Tuesday, March 23rd, 2021

Drake – What’s Next

Some things stay the same…


Katherine St Asaph: Drake expertly captures the feeling of being lectured at for 10 minutes by Drake — a feat, given “What’s Next” is less than half that length — while reminded that he has sex. (Did he follow the safety guidelines? Not looking at someone face to face must be easy for him, right?)

Rachel Saywitz: I know Drake fucks, but I did not have to know that he has sex. None of us did. None of us. 

Alfred Soto: He sounds engaged, chipper even, and why not? Selling the moldy crackers of his self-absorption is his most undeniable talent. 

Andrew Karpan: “It might be amazing, but it sounds the same,” the art critic Dean Kissick said recently of trap music. It’s a sentiment that Drake — perhaps its biggest benefactor, perhaps the glue who binds the cold thrashing noise of loneliness to effervescent light of pop — has come to share. It’s at the forefront of the question he’s posing, which hangs over the record, largely unspoken. (The schoolyard threat “we’ll see what’s ’bout to happen next” comes closest.) In between the ringing of blearing synths, programmed to evoke the glaring twinkle of a police siren, Drake ponders. He puts on the mask of today’s humorless capitalist, an Elon-Musk-style Twitter account with 30K followers and questionable politics on the minimum wage: “What’s wrong with you? I sit in a box where the owners do.” Jay-Z, the clear predecessor to this style of contemptuous rapping-down-economics, could never speak so bluntly of the barren fruits of leisure, the empty palace populated by the blank faces of his toddler-size KAWS sculptures. Of Drake’s number ones, this might be his least embarrassing, the one that asks least to be liked, a bitter bunker communique from a man who, according to a highly-ranked YouTube comment “could put something together in 10 minutes while waiting for a cheeseburger and keep repeating the same lines over and over and it would go #1.” It’s the sound of a voice searching languorously and finding nothing. 

Hazel Southwell: Very occasionally this pulls something out the lyrical bag that makes it really likeable, then Drake just goes back to some uninspired rambling. The “summer all I did was rest, New Year’s all I did was stretch and Valentine’s Day I had sex” hits good enough, along with the “stuck on this level” hook but there’s nothing novel about being in a pointless loop with someone’s annoying, repetitive intrusive thoughts for the rest.

Oliver Maier: When Drake raps, it is seemingly always with a flat, consistent faux-aggression, like he’s working up the effort just to get indignant. His limited expressive range has benefitted him in the past but it doesn’t on “What’s Next,” a collection of rigid boasts delivered in rigid flows over a rigid beat. One could easily see Supah Mario and Maneesh’s laser-beam synthesizers put to better use on Playboi Carti’s latest, but in Drake’s empire they sound like a whole lotta nothing.

Thomas Inskeep: The more popular Drake gets, the more dull he gets as a rapper. And all he ever seems to rap about anymore is his fame, or wealth, or a combo thereof.

Nortey Dowuona: You know what? Fuck Drake. This is still OK, but I want him and his mediocre, manipulative, puckered ass out. Fuck Drake.

Samson Savill de Jong: Goddammit Drake, you’re no longer allowed to make songs I like, I’m so bored of your continued presence in the top 40 that it shouldn’t be possible anymore. Shout out to Supah Mario for producing the beat, which had the bonus effect of waking Drake up for just under three minutes. 

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: Unremarkable late period Drake– take a rap format from the previous three years (in this case, the pre-Eternal Atake Uzi loosies where he just kind of talks for three to six minutes), dress it up in some generic beat, pair with some lifestyle blog details. Congrats on the sex, though!

Reader average: [4.33] (3 votes)

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3 Responses to “Drake – What’s Next”

  1. Holy Cannoli kids I’m Mario! And I’m tellin’ ya, if you’re not watching the Supah Mario Brothers Super Show, you’re gonna turn into a goomba! Don’t be the last on your block to be playin’ with PASTA POWER. Tune in for the wildest weekday fun in the universe! Join me, Luigi, Princess Toadstool, and Toad.

    We’re gonna kick some koopa WOOO!!

  2. amazing blurb andrew

  3. to be fair, elon musk could stand to be 1000 times more humorless