October’s Very Own talks about love.
Released 24th September, 2013.
“Comin’ off the last record, I’m getting 20 million on the last record” is the unsubtle brag that opens Nothing Was The Same. Drake is one of the biggest players in hip-hop and he makes sure everyone knows. ‘Started From The Bottom’ recalls his rise to stardom from humble beginnings, achieved through hard-work and talent. “I wear every single chain, even when I’m in the house” he proclaims showing he has no plans to stop his ascent anytime soon either. Judging by the quality of this album, that doesn’t seem likely.
Love, with its peaks and troughs, is the main focus of the album’s lyrical content. ‘From Time’ details the reunion of two former lovers, featuring a guest vocal from Jhene Aiko soulfully singing “I love me, I love me enough for the both of us” on top of a dulcet piano melody. On ‘Connect’ Hudson Mohawke continues his hot streak of hip-hop production laying down a spaced out beat for Drake to bitch about the extracoital activities involved in relationships, “She just wanna run around the city and make memories that she can barely remember / And I’d allow her, talk about pussy power” he sighs; it’s a hard life.
Frequent SBTRKT collaborator Sampha appears on ‘Too Much’ which proves to be the standout track of the album. Drake is revealing of his concerns and personal issues whilst on the chorus Sampha urges him “Don’t think about it too much”, creating a compelling look at Drake’s inner battle against the anxieties he perseveres through to reach his goals. Not all the features are so strong unfortunately, one low point of the album occurs with Jay-Z’s guest spot on ‘Pound Cake’ in which he continues to ‘phone it in’. The verse feels like it exists purely to have Jay-Z on the album rather than to enhance the musical quality.
The Toronto born artist has produced a more constant rap effort than perhaps expected with Nothing Was The Same and the album does slightly suffer from the lack of his more RnB styled tracks. Drake is often at his best with songs fitting that genre, for example back catalogue highlights ‘Fireworks’ and ‘Take Care’. Yet Drake is an outstanding rapper and Nothing Was The Same has all the components an excellent hip-hop album requires: slick rhymes, a number of good guest features and a great deal of bragging.