Featuring: PARTYNEXTDOOR, dvsn, Pimp C, Wizkid, Kyla, Future, Rihanna, Majid Jordan
From the icy realms of the Great White North emerged a contender, a shift in the tectonic plates of hip-hop. Aubrey ‘Drake’ Graham, a diplomat of duality, master of melody and verse. “Views”, his 2016 revelation, solidified him as a lyrical maestro, intertwining personas and narratives into an audacious 20-track opus.
This album, a love letter to Drake’s Toronto roots, nestles both chart-topping bangers and introspective ballads into its abundant repertoire. Tracks like “Hype” elevate the braggadocio, while “Redemption” reveals a poet wrestling with fame’s fray and fractured romances. The dancehall-infused “One Dance” and “Controlla” boast of Drake’s genre-hopping abilities, as “Pop Style” and “Grammys” beam with rap bravado.
So, with the 6ix in our rearview and the Views ahead, let’s get into it. From “Keep the Family Close” to “Hotline Bling”, here are the Breaking down the Lyrics on ‘Views’ by ‘Drake’.
1. Keep The Family Close
Drake had always worn his heart on his sleeve, but this joint was a whole new level. It’s a sobering realization of how fame can turn your closest ones into distant memories. The title isn’t just a mere suggestion, it’s a regretful lament, reflecting his losses in maintaining genuine relationships amidst the whirlwind of his success. With lines like “All of my ‘let’s just be friends’, are friends I don’t have anymore,” you can feel Drizzy raw and in his feelings, as he looks around to find his circle getting smaller and his isolation growing. The pain and progress, recognition and loneliness, it’s all intertwined in this one track showing how the 6 God navigates his star life. It’s a cautionary tale not just for him, but for anyone stepping into the allure of success.
A chaotic assemblage of conversational snippets and a beat that pulsates like a heart, it’s a clear nod to the griminess and resilience attributed to the Toronto streets. The track also showcases Drake’s struggle with fame and the stress that comes with it. With deft metaphorical strokes, he paints a picture of loyalty and betrayal, of success and the isolation it breeds, and of the constant fight to stay relevant. Addressing those who doubt his contributions, he reminds them how he’s fed many, and how he transformed his life and of those around him via his ambition. This is Drake in his rawest form, the Toronto kid made good, yet still battling the perception of not doing enough.
3. U With Me?
He spits about fluctuating rapport, fueled by DMs, partying, and miscommunication. Notably, he references the infamous DMX track, “What These Bitches Want,” suggesting a similar perplexed state of affairs. His reiteration of the question “Is you wit’ me or what?” underscores an underlying uncertainty, hinting at his vulnerability amidst his braggadocio. Drake’s lyrical dexterity is particularly evident in his clever wordplay, like the ‘Happy Meal’ line, a pointed commentary on his partner’s capricious actions. As the track progresses, it delves into memories, a common motif in Drake’s discography, where the past isn’t romanticized but presented as a springboard for personal reflection and growth. The narrative leaves you dive deep into Drake’s own psyche, amplifying the experience that is ‘Views’.
4. Feel No Ways
Throughout the track, the 6-God wrestles with emotional conflict—caught between the calmer shores of solitude and the turbulent seas of an uncertain romance. He expresses a sense of growing apart, an emotional distance, painted by the narrative of ‘letting go’ to explore his self-worth. Notice the centrality of body language and communication, as he inspects how words and actions hold profound power. His lyrical exploration of ‘purposeful’ emotional manipulation highlights this. At its core, “Feel No Ways” is a melancholic introspection, a struggle between ego and vulnerability. Drizzy pens a tale of broken connection, the kind that leaves scars, those that linger even after the smoke clears. He navigates the maze of heartache, resentment, and release, articulating the nuances of a love lost—despite its unpleasant aftertaste. It’s quintessential Drake—confessional, candid, and introspective.
Filled with braggadocio and lyrical agility, he likens himself to a heavyweight champion, unbothered by the petty squabbles of the rap game. There’s a lot of infighting, duplicity, and betrayal in his narrative, evoking images of treacherous terrains within the music industry. Drizzy elegantly manifests his struggles, triumphs, and the constant hustle of staying at the top. The lyrics are a testament to his resilience, defiance, and determination to stand his ground amid the hype, haters, and distractions. He draws a clear line between his real ones and the phonies, highlighting a recurring theme of loyalty. As the 6 God, Drake speaks his truth, owning his throne while taking digs at his detractors, proving that he’s not just living off the hype, he is the hype.
6. Weston Road Flows
He talks about his humble beginnings, diving deep into the nostalgia of his time on Weston Road in Toronto – a place that was a melting pot of hustlers and vibrant cultural intersections. He depicts his struggle-filled early days, acknowledging the significance of these hardships in shaping his illustrious career today. Drake also drops lines about his unassailable position as a top charting artist, subtly pitching himself against his peers while simultaneously highlighting his unique journey to stardom. This is also an homage to his people, acknowledging the influences that shaped him, while taking subtle jabs at those who doubted his potential. “Weston Road Flows” presents Drake at his assertive best, sharing his story with a concoction of nostalgia, braggadocio, and realism, wrapped in his smooth flow and poignant lyricism.
Exploring regret, longing, and the continual search for closure, the track becomes a confessional booth with a beat. Drake expresses his struggle to communicate effectively, as he repeatedly sings, “I’m searchin’ for these words to say to you.” His lyrics lay bare the complex dynamics of personal relationships, the pressures of fame, and the haunting nature of the past; every woman named in the track represents a moment of dissolution or conflict. The concept of redemption looms large, appearing as a flicker of hope or a shadow of the unattainable. It’s vintage Drizzy— introspective, melancholic, and raw. One thing’s clear; when Drake’s at the mic, it’s therapy in session.
8. With You
No stranger to wearing his heart on his sleeve, Drizzy delves deeper, artfully crafting a love song that’s as confessional as it is catchy. Each bar is a raw testament to his need for connection and acceptance, his want for genuine partnership in the often-fake landscape of fame. He’s navigating a realm where haters abound and privacy is scarce, yet craving authenticity in a relationship where trust is paramount. From M.I.A in the M.I.A to drowning sorrows in vodka, it’s a track that’s fittingly at home amidst the introspective themes in ‘Views’. Tip-toeing on the line between strength and vulnerability, it’s a testament to Drake’s lyrical depth and his ability to make you connect with him on a human level, regardless of his superstar status.
The track takes us on a trip through a world filled with extravagance and desire, underpinned by an intense yearning for trust and authenticity that’s quintessentially Drake. The lyrics feel like a conversation between Drake, his aspiring lady, and himself. She’s working hard to climb her own ladder, he’s dedicated to his grind in the studio, and they’re both caught in the tug-and-pull of their ambitions. Here, Drake negotiates his fidelity and his status, pledging allegiance while subtly acknowledging his surroundings full of temptations. It’s a melodious testament of a man trying to remain rooted amidst the intoxicating glitz of a Jay Gatsby-esque lifestyle. It’s Drake in his purest form, painting a world where wealth, romance, and apprehension exist in harmony.
10. Still Here
It’s a gritty homage to his city with nods to neighborhoods like Jane and Weston. The lyrics dive into his rise to success, exuding a brash confidence while cleverly highlighting the loneliness of his journey, “Did it, did it, did it by myself, by myself, dog”. There’s room for some classic Drizzy lines about relationships, drawing a contrast between the women in his and his competitors’ beds. Thematically, the track is laced with a sense of resolute self-belief and tangible determination that permeates the upbeat rhythm. Drake’s use of colloquial language contributes to his authentic narrative, establishing his connection to the city’s streets. Overall, the track’s underlying message lifts the veil on the struggle and success of Drake’s journey, capturing the essence of his unique blend of hard-earned triumph and emotional sincerity.
A testament of Drake’s versatility, this tune is laced with his signature tender, emotive rap, while simultaneously soaked in patois-infused rhythm a la Beenie Man samples. Drizzy’s lyrics are a confession of emotional dependency, underscored by romantic promises – “I think I’d lie for you, I think I’d die for you.” It’s this blend of raw vulnerability with dancehall beats that gives “Controlla” its edge. Beyond the emotional narrative, the track delves into the struggles that come with his fame, with an introspective critique of inauthentic women, merely attracted to his monetary prowess. The track’s sonic signature is testament to Drake’s unique artistry – creatively fusing Toronto’s frost with Jamaica’s heat in a sound uniquely his.
12. One Dance
Drizzy channels a universal yearning for connection and release on the dance floor—”I need a one dance”—a sentiment fueled by Hennessy, that iconic symbol of hip-hop bravado. The 6 God operates from the edge of vulnerability and the power of attraction, trying to break from the chain of street hazards—“streets not safe,” and the pressure of his own fame—“higher powers taking a hold on me.” Drake’s prayers for safety betray his Toronto roots that are rarely serene—”Nobody makes it from my ends”. He’s fully aware of the fleeting nature of his relationships—”soon as you see the text, reply me”—alluding to the digital age’s impermanence. Here, Drizzy ain’t just asking for a dance, he’s threading an audible lifeline to his true self, hidden behind the glitz of fame.
Through his lyrical prowess, Drake unfurls a narrative that’s embedded with references to landmark achievements, like winning a Grammy and attaining platinum status. Equally noteworthy is the recurring theme of outsiders doubting his authenticity and roots, a topic Drake confronts head-on, addressing his ties to the hood and how it has claimed him. Furthermore, the lyrics echo a sense of prevailing despite the critics and the traitors, a common motif in Drake’s discography. The song is a testament to Drake’s resilience, a triumphant anthem for one standing on the pinnacle, looking back at the journey and the naysayers left behind. All in all, “Grammys” encapsulates Drake’s rise to fame, his struggles, and his eventual dominance in the industry, wrapped in the smooth, effortless rapping style we’ve come to associate with him.
14. Childs Play
He kicks off with a controversial verse, discussing the life of professional sports players and the romantic escapades that accompany them, oozing with typical Drake braggadocio. Transitioning to a more personal narrative, the Toronto native unearths a vivid image of a trivial fight at a Cheesecake Factory, shedding a peculiarly domestic light on the rapper’s reality. Then, dropping names of high-end brands, he underscores the gap between his life and the average listener’s reality, while further extending the metaphor of relationships as a ‘game.’ What makes “Childs Play” resonate, though, is its raw, real-world connections – from Drake’s mother’s impact on his relationships, to a line about giving Chanel out like a hug, the lyrics combine to reveal a rapper wrestling with the contradictions of his own life, narrated over an infectious hook.
15. Pop Style
He’s spittin’ about his journey from a school dropout to becoming ‘dumb rich’. Looks like the 6 God’s been meditating on the materialistic mantra of success and using his birthday as a metaphor to indicate he’s living it up, every day. But don’t get it twisted, he’s layered in his delivery too. Check the bar about “Chaining Tatum”, a snappy wordplay nod to actor Channing Tatum. It’s a sly comment on his heavyweight status in the rap game – he’s so loaded with chains, they might as well name him after Hollywood’s leading man. But he ain’t forgetting where he came from. The track is peppered with reflections about his past struggle, his resilience, and how he’s put his fam first. But he also throws shade at the industry folks who’ve doubted him, suggesting their time in the spotlight ain’t nothin’ compared to his. Classic Drizzy – equal part introspection and braggadocio.
16. Too Good
In true Drake fashion, he’s wearing his heart on his sleeve, wrestling with the torment of feeling unappreciated in the face of his overwhelming emotional generosity. The repeated phrase, “I’m too good to you,” becomes a mantra of self-recognition, an assertion of his worth in the face of relentless emotional defeat. The lyrics also delicately touch upon the impact of a fast-paced, globe-trotting lifestyle, capturing the struggle of maintaining personal connections amidst the chaos. Drake’s blending of romantic angst with personal introspection creates an emotional resonance that strikes a chord with listeners. It’s a testament to his ability to use his platform to explore the intricacies of personal relationships, allowing him to connect with a broad audience.
17. Summers Over Interlude
The raw cadence mirrors the turning of seasons, the joyous summer replaced by contemplative autumn, an apt metaphor for Drake’s own shifting emotional state. This track ain’t lyrically intense, but that don’t make it any less powerful. The repeating line “I don’t feel the same” resonates, echoing the lingering sense of loss and change, possibly speaking to a relationship gone sour or even the fame game affecting Drizzy’s old self. It ain’t about the bars here but the mood set, always a Drake strongpoint. And that’s word, this joint adds a powerful contrast to the overall sonic palette of ‘Views’, further demonstrating Drake’s versatility and bold artistry.
18. Fire & Desire
He stirs up an atmospheric groove, making space for some of his most sincere confessions. Here, Drizzy isn’t just flexing his muscles as a rapper, but stands as a poet of affection, dedicating his fortune and fame to a real woman that he deeply admires. Drake bares his insecurities, sharing the paradox of his life – the perks of fame seen as a curse by those who’ve known him before the glitz. He extols her authenticity (“You a real ass woman and I like it”), creating a seductive negotiation in the lyrics – a silent plea for understanding and intimacy. “Fire & Desire” is raw, it’s personal, it’s Drake stripped down to his emotional core, pushing beyond braggadocio to deliver heartfelt dedication.
The 6 God covers a panoramic landscape of emotions, from triumph to paranoia, love to betrayal, reflecting the challenges that come with meteoric fame. The lyrics are infused with references to his Toronto roots, a nod to his undying love for the 6ix. Hints of his vexed relationships, his well-documented work ethic, and grappling with his place in the game take center stage as the Watchtower-sample beat anchors the narrative. Emblematic of Drake’s reflective storytelling, his lyrics oscillate between vulnerable confessionals and assertive declarations – a testimony to his refusal to fit into a box. Expressions of his insecurities about friendships in the industry (“F- being all buddy buddy with the opposition”) and feeling out of place (“Lately I just feel so out of character”) stand out, offering a nuanced perspective into the rapper’s mindset.
20. Hotline Bling
This nuanced joint finds Drizzy on his most introspective form, crafting a narrative around the dynamics of a strained love affair. The protagonist yearns for a past relationship, one characterized by late-night phone calls and intimate moments, now replaced by a newfound lifestyle of partying and independence. The lyrics paint a vivid picture of a lover transformed, underscored by Drake’s signature blend of vulnerability and bravado. The story of romantic change and estrangement is delivered through catchy, minimalist synths, contributing to its meteoric rise and helping crown ‘Views’ as a cultural milestone. The track encapsulates the essence of Drake’s artistry – emotive storytelling couched in catchy hooks and beats. It’s an anthem for the lost lovers, for the ones reminiscing about what was, and what could have been – a testament to Drake’s profound understanding of the human heart.