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Drake’s ‘More Life’ gives listeners a chance to understand the 6 God

Drake’s new playlist “More Life” dropped on Saturday, March 18 featuring 81 minutes (22 tracks) of astounding glimpses into Drake’s playground of a mind.
The name of the playlist comes from the Jamaican slang phrase “more life, more strength” used to wish people well. “More Life” is full of Jamaican influences, along with touches of Filipino, Indian and Canadian. Drake also weaves odes to the past into his songs with lyrics, song titles and beats. For example, track 6, “Madiba Riddim,” threads two storylines together. Madiba most likely refers to Nelson Mandela, the iconic anti-apartheid leader in South Africa. His clan name, Madiba, was used to show respect and adoration. Riddim comes from Jamaican Patois, an English-based Creole with West African influences, meaning rhythm with a different inflection.
Drake starts “More Life” with dynamism with two traditional rap songs with repetitive choruses and appealing beats. Of note in his first title, “Free Smoke,” are potential lyrical references to his ex, Jennifer Lopez. Another tribute appears later in the track “Teenage Fever.” “Free Smoke” and “No Long Talk,” both relatively short tracks, lead into one of the most popular songs of the playlist: “Passionfruit.”
“Passionfruit” draws heavily on Graham’s Jamaican influences evident in the playlist’s title and throughout other tracks. Drake blends more contemporary beats into this song about his struggle with love. “Passionfruit” describes an intense relationship that lacks trust, stability and commitment. Like a best friend who wholeheartedly supports Drake through every breakup and makeup, this song leaves listeners with some emotional baggage. Drake subtly cries for help, blaming himself for the deterioration of his relationships. And like any good friend, the audience is left to reinflate Drake’s crushed heart.
In the next two songs, Drake exhibits his ability to weave tracks together without missing a beat. The space between “Jorja Interlude” and “Get It Together” is next to nonexistent as the beat molds from more lofty and laid back into a more dance club-esque bounce. While “Get It Together” does not top review charts as one of the more popular songs, the piano that seems to appear and disappear simultaneously and the blend of Drake’s voice with those of Black Coffee and Jorja Smith make it a contender. One of the earlier tracks on the playlist, “Get It Together” also plays the role of bringing the listener in with an easier storyline and formulaic beats.
The next song worth noting is “Portland,” featuring Quavo and Travis Scott. Because the song is unavailable on Spotify and YouTube, it proved difficult to track down. However, the song is withheld for no obvious reason, as it can be found on numerous music reviewers’ sites. Drake’s jovial lyrics, such as “My side girl got a 5s with the screen cracked, still hit me back right away,” and opportune appearances from familiars like Travis Scott definitely make it memorable, but less “Drake” than the other tracks seem to be.
After “Portland,” Drake slips into a sultry tone for the track “Teenage Fever.” This sudden switch makes it reminiscent of songs like “Shut It Down” from “Thank Me Later” and “Marvin’s Room” from “Take Care.” Like his shout out to J. Lo in “Free Smoke,” Drake uses direct lyrics from her 1999 single “If You Had My Love.” The lyrics are a plea to potential lovers for comfort and security. It is unclear whether this is foreshadowing to a potential reunion, but as proponents of true love, the listeners can only hope for Drake’s pure and unadulterated happiness.
As the playlist begins to wind down, it still seems to lack a peak. Not in the sense of climax, rather a swell from which listeners need to sit back and reflect upon for a while. Drake hits this swell between “Can’t Have Everything” and “Glow.” The former ends with a voicemail from his mother — one of the more surprising moments on the playlist. She frets over the “negative tone… in his voice” in recent releases. She is most likely referring to some of the try-hard and aggressive songs in “Views” that turned off even some of the most devoted Drake fans. As the voicemail draws to a close, Ms. Graham seems to speak to all those in the midst of struggles, whether it be as musicians or college students, saying, “I’m confident in you, and I know that you can reach your desired destination and accomplish your goals much more quickly without this confrontation. When others go low, we go high.”
With this charge, Drake’s track, “Glow,” featuring Kanye West, starts to pick the listener up. The inspiration that flows out of this song is enough to embolden any desolate and despairing young person to stop wasting their lives on toxic relationships and consumer excess. It lets one know that someone is always going to be on his or her side, providing constant love and support, even if that person happens to be Drake’s mother.
Almost to the close of his playlist, Drake tosses in a curveball, placing “Fake Love,” a chart topper, as the third to last track. The song is played often and lovingly as another ode to people who bamboozle Drake. He’s ensuring that they know that he knows what they’re doing. No one pulls a fast one on Drake.
Finally, Drake ends his set list with “Do Not Disturb.” The closer lets listeners catch their breath and unclench their shoulders, not from anger or tension, but from the incredulity from yet another Drake chef-d’oeuvre. This playlist comes highly recommended, but on no light charge. It requires endurance and commitment requirements for being in a relationship with Drake as well.
Although home to numerous chart-topping party tracks, it is best listened to from “Free Smoke” to “Do Not Disturb” in sound proof headphones in an active state of mind, not as a casual fling.

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