Song of The Year-Jungle by Drake produced by 40
Right as the anniversary of So Far Gone approached Drake was planning a mixtape that went retail and I was writing about how So Far Gone changed masculinity in hip hop. I wish I could tell you I planned it this way. Who knew when Drake dropped If You’re Reading This Its Too Late that it would be as transformative as it is; not nearly as clingy or insincere as he’s been in the past. It actually has the feeling of a dangerous industry entity on the attack.
I recently went back and watched an MTV special on the making of Drake’s first album called Better Than Good Enough where long time producer Noah “40” Shebib explains that Drake is dangerous because you can’t tell him no. 40 looks right into the lens and says “because between him and me we can give you a mastered copy of what he wants to do.” Think about that? If the label says no, he says yes…goes and makes it and maybe he leaks it? Maybe he leaks a song that hits so hard the label has to release it his way. In a lot of ways 40 is Drake’s secret weapon.
While the new project is dense and emotionally layered to the point of filling, it’s Jungle I can’t get away from. I’m addicted to it and impressed by the delicacy of Drake’s singing and the absence of cringe inducing imagery (#ridingequestrian). The light cooing tip toes out of the speakers on crashing waves of bass. Does it sound like 90’s R&B or does it sound like what we remember 90’s R&B having sounded like? It sounds like the spirit of 90’s sexually charged R&B but more advanced. This is the OVO sound and while everyone was busy saying Drake is no Jay-z or Tupac they were missing what was right in front of them. Isn’t Drake’s ceiling this generations Sade? No, he needs his emotions center stage. Isn’t Drake’s ceiling this generations Janet Jackson?! Linking his sexuality to his bravado and an emotional tapestry we can’t look away from; all the while staying strangely unexplainably relatable to his audience. Dudes talk about how ladies love Drake but we will hit a point where dudes freely admit they love him just as much.