. He could almost make a second album out of this material and place it in another genre or market it differently. A song like ‘Preach’, even though released as a single, just doesn’t seem to fit with the rest of the album and it bothers me. There’s a good flow going and then that comes on and you’re like “shit, that’s disappointing”. It’s just not a good change.
All in all, I do like this record. I can throw it on and find enjoyment in it. I will skip songs yes but I get over it. There’s 5 or 6 songs that blast through in a row that are catchy as hell and really get you thinking that Drake is the business but by the end of the record he may have slipped down your peeking order once again. I’d recommend buying it but give yourself time to love it.
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