Op-Ed: Drake Releases Honestly, Nevermind | Love it or Hate it You’re Singing Along
By Dréa Hudson
June 21, 2022
Here’s the thing, the art of dropping a surprise album is always appreciated by the audience but hardly ever happens anymore. The amount of time, and resources spent on hyping an album can dilute the impact of it once it arrives. It all depends on how you balance anticipation, at some point you’re like well fuck – is the album coming out or not. By the time it hits streaming services, you’re so exhausted from watching snippets of what to expect, spending hundreds of dollars on merch, and sharing links with your fellow music heads that you can hardly even focus on running through the full album one time, let alone 5-10.
In the 3rd quarter of the NBA finals, when the Celtics started to give me hope that they might actually make it to a game 7, I saw a notification pop up that Honestly, Nevermind, the surprise Drake album was coming out at midnight. I stayed up until midnight, but very quickly realized that if I skipped listening to it as soon as it dropped, I’d be able to approach it with a fresh mind during a “no meetings Friday”. This means I wasn’t even mad when my dog woke me up at 7AM, I was appreciative because I knew that the dog park would be the perfect place to get a strong listen in to the album.
What I love about the album:
- There is Virgil influence all OVER the place. Primarily in one of my favorite tracks “Sticky” where if you listen close enough you can hear the Virgil sound bite. Now I do not know the extent of the relationship between the two but one thing is for certain, Virgil did gift Drake the artwork for Air Drake, so there had to be something there.
- It is oozing with summer. Every single track is produced like it’s supposed to be played in a thick crowd of close dancers, inching toward each other, with sweaty mal intent. On the flipside, it’s also produced in a way that could be perfect for a backyard boogie, a late night smoke sesh or a ride through the city with the roof off and the windows down.
- This is the lyricism we’ve wanted from Drake. I am not claiming that Drake is the best rapper of all time. He is however a figure that does an exceptional job of storytelling in a relatable way regardless of what your current relationship status is. He goes from being in love, to losing in love, to finding love within himself to finding new muses and not going to the Met because there you can only bring a plus one and clearly he needs to bring his whole squad.
- I’m already singing along to this album. That’s a clear sign that it’s a hit, I wasn’t singing along with the Certified Lover Boy, and hardly ever play that album. This one has been on repeat all day, and I’m going to keep playing it this weekend. It’s been awhile since an album hi-jacked my weekend like this, but I’m here for it.
- There are tracks for the villains and the heroes. Depending on what you’re going through you can find a track on this album that feels like it’s speaking to you. Whether you’re wondering why you should keep someone around, or thinking about getting locked down for life, if you listen closely bet you can find it.
What I think haters are saying about the album:
- Drake is soft now that he’s rich. Who the HELL cares? To be honest, let the man be soft if he wants to be, if he wants to sing more than he raps let him, if he can’t get back to So Far Gone vibes because he’s So Far Gone good for him. Get over it, the past exists there and only there.
- There aren’t any bars on this album. Again, versatility has always been one of this man’s strong suits. Let’s go back to how we felt when we first heard Take Care. We were ALL confused when Marvins Room had us all off key singing all out of tune talking about “I’m just saying you could do better”…
- The artwork is trash. Ok, you have a point here, the art work isn’t my favorite but I’m sure there’s a story behind why he chose that as the cover. Artists have some unique quirks when it comes to putting out their projects, album covers is one of them. From what I understand @onda is behind the Creative Direction of this art work, so maybe it’s an opportunity to follow him and learn more about his style.
- It’s not what you were expecting. Obviously NOT because you weren’t expecting it at all. No one was. So my recommendation is to appreciate the fact that we’ve got some new music from an extremely talented artist and keep it moving. Give it another try, maybe in a different place, on different speakers and with a different crowd and see if the vibe hits differently.
Until next time.
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