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Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

Winged Post
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‘For All The Dogs:’ Is the “old Drake” really back?

In+his+new+23-track+long+album+%E2%80%9CFor+All+The+Dogs%2C+Drake+grapples+between+options+for+his+next+persona.+Filler+songs+dilute+the+album%E2%80%99s+highlights%2C+making+%E2%80%9CFor+All+The+Dogs%E2%80%9D+a+much+longer+and+mind-numbing+listen+than+necessary.+
Illustration by Young Min
In his new 23-track long album “For All The Dogs,” Drake grapples between options for his next persona. Filler songs dilute the album’s highlights, making “For All The Dogs” a much longer and mind-numbing listen than necessary.

Canadian rapper and singer Drake has explored every corner of the musical world since breakout mixtape So Far Gone in 2009. He dabbled in moody atmospheres with “Nothing Was the Same,” embraced dancehall vibes in “Views” and even ventured into the realm of club music with “Honestly, Nevermind.” He’s both the introspective poet and the boastful rapper, the sensitive guy-next-door and the untouchable superstar.

In his new 23-track long album “For All The Dogs,” however, Drake grapples between options for his next persona. The result is an inconsistent album, littered with several songs that shine brilliantly on their own but seem thrown together without much thought. Filler songs dilute the album’s highlights, making “For All The Dogs” a much longer and mind-numbing listen than necessary. 

Before “For All The Dogs” dropped on Oct. 6, Drake described motivation for his new album. “I’m tired of everybody coming up to me, [saying] ‘man… we miss that old Drake man. Imma give it to you then,” he said, according to a Tweet by the NFR podcast. As promised, Drake´s album incorporates some of his old flow in his fan-favorite first track “Virginia Beach.” The song samples singer Frank Ocean’s unofficially released song “Wiseman”. Ocean’s heavenly vocals blend into Drake’s bar-heavy chorus about longing for emotional connection with a woman. The duo’s insane chemistry has made the track one of the most streamed on the album.

In his new 23-track long album “For All The Dogs”, Drake grapples between options for his next persona. The result is an inconsistent album, littered with several songs that shine brilliantly on their own but seem thrown together without much thought

Drake also features talented artists like Yeat, J. Cole and SZA, among others. He seamlessly incorporates them, whether it’s Yeat on the rage-induced “IDGAF” or J. Cole on “First Person Shooter.” The album also appeals to Gen Z by including appearances from rising stars Teezo Touchdown and Sexyy Red. “Rich Baby Daddy” featuring SZA went viral on social media, inspiring a TikTok dance with over 100 million views.

The album’s honorable mentions include “Slime You Out” and “8am in Charlotte.” These R&B songs incorporate impressive vocals and song production. The wordplay and lyrics in these tracks are also impressive. In “Slime You Out,” Drake raps: “All I really know is W’s and M’s, life lookin’ like a bathroom.” “W’s” typically refer to “wins” and “M’s” refer to millions, in reference  to success and wealth. Drake plays around with these letters, which also resemble the “W’s” and “M’s” that stand for “women’s” and “men’s” on bathroom doors. In “8am in Charlotte”, Drake raps: “The money speakin’ for itself, I call it fortune-tell,” claiming that his wealth is so significant that it can predict his future.

On the flip side, “Calling For You” and “Gently” fall short, lacking in excitement due to Drake’s unvaried and monotone rapping. The former track features Drake’s close friend and frequent collaborator 21 Savage. Although the duo has produced chart-topping songs such as “Spin Bout U” and “Jimmy Crooks,” “Calling For You” left fans disappointed as 21 Savage’s lyrics focus on recurring themes revolving around women and physical relationships. Drake’s lackluster verse pales in comparison to 21 Savage’s. Maybe 21’s claim was right: once he jumps on a song, he makes the other artist sound like a feature.

The artist struggles to regain his identity and overcompensates by trying to be everything at once, keeping this album from achieving anything more than a mediocre rating

“Gently,” which features Puerto Rican rapper and singer Bad Bunny, is another one of the album’s skips. Drake’s attempt to rap in Spanish comes across as embarrassing. Reviews criticized his artificial accent, evident “Spanglish” and failed foray into reggaeton. A review of the album from The Guardian claims that: “Gently, featuring Bad Bunny, is downright goofy, Drake slipping between Spanish-language rapping and fake-Spanish-language rapping like the Puerto Rican superstar’s cartoonish sidekick.”

“For All The Dogs” has staggering highs and extremely disappointing lows. While it becomes enjoyable once you know which songs to skip, Drake’s decision to include them shows that perhaps, he doesn’t care about his music as much as he used to. The artist struggles to regain his identity and overcompensates by trying to be everything at once, keeping this album from achieving anything more than a mediocre rating.

Edward’s rating: 2.5/5

  • Favorite songs: IDGAF, Virginia Beach, Away From Home

Ashley’s rating 3/5

  • Favorite songs: Virginia Beach, First Person Shooter, Rich Baby Daddy
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About the Contributors
Edward Huang, Winged Post Co-Managing Editor
Edward Huang (12) is a co-managing editor for the Winged Post, and this is his fourth year on staff. This year, Edward wants to continue creating unique designs for Winged Post while covering community events. In his free time, he likes to listen to music and go on runs.
Ashley Mo, Reporter
Ashley Mo (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, Ashley hopes to write about stories both within and outside of the Harker community, form friendships on the journalism team and learn more about global news events. In her free time, she enjoys playing golf and listening to music.

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