The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Review | Has Drake lost direction with ‘For All the Dogs’?

Rapper+Drakes+Friday+album+release+For+All+The+Dogs+cover+depicting+art+from+his+son+Adonis.
Photo courtesy of Genius
Rapper Drake’s Friday album release “For All The Dogs” cover depicting art from his son Adonis.

At 6 a.m. on Oct. 6, Drake released his eighth studio album “For All the Dogs” to seemingly negative reviews. 

Originally set to release on Sept. 22, the record was delayed by the rapper due to his ongoing “It’s All a Blur” tour. 

“For All the Dogs” is Drake’s fourth album released in the last two years, featuring old friends 21 Savage, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Lil Yatchy and Bad Bunny. 

With his new release, the rapper added first-time collaborators SZA, Yeat, Teezo Touchdown, and Chief Keef. 

While it might seem easy to blend these artists’ sounds, Drake’s album seems to lack sonic cohesion. 

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    He borrows sounds from multiple artists and genres, but in doing so, creates a jigsaw puzzle of a record.

    “IDGAF,” featuring Yeat, sounds like a carbon copy of Yeat’s “Monëy so big” and echos Lil Uzi Vert’s “Early 20 Rager.”

    “Rich Baby Daddy” is almost sonically identical to the synthesizers and snare drums of Ghost Town DJ’s “My Boo,” while “Daylight” mimics the cadence and word repetition of a Lil Baby track. 

    Both the beat and piano stylings of the lead single, “Slime You Out,” which features SZA, seem to fit better on a SZA album than on a Drake record. 

    Other tracks seem to belong to albums of the Canadian rapper’s past.

    “7969 Santa” and “Away from Home” eerily mirror the otherworldly synth beats of “Time Flies” and “Pain 1993,” tracks from his 2020 record “Dark Lane Demo Tapes.”

    The piano intro and choral backing vocals on “8 am in Charlotte” could place the track very easily on Drake’s 2021 album “Certified Lover Boy.”

    Yet, the artist does produce a few standout tracks that combine a fresh instrumental tone with a classic Drake flow.

    Among the more unique tracks are “Calling For You,” featuring 21 Savage, and “First Person Shooter,” featuring J. Cole.

    The former stays true to Drake’s bigger-than-life persona with lyrics comparing himself to Muhammad Ali and equating his collaboration with J.Cole to the Super Bowl.

    “Amen,” featuring Teezo Touchdown, “Tried Our Best” and “Virginia Beach” equally highlight the rapper’s personal feelings toward a love interest.

    “That’s not love you’re in, it’s more like compromisin’/ I move mountains for you, f— that social climbin,’” the artist raps on “Virginia Beach.”

    On “Amen,” Drake discusses “the perks of dating” him, listing all the ways he would take care of a woman.

    The album’s cover art depicts a goat, drawn by Drake’s 5-year-old son Adonis Graham.

    In an Instagram video posted by the rapper, Adonis explains that the animal is supposed to represent his father.

    Drake uses the video to dub himself the “G.O.A.T,” or “Greatest of All Time” in his profession. 

    When it comes to “For All the Dogs,” however, fans and critics alike beg to differ.

    According to an X post by Pop Base, the rapper’s new album received very low ratings.

    X users were quick to comment that negative reviews were justified, concurring that the album was barely mediocre.

    User @SPICEPHORIC commented “his middest album,” while user @QueenERA45 wrote, “Should’ve gotten lower trash album.”

    Fans who may have been expecting new chart-topping club hits from the rapper were likely disappointed with this go-around.

     

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