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Drake’s newest album fell short of my expectations

For how long he’s been in the industry, Drake’s eighth solo studio album wasn’t as good as fans anticipated
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For All the Dogs felt incomplete compared to Drake’s other albums. “For All the Puppies” would’ve been a better fit.

Drake has been the front-runner of rap for years. He holds an impressive 299 songs featured on Billboard’s Hot 100. His first studio album, “Thank Me Later“, released in June 2010, grossed 1.8 million copies by 2015. Since the release of “Thank Me Later”, Drake has released seven studio albums, earning roughly $23.5 million in the last 13 years. 

Drake’s earlier albums like “Take Care” (2011), “Nothing Was The Same” (2013), and “Views” (2016), offered listeners textured beats and inviting lyrics. Using melodic, easygoing patterns during his earlier albums, he recorded with mellow energy that allowed listeners to stream his music at any time of day. He detailed intimate stories about failed relationships, fame and wealth, and missed connections. Albums that came in later years, such as “Her Loss” (2022), “Scorpion” (2018), and “Certified Lover Boy” (2021), focused heavily on Drake’s intimate life, tainted with hints of feuds, loneliness, and misplaced romances. The tracks on these albums are heavy, aggressive, and have elements of drill music implanted in them. 

“For All the Dogs”, released Oct. 6, packs an hour and a half into just 23 songs. The album features popular names from every genre, such as SZABad Bunny21 Savage, and J. Cole. With all these big names featured on Drake’s newest album, it was still a flop. 

Virginia Beach”, track one off the album, started the album off strong. Drake incorporates euphonic beats and a rhythmic flow into his lyrics, saying, “Our texts feelin’ like a fencin’ match, your temper shorter and I’m sensin’ that” and “You keep talkin’ ’bout some, ‘Period,’ but where you ’bout to end the sentence at?

In this album, Drake focuses on trying to bring his old flow back, centering his lyrics around relationship struggles, hardships with drugs, and rebounding from feelings of hopelessness. His effort was there, but the execution was poor. Songs like “Rich Baby Daddy” and “BBL Love (Interlude)” skew Drake’s original message of wanting to “bring the old Drake back”, and act as nuisances instead. The lyrics for “Rich Baby Daddy” are so foul that I can’t even include them. 

Track 17 on this album, “8 a.m. in Charlotte”, has proved to be a fan favorite ever since Drake teased the release of it, dropping all four minutes and 28 seconds of it a day early on Oct. 5. Following “Slime You Out (ft. SZA)” and “Virginia Beach,” “8 a.m. in Charlotte” has acquired 483.6K views on Genius. Fans were pleasantly surprised seeing that Drake featured his son, Adonis Mahbed Graham, in the music video for 8 am in Charlotte. Beating into memorializing the “old Drake”, bringing his son into the mix adds the lighthearted, buoyant feel that this album needed. In comparison to the other tracks of this album, Drake provides slower, heavier beats to encapsulate the listener. “8am in Charlotte” is produced at 79 beats per minute, set in E Major, following suit of popular songs like “Location” by Khalid and “See You Again” by Tyler the Creator. These songs are notorious for their relaxing movement, allowing listeners a hypnotic experience. 

In comparison to all of Drake’s other albums, “For All the Dogs” was upsetting. Meant to arrive on Sept. 6, the album stayed in the womb so Drake could focus on his “recording responsibilities” and keep busy with his It’s All a Blur Tour featuring 21 Savage. After ribbing his listeners for months with his new album, the final release fell short of all expectations due to how much Drake over-promoted it and the lack of feeling it gave me while listening. 

By far, the best part of this album is the cover art. The white dog depicted with red eyes, illustrated by Drake’s five year-old son, Adonis, adds a personal touch to the album and shows listeners Drake is not always all about the fame and money, but that he’s a family man, too. 

After a month of Instagram posts, teases at his concert, and oodles of hubbub surrounding “For All the Dogs”, Drake caused an upset in my rap-world. Compared to all his other releases, this album fell short of my expectations and left me discouraged to listen to his future tracks. 

“For All the Dogs” gets a generous 6/10 from me. 

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About the Contributor
Shayd Fuller
Shayd Fuller, Content Editor
Shayd Fuller is a junior. She enjoys playing with her dogs and hanging out with friends and family. She is looking forward to meeting new people and being part of The Mav. 
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