More Life was streamed over 90 million times within the first 24 hours on Apple Music, and Drake became the first to reach 10 billion streams on Spotify, according to Hypebeast.
Story | Nico Blitz
Image | via Young Money/Cash Money Entertainment
Since his Room for Improvement project in 2006, Drake looked to prove himself with his particular lyrical repertoire. His growth from a rapper to a singer/rapper, to a dark hip-hop enthusiast, to a trap artist who mixes reggae and pop, Drizzy has become a jack-of-all-trades in the game. 11 years later, in light of all the albums, singles, remixes, and OVO Sound Radio shows, Drake manages to combine every skill from up his sleeve, to his heart, and introduces another revolutionary project to music industry: the More Life Playlist.
Breaking down what makes this playlist revolutionary starts with its promotional terms. It’s not an album; it’s a playlist. Reminiscent on the 90s before the iPod was introduced, the primary way to listen to the music that truly fed your soul at the time was to download the tracks individually through Limewire, burn it on a CD, and play it through your Walkman or car’s stereo system. If you have an ear for popular music, you probably curated everyone’s playlists.
In this case, Drake likes to shed light on old fads and renew them to continue its legacy. Essentially, reading the fact that he promoted More Life as a playlist immediately brought me to two conclusions. First, this generation seems to be easily appealed by things that ‘sound’ different – the fact that it’s a playlist rather than an album would immediately attract people’s attention because it’s ‘different.’ Second, now that he’s pushed a playlist, the music industry, including artists will be quick to push more playlists.
After interviewing several artists over this past year, I’ve noticed a trend in which particular artists push audio movies as opposed to albums. An audio movie, in this sense, is simply a music album that involves heavy storytelling that, when heard, leaves it up to the listener’s imagination. Personally, I refer back to Dr. Dre’s Compton or Murs’ Captain California. But why do they do it?
The audio movie promotion is simply the factor that seemingly makes one artist different from another. Is it any different? Not really. The same goes for the More Life playlist. It’s not any different in terms of curating a particular set of songs that mesh well together, or that tell individual or cohesive stories. However, it’s the idea that the playlist makes the project instantly sound different, thus more appealing to the average listener.
Due to this latest trend, I guarantee we’ll see more artists wrap together playlists. The one adversary they’ll have to face is being compared to Drake.
As I mentioned, when I think of audio playlists, I think of Compton by Dr. Dre or Captain California by Murs. So after this latest release when a rapper creates a playlist, the first to come to mind will be Drake’s More Life, which will be hard to compare to considering he combined of all his styles into one playlist. He also features Skepta, Jorja Smith, Giggs, Young Thug, Kanye West, and Quavo to name a few, and this playlist is arguably his best work amongst all his already multi-platinum selling albums, setting the bar pretty damn high.
One thing that comes to mind that will truly benefit rising artists is the possible willingness to interchange tracks between playlists. For example, imagine Drake’s countless remixes on one playlist, and each of those remixes is put onto a playlist of the respective artists. If Kanye were to make a playlist, it could very well feature the Drizzy-Yeezy standout song “Glow” off More Life. Another point, he featured U.K. rapper Giggs on “No Long Talk” and “Kmt,” and I’m sure that name was unfamiliar to most before the playlist.
Essentially, Drake found a way to open doors for more up-and-coming artists, all while becoming a re-creator, curator, and revolutionist for not only hip-hop, but also the entire music industry.
“I basically asked myself, ‘What if I did it like OVO Sound Radio but every song was a new Drake song?’” Drake said in a recent episode of OVO Sound Radio. “It’s more like an evolution of a mixtape.”