Nothing Was the Same
OVO Sound, Republic Records, September 24 2013
Reviewed by Ben Simpson
There is a large collection of artists that don’t think Aubrey Drake Graham deserves the recognition he has received. Common referred to him as “soft”. DMX, Li’l Kim, and Chris Brown had much more explicit ways to describe the 26-year-old Canadian rapper. But despite the hate, Drake finds himself right back at the top after his latest release Nothing Was the Same. “This is nothing for the radio, but they’ll still play it though/Cause it’s that new Drizzy Drake, that’s just the way it go.” Just like the words above, taken off of the opening track “Tuscan Leather“, Drake can make an album virtually without any sing-along hooks and still somehow find his way into millions of homes, cars, and smartphones. In a year where Kanye’s Yeezus weirded us out, and Jay-Z’s Magna Carta… Holy Grail talked down to us, Drake once again squeezed his way to the top of the heap with his most marketable asset: relating to his audience. Coming from a middle-class television-star life, his background is nothing like Jay-Z’s drug-slinging street years, yet Drake shares the issues of the majority. He wants to be successful (clearly he has achieved that with the millions of record sales), he works hard (Drake famously hates vacations), and he just wants to be loved (as evident by the bazillion songs about women). Parents aren’t scared off by him, heck even Ellen has had him on her show plenty of times. “Degenerates, but even Ellen loves our s***” as “Tuscan Leather” puts it. But there is a dark side to Drake, and it seems to come out in this album. 2011’s Take Care was the type of album you would party to, his debut album Thank Me Later in 2010 was a typical self-hyping introduction album, but Nothing Was the Same is something else entirely.