With the Titans of Cash Money colliding, Drake threw his own haymaker with the release of If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. He’s already posting record sales and has the internet going crazy with the surprise release and addressing of beefs with other artists. Tracks like “Energy” and “6PM In New York” have been the focus of the music media, with everyone declaring the record as a giant middle finger to the internet and the rap game.
Drake is undeniably addressing much of the public feuds he’s connected to, but songs like “Know Yourself” are a more clear indication of where Drake is at artistically and what the highly anticipated Views From The 6 will be. In order to understand this, listen to Drake discuss Toronto in an interview with the infamous Jian Ghomesh after the release of his last record, Nothing Was The Same.
…I said to you that I make my music for driving at night, you know the night drives that I went on were through this city. Thats how I knew when my music was connecting… it would be night time and I’d be looking at this city and if the music matched that scenery then it was right for me, and I still do that. The only difference is that there’s a security truck behind me.
Listen to “Know Yourself” at 05:40 along the with visuals from Drake’s short film Jungle he released a few days prior to If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
When you put “Know Yourself” up to Drake’s own test, it passes with flying colors. The seedy atmosphere, the ultra low beat, the sampled chimes, all make this prime real estate as far as cruising goes. The repetitive chorus of “Runnin’ through the 6 with my woes” is his night drives through Toronto, his smoking weed with his crew at the park, his going out to the clubs filled with fake friends. For the listener, it becomes whatever you want it to be while you’re nodding your head.
Towards the end of the interview, Drake says, in reference to his last album, “I really want you to hear that album and know that this city is what inspired it, and if you like that album and you’re looking for a place to go, then come check out the city.” While Nothing Was The Same was a tremendously successful record, not many people started planning trips to visit Toronto after they heard it.
Views From The 6 will be Drake’s unambiguous love letter to Toronto, and he doesn’t want to dilute that by addressing all his beefs on the record. If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late killed about 8 birds with one stone, and paved the way for Drake’s ultimate project of putting Toronto on the cultural map. Just like his friend LeBron moved back from Miami to get his city a championship, Drake is making moves to get his city, the 4th largest city in North America, the respect it deserves.
Ben Levine is originally from Rockford, Illinois. He recently moved to Los Angeles after spending a year and half in the Israel Defense Forces. He has a degree in Russian and Religious Studies and enjoys hotdogs, Iceland, and live performance of all kinds. Follow him on Twitter @levineb and Instagram @tread_endznor.