The Canadian rapper and vocalist Drake has been building his rap career since 2008. As the years went by, he has had multiple number-one hits and became the most streamed artist on Spotify with 85.8 million monthly listeners. Drake took the world by storm when he released his trilogy of, “Certified Lover Boy,” “Honestly Nevermind,” and “Her Loss” through the end of 2021 to 2023. This brings him to his latest album, “For All The Dogs,” released in October of 2023.
Drake’s sound throughout the album is reminiscent of “old Drake.” The sound of “old Drake” is something people have waited for him to bring back since he’s experimented with other sounds. The “old Drake” reference refers to his soft rap back in the early 2010s with songs from the album “Take Care” and “Nothing Was the Same.” There are also songs that cater to his new sound of modern rap that was first featured in “Certified Lover Boy,” with the song “Knife Talk” that features 21 Savage and Project Pat. He carried that sound into this latest album, “For All The Dogs.”
He starts the album with, “Virginia Beach,” a softer rap song that includes clever wordplay like, “She’s pretty but ghetto, pretty but rough, just like Virginia Beach.” The song has a similar start to the first song on the album called “Champagne Poetry.” Both songs start with a soft and slow melody. The melody on “Virginia Beach” starts by saying, “Your mother would be proud of you.” It’s a typical start to a Drake album to start with a melody. It leaves the listener curious as for the rest of the song. The wordplay throughout the song will keep you engaged.
As the album continues, the songs start to have a similar theme. The overall theme of the album is being single and unapologetically doing you without worrying about a significant other.
There are two songs specifically on the album that directly explore this theme, “Bahama Promises” and “Tried Our Best.” These songs mention how it would be nice to experience places without arguing and having trips ruined by a significant other. The songs go on to describe his feelings and what nights would be like without the stress of a partner. The figurative language he uses to describe these occurrences is what makes these songs great. You’re able to picture the scenes created and he gives you a story to follow. Also, for some, he paints a scene that makes these songs relatable and even more intriguing.
Throughout the album, there are also features from other artists, such as 21 Savage, J. Cole, SZA, Party Next Door, and Bad Bunny, just to name a few. One of the top features from the album included a feature from J. Cole in the song “First Person Shooter.” This song has become one of the most popular songs off of the album since its J. Coles and Drake’s first song together since “Jodeci Freestyle” in 2013. Though all 23 songs from the album landed in the top 50 of the “Billboard Top 100,” “First Person Shooter” came in number one along with “Slime You Out” featuring SZA when it came out as a single ahead of the official album release.
The song, “First Person Shooter” included a beat that was modern rap and catered to both Drake’s and J. Cole’s sound as artists. The two collaborated nicely together and put out a song that was figuratively creative and kept you engaged. A good lyric to demonstrate that from the song is, “Everybody steppers, well, f**k it, then everybody breakfast, and I’m ‘bout to clear up my plate.’” The line is creative, saying that if everybody wants to be the same, then everyone can get shown the same.
People may argue that Drake is “outdated” or “needs to retire” but this album shows the complete opposite. He continues to discover new sounds that work for him and he experiments with what music is today. As music evolves, so has he, and he deserves credit for that. This album is great because of the way he chooses to continue to grow as an artist and try new things. The album not only showed his versatility as an artist, but also that’s he’s here to stay in the industry. So, go give “For All The Dogs” a listen and prepare yourself to sing along and get in your feels.