McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

McHenry High School's student-written and -edited newspaper

The McHenry Messenger

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Review | Nothing is the same

Drake’s new record “For All The Dogs” further cements that Drake will never be as good as he was before
Maria Alejandra Cardona / Los Angeles Times / TNS
Drake performs in concert at the Staples Center on Friday, October 12, 2018.

Every Drake album cycle comes with the same promise that “this will be the return of the old Drake” and every album cycle comes with the same disappointment. His recent release, “For All The Dogs” only proves this point further, and solidifies to fans that maybe it is time to give up on hopes that Drake will be good again. 

Drake, whose real name is Aubrey Graham, really needs no introduction. The acclaimed rapper turned pop singer has won numerous awards, has multiple platinum hits, and is arguably the most popular rapper in the world. With that being said, fans who have followed his career have noticed a downward trend.

Drake began his career reaching heights that many artists never do. His first mixtapes “So Far Gone”, “Thank Me Later”, studio debut with “Take Care”, and follow-up “Nothing Was The Same” are acclaimed as defining records of a generation. The then 20-something year old Drake had a chip on his shoulder. That need to prove himself is not present on his new records, and it shows. It feels as though Drake is making music for the sake of making music and that he does not hold the same motivation that made his early success so entertaining. 

Early on, Drake also had a fantastic mentor in Lil Wayne. The insight from the hip-hop legend rubbed off on his early works, and as Drake grew into his own, it seems he lost a lot of the edge that came with it. Drake is also leaning into R&B and House music in new works and that lack of emphasis on rap might be a reason that fans are feeling turned away. 

Another issue is present more than ever on his recent record “For All The Dogs.” Drake is not even the highlight on his own songs. On the album’s release day, October 6th, fans were buzzing – not about Drake – but about fellow rapper J. Cole, who had featured on Drake’s track “First Person Shooter”. Other moments on the record that caught traction include an odd feature from Drake’s son Adonis, and a lackluster feature from up-and-comer Sexyy Red. 

This is not a new problem either. On the 2022 collab-album with 21 Savage “Her Loss,” Drake had more lyrics on the album, and more spotlight, and yet 21 Savage remained the true star. Even on “For All The Dogs,” which 21 features on again, fans remarked on Twitter that “21 Savage sounds like he’s tired of rapping for Drake.” 

Drake’s recent run of albums would not be considered bad from any other rapper, but they are undeniably underwhelming. When fans expect classics from the artist, they get songs of the week, and memorable moments from other rappers. They feel bloated– as if they were only released to get streams because it is new and fans worry they may never get the motivated, hit-maker attitude back from the rapper. Drake recently remarked that he would be taking a break from music after this record, and with the reception it has gotten, that might be for the best.

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