2015 was a big year for Drake, and he kicked it off with IYRTITL, or If Youre Reading This Its Too Late. IYRTITL was released a year ago today, and went on to be the highest selling rap album of the year with 535K sold in the first week. It would break Drake’s own record of most first week stream in spoitfy with 17.3 million streams in 3 days, and the album would officially go on to Platinum status by the year’s end. IYRTITL was a great album, but I can definitely say it was Drake’s worst.
There is one big fault of this album, and that is it’s lack of cohesion. This album sounds more like a bunch of tracks thrown together, something that usually doesn’t happen with Drake albums. It makes sense though when you read up on the background of this album; IYRTITL was more of a contractual album, Drake released it to fulfill his Young Money obligations, plus Drake himself said this album was more of a mixtape. Nevertheless, the cohesion was lacking, but the track-list was not.
This album introduced us to a new Drake, actually multiple Drake’s, and the first song set the theme for it perfectly. Legend showed us the arrogance of Drizzy. He said it outright, he is a legend. On the chorus, Drake croons that if he was to die, he would be a legend to his city and the rap game, big claims for a rapper who isn’t even 30 yet. We also got introduced to a new sound from Drake, a sound I like to call Anthem music. The music got harder and the beats got heavier, resulting in the type of music you would blast in the car.
Energy was one of the few singles from the album, and probably bar for bar, one of the best rapping songs on the whole album. Crazy part, when the album first dropped this would be a song I’d skip continually; it wasn’t that the song was bad, it was just overplayed like most Drake radio songs are. Actually listening to this song though, Drake was speaking facts throughout. He made a song that applies to our generation a lot. He takes shots at everybody, but at the same time nobody, typical of Drake. In a generation with a lot of talking and not a lot of backing it up, Drake dropped the perfect line ” I hear everybody talking bout what they gon’ be, I got high hopes for you n*ggas, we gon’ see”
One of my most favorite songs was also a song of much debate. This was a track allegedly ghost written by Quinten Miller. Aside from that, 10 Bands was one of the catchiest songs on the album. The infectious beat produced by Boi-1da makes you just want to vibe to the song, and Drake keeps it simple on his verses with a couple quotable lines, but this song is really made in the chorus, arguably the best chorus on the whole album.
This was the biggest single from the album. This absolutely song took off. This was anthem Drake at his finest. This the song you blast in the whip with the volume all the way up, especially as the beat fades and the infamous line drops.. ” I was running through the six with my woes! You know how that shit goes!” Don’t make the mistake thinking that Know Yourself was only that, Know Yourself IS the most quotable song on here. Whether it was ” pray the real live forever man, pray the fakes get exposed” or “Shakiness, man I don’t have no time for that” or the line that immediately follows ” my city too turnt up, I’ll take the fine for that.” Literally every line in that first verse were lines that were tweeted by everybody for the next six months.
No Tellin’ was a personal favorite of mine. Another smooth Drake cut, Drake dropping more quotes, followed by another nice chorus. What really makes this song for me in the last verse or outro ” It’s no code of ethics out here, anyone will take shots at you/ N*ggas think they can come take what I got, let’s be logical yeah.” If you ask me, that was the best singular verse on the album, but i doubt many people agree.
Preach/Wednesday Night Interlude
From Preach on, the second half of the album, IYRTITL has a whole different feel, and Drake really hits his stride. The album begins to sound more like the Drake were used to, and I personally loved it. But in all honestly, PartyNextDoor made Preach, sometimes I even skip Drake’s verse on here. Party floated all through this track as he sings about his night in Miami and how wet Kehlani gets. He would then get his own solo song with Wednesday Night Interlude, which is in all honestly better than most of the album.
Now & Forever
In my opinion, this was the best song on the album. Really, in my opinion, this is a top 10 Drake song. On this song, Drake talks about his fear of complacency and not reaching his own lofty expectations. He really catches his groove during the second verse only the way Drake can ” I’m leaving, I’m gone/ I don’t wanna miss the boat, I don’t wanna sit in coach, I don’t wanna sit at home, I gotta get where I’m going/ I’m afraid that I’ma die before I get where I’m going.”
You & The Six
This is my favorite song from the whole album. The moment I heard this song, it was on repeat. This song displayed Drake at his best that being Drake on his reminiscent, emotional music. The first verse is addressed to his mom in kind of like a phone call. He talks about how she doesn’t hear from him that much anymore except from on the internet, him and Rihanna, and even a girl his mom wants him to date. He his stride toward the end of verse as he address the rest of the rap game ” I’m not here to give out compliments or boost nobody’s confidence momma/ I got no friends in this momma/ I don’t pretend with this momma” He snaps about the hate receives because of how great he is, the fakeness in the game, and how other rappers make fun of him, yet they want to be him or in his position. The second verse is about him, his mom, and his dad’s strained relationship. He gets nostalgic about his time visiting his dad in jail, which he credits for him being the rapper he is today, and his Toronto friends that watched over him while his dad was in jail, and then once again toward the end of the verse Drake begins floating. Definitely a must listen track on this album.
Jungle is one of the greatest songs… ever. Drake made the perfect song for our generation when it comes to relationships. He went back to his Take Care roots and its very apparent because it’s the only true singing song on the album. So many quotable lines throughout. Drake really hits his stride on the second verse when he starts reminiscing about an old love; must listen.
6PM In York
The song that became known for the Tyga diss should go down as one of Drake’s best verses… ever. He dissed Tyga, but he talked about so much more. He went from Tyga to Cop killings, to his family and friends, to discussing the rest of rap game. One verse he brags about how much in control he is of the rap game, next he talks about how everyone thought he wouldn’t succeed in the game and now he’s hip-hop’s biggest name. This was definitely the hardest rapping song on this whole album, and like I said one of his best verses in his whole catalog.
If Youre Reading This Its Too Late was the perfect hold off a year ago. Everyone was expecting Views From The 6, but IYRTITL was suppose to be the Sorry For The Wait, and it was a damn sure good one. This might not have been the best rap album of 2015, but it was definitely the most relate-able. This was the only album that has me thinking about situations with my mom, girls I’ve lost, hating dudes, and even my future success. Relatability is something Drake has always excelled at, and IYRTITL was no different.