Mixtape cover courtesy of Cash Money Records
It is now too late to prepare for the release of Drake’s latest top secret album, because his If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late has already dropped. As rumors about a new mixtape floated around for the past several months, the rapper never confirmed nor denied this information; instead, he decided to pull a Beyoncé and release an entire full-length record without warning. The LP initially made its debut sometime late on Thursday, Feb. 12, with the official release occurring the following day.
According to the man himself, “The new s*** is on steroids,” as he says in the song “No Tellin’,” and he’s right. This album is very distinct from any of his past productions, and might be his strongest. From the intense sound of gunshots in “Know Yourself” to the electric retro vibes provided by PARTYNEXTDOOR in “Preach” and “Wednesday Night Interlude,” each track leaves you a little bit more surprised.
The artist also makes a big effort to show the hard work that went into crafting his fourth studio album in the song “10 Bands.” With lyrics such as “I’ve been in the crib with the phones off, I’ve been at the house taking no call,” he reveals that this project has been a top priority for him in which he’s allowed for little distraction.
Although he’s been working hard on this record for some time, that didn’t stop him from acting out. It appears Champagne Papi has been on his worst behavior, stirring up a scene with bonus track “6PM in New York.” Rumor has it that a verse in this track is deliberately aimed at rapper Tyga and his relationship with underage Kylie Jenner, stepsister to the Kardashians. Back in October, Tyga spoke badly about Drake in an interview with Vibe magazine. As his rebuttal, Drake sings “I heard a lil’ lil’ homie talking reckless in Vibe…you need to act your age not your girls age.”
Unlike his last record, the cover is plain and simple: a white background with the title If You’re Reading This it’s Too Late written in a black childlike font. Despite the lack of photos and color, the cover does display a small illustration of two hands in a praying positing accompanied by a tiny number six. Although the number seems small, its importance is huge. Throughout this album, it appears the artist wants to give praise to his hometown of Toronto, which he has nicknamed “the six.” With song titles such as “6 God,” “6 Man,” “You & The 6,” and lyrics like “I was running through the six with my wo’s” and “my city too turnt up I’ll take the fine for that” in the song “Know Yourself,” it is clear that he will never forget where he came from.
Like his previous albums Thank me Later (2010), Take Care (2011), and Nothing Was the Same (2013), If You’re Reading This has made its way to the top. According to Billboard.com, Drizzy’s album has debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard 200, and is yet another brilliant, deserved #1 from Drake.