Drake and Future drop mixtape
On Sunday, September 20, Drake and Future released their highly anticipated mixtape entitled What A Time to Be Alive. The mixtape consists of 11 songs, nine performed by both Drake and Future together and two performed by each rapper individually.
Drake is both a rapper and a singer. Drake, the rapper, as presented in his songs “The Motto”, “All Me”, and “Started From the Bottom”, tends to be like any typical rapper that raps about money, women, and haters. Contrarily, Drake, the singer, as heard in his song “Hold On We’re Going Home,” “Marvin’s Room,” and “Shot for Me”, is the Drake everyone likes to make fun of for being “soft” and “in his feels” about his exes. If you’re expecting to hear Drake singing in this mixtape, don’t hold your breath. Maybe it is because he is sharing the mic with another rapper or trying to maintain a certain post-Meek Mill diss track image, the singing Drake hardly makes an appearance mixtape. Future also sticks to rapping as opposed to his raspy, and very throaty vocals.
The mixtape begins with “Digital Dash” which refers to an expensive car with a digital dashboard. This song sets the tone for the entire mixtape and lets all listeners know that Drake and Future are not here to play around. If you think Drake and Future have been everywhere you look this past year, you would be correct. Between the two of them, seven mixtapes have been released in the past year and this song shows listeners that they don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Future begins the song with Drake only coming in for one verse at the end. This is definitely the song to blast when haters from high school are still trying to be relevant in your life, but you’re too busy preparing for the internship you’re going to score at the TOC.
Following this song is another very hype song that features a part of Drake the rapper that I like to call Screaming Drake. “Big Rings” is an anthem for anyone whose friend group has squad goals. Drake begins the song by rapping —screaming — about how he has a big team and they need some big rings and nice things. Both rappers also highlight how this is a great time to be alive if you’re a part of their crew. Drake begins the song very full of energy, but once the baton is handed off to Future, most of the energy is lost. Future’s raspy voice and slightly slurred words make it seem like he just woke up as opposed to Drake who sounds like he’s had a full night’s sleep and a Redbull.
Arguably one of the best songs on the mixtape is “Diamonds Dancing.” This refers to not only a rapper wearing a lot of chains, but also being surrounded by female dancers. Future sets the tone for the song with a message about living the celebrity lifestyle of reckless spending. This song probably has the most infectious hook ever with the line “Diamonds, diamonds, diamonds, diamonds on me dancing.” Drake comes in following the hook and seemingly did not get the memo that Future left as he launches into a verse about wanting to spend time with a girl he cares about. If you’re a big fan of singing Drake like I am, this is the closest you’ll get to him on this mixtape. Future again comes in with a verse about money and jewelry trying to remind Drake what this song is supposed to be about. Drake then spends the rest of the song singing about how hurt he is by one of his exes giving us a little glimpse that the old Drake is still in there somewhere. Even though Drake and Future showed up to record two completely different songs, the contrasting ideas still work together to make a pretty good song.
While singing Drake is still slightly present for “Changing Locations,” he seems to have remembered why he’s here and returns to singing about how he and his friends have money to spend. Future stays true to the message of the whole mixtape by rapping about money, drugs, and women. By this point in the mixtape it starts to sound like all of the songs are the same because they are mostly rapping about the same things over and over. However something about the chorus of “Changing Locations” still makes it enjoyable to listen to. Following this song is “Jumpman” in which they rap about speculated collaboration between them. This song also references the Air Jordan logo by saying that they are as recognizable as the “Jumpman.”
The mixtape ends with “Jersey” and “30 for 30 Freestyle,” solo tracks by Future and Drake respectively. If you can still stand Future’s voice long enough to listen to an entire song of his by this point, I applaud you. Future’s song is primarily focused on him promoting his crew and it isn’t the worst Future song, but I just wish it would’ve been sooner in the mixtape so I would’ve enjoyed listening to it instead of waiting for it to be over. Drake chooses to allude to several different events in his life recently throughout his song. It is almost like he uses this song to get out all the random Drake thoughts that didn’t fit anywhere else in the mixtape.
What A Time to Be Alive shows just how excited Drake and Future are to be on top of the game together. Whether they are the best rappers out right now is definitely up for debate, but it is undeniable that they have had a large presence in the hip-hop community since they came on the scene. Overall the mixtape does have some really good moments. Is this mixtape fire? Definitely not, but it is a nice sweater to keep you warm while you’re waiting for Views From the 6 or a J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar joint album.