Canadian rapper, Aubrey Graham, better known as Drake, released his third studio album titled “Nothing Was the Same.” The album was scheduled to be released on Sept. 24, but the entire LP was leaked onto the Internet nine days before.
On Oct. 3, Huffington Post released an article stating that on Wednesday the album hit No. 1 on the Billboard 200.
Billboard reported that Drake sold 658,000 copies. This allowed him to take the No. 1 spot, beating out the latest offering from Kings of Leon, “Mechanical Bull,” which came in at No. 2, and Cher’s “Closer to the Truth” which entered the chart at No. 3.
There are two different cover versions of the album. One version features a profile of Drake as a child, while the other shows the rapper as an adult. His younger self is adorned only with an afro comb in his hair while his older self has a gold chain. Both covers are set against a blissful blue sky. The cover artwork was compared to iconic hip hop albums Nas’s “Illmatic,” The Notorious B.I.G.’s “Ready to Die,” and Lil Wayne’s “Tha Carter III,” according to XXL writer, B.J. Steiner.
“What that album art is to me, is the fact that this is my most clear, concise thoughts from now, and my best recollection of then,” Drake said during an interview with MTV.
The album opens with “Tuscan Leather,” named after cologne by designer Tom Ford. The track is a whopping six minutes. Although the track is filled with long interludes and no chorus, Drake conveyed a serious point to listeners: “This is nothin’ for the radio/ But they’ll still play it, though/ ’Cause it’s that new Drizzy Drake/ That’s just the way it go.”
“Wu-Tang Forever” is one of the more gripping tracks on the album, largely due to the clever way Drake twists the Wu-Tang Clan’s “It’s Yourz” sample. The track seems to be about his thirst for owning both the rap game and a female friend’s sexual compliance, craving the constant assurance that both are his and nobody else’s.
“Worst Behavior” is the meanest-sounding thing Drake has rapped over, in my opinion. His voice is harsh and his lyrics and straightforward and powerful. A series of sputtered “muh****** never loved us” echo throughout the track.
Drake is known for shouting out non-famous ex-girlfriends on his various records, and “From Time” is no exception. His line “The one that I needed was Courtney from Hooters on Peachtree/ I’ve always been feeling like she was the piece to complete me,” is quickly gaining fame on social media websites. The reference was so specific that the actual Courtney has had to put a padlock on her social-media life, said Pitchfork writer Jayson Greene.
The album includes the club banger hit that’s been stuck in everyone’s head, “Started from the Bottom.” The track displays Drake’s celebration of past struggles he’s overcome. Powerful lyrics such as “Just as a reminder to myself/ I wear every single chain even when I’m in the house/ ’Cause we started from the bottom/ Now we’re here” fill the track.
Drake gets close to mimicking Marvin Gaye on “Own It.” The track is a lumbering love song on which Drake vows, “Next time we talk, I don’t wanna just talk/ I wanna trust/ Next time I stand tall/ I wanna be standin’ for you.”
“Hold On, We’re Going Home” is definitely my favorite track off the album. This insanely catchy sing-a-long contains the most upbeat rhythm on the entire album, making it radio-ready. Its romantic lyrics seem almost out of place on an album full of Drake’s hardships and successes of his career.
The album concludes with “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2.” Featuring Jay-Z, it’s the only track to feature a big name artist. Although it’s not the best performance by Jay-Z, the duo-track definitely brings to the table everything Drake wanted to convey to listeners throughout the album.
Overall, I believe “Nothing Was the Same” is by far one of the best albums of the year. It’s one of those albums you can listen to straight through and not even consider skipping a track. Drake definitely lived up to the hype with this album and represented Young Money well. Be ready to hear many of these tracks on Pandora, local radio stations and clubs everywhere.