Drake, Views | Lyrical Spotlight
What better way to examine ‘Views,’ the fourth studio album from Canadian rapper and singer Drake, than analyzing and commentating on his deep lyrics?
Drake helped to make April 2016 sweeter by releasing his fourth proper studio album Views. While Views wasn’t ‘monumental’ in regards to its themes or overall content, as always, it’s very much a Drake album. What better way to examine ‘Views than analyzing and providing commentary on his lyrics?
“Keep The Family Close”
1. “All of my ‘let’s just be friends’ are friends I don’t have anymore / How do you not check on me when things go wrong / Guess I should’ve tried to keep my family closer / much closer / all of my ‘let’s just be friends’ are friends I don’t have anymore / guess that’s what they say you need family for / cause I can’t depend on you anymore” – “Keep The Family Close”
Commentary: Basically, a girl doesn’t supplant family or close friends, at least a girl that’s not dedicated.
2. “And I turn the six upside down, it’s a nine now” – “9”
Commentary: First of all, unless you’re living under a rock, you realize that the “6” is Toronto. Throughout his career, Drake has made a huge deal about the “6.” Since he’s “king” in Toronto, he’s figuratively “turned it upside down.:
3. “All these hand outs, man it’s getting outta hand / I’mma start telling niggas ‘get it how they can’ / I got it right now so I’m everybody’s friends / if I ever lose I bet we never speak again” – “9”
Commentary: Drake is making bank – he’s one of music’s hottest stars. Now he has “friends” who are shallow that want to share his wealth. He knows that if he does fall from his perch, those friends will turn their backs on him.
“U With Me?”
4. “On some DMX shit / I group DM my exes / I told ‘em they belong to me, that goes on forever” – “U With Me?”
Commentary: Drake is literally “on some DMX shit” on “U With Me?” which samples two DMX songs, most notably “Where My Bitches At?” As far as the last part of the lyric, Drake doesn’t forget his exes.
5. “I try with you / there’s more to life than sleeping in / and getting high with you / I had to let go of us to show myself what I could do / and that didn’t sit right with you “ – “Feel No Ways”
Commentary: There’s more to life than taking drugs and hooking up.
6. “Done / look what I’ve done in my life / I had to count it and count it again / to make sure the money was right / they love to talk / me, I’m just done in the hype…” – “Hype”
Commentary: Drake is tired of people expecting “the world” from him essentially. When he “blew up” he really “blew up.” In some regards, while Genius intelligently points out that the “I had to count it and count it again” line may reference Cash Money’s troubles as of late, it also seems to references just how big Drake is as well.
7. “Feel like the difference between us really startin’ to show / I’m lookin’ at they first week numbers like what are those / I mean you boys not even coming close” – “Weston Road Flows”
Commentary: Drake BIG, other rappers NOT big.
8. “Why do I settle for women that force me to pick up the pieces? / Why do I want an independent woman to feel like she needs me? / I lost my way” – “Redemption”
Commentary: Girl troubles. Typical Drake.
9. “You hit me like ‘I know you’re there with someone else’ / that pussy knows me better than I know myself / On my way from the studio so get undressed / let’s do the things that we say on text / I want to get straight to the climax…” – “Faithful”
Commentary: “Sex in the kitchen, over by the stove…”
10. “Did it, did it, did it by myself, by myself, dog / Blew up and I’m in the city still, I’m still here, dog” – “Still Here”
Commentary: Drake is Toronto’s big thing. He’s “kind of a big deal.”
11. “Right, my yiy just changed / you just buzzed the front gate / I thank God you came” – “Controlla”
Commentary: While the part about the front gate is probably literal, the way that it is written also makes for perfect innuendo…
12. “I need a one dance / got a Hennessy in my hand / One more time ‘fore I go / Higher powers taking a hold on me” – “One Dance”
Commentary: Drunk dancing leads to…
13. “OVO we a gold mine / but I’m goin’ gold in no time / doing plat, plat only / boys better back off me / hall of fame, hall of fame / Like I’m shirt off, like I’m shirt off / Like I’m shirt off shorty…” – “Grammys”
Commentary: This particular lyric is another brilliant play on words. Drake doesn’t settle for gold certification, all of his albums have been certified platinum or better. Genius smartly annotates some specific references to “hall of fame” and “like I’m shirt off,” but examined outside of the pop cultural relevance, generally being in the “hall of fame” is an honor bestowed upon the best while being confident to be shirtless often means you’re ripped and you are flexing… something like that.
14. “And I like it, take you to the mall and get you a new outfit / girl that’s just some child’s play / bounce that shit like, whoa, yeah / bounce that shit like, whoa” – “Child’s Play”
Commentary: Drake will gladly buy her all the fancy clothes that she wants. What he wants is “down south.”
15. “How many girls have slept in this bed / say a different number than the one that’s in my head / lying to protect you I be doing that a lot / my past checker like the Louis you just got / married in our twenties now, where the fun in that?” – “Child’s Play”
Commentary: Drake has had his share of hook ups, but SHE doesn’t need to know that.
16. “Got so many chains they call me Chaining Tatum” – “Pop Style”
Commentary: This is corny, but irresistibly so.
17. “I’m too good to you / I’m way too good to you / you take my love for granted / I just don’t understand it” – “Too Good”
Commentary: Drake/Rihanna are too good for their respective lovers, presumed to be each other depending on who you ask, to treat them the way that they do.
18. “You a real ass woman and I like it / dedicate to you / I need you inspired, I need you excited / I don’t wanna fight it” – “Fire & Desire”
Commentary: Love/sex connection.
19. “I dropped out right before I graduate / six credits left, my mama had her saddest day / ‘it’s only up from here, I promise, you just gotta wait’ / and she took my word for it, that’s all I had to say”
Commentary: Most parents would frown upon this, but Drake made it work out.
20. “Need y’all to know that I never needed none of y’all niggas / fuck being all buddy, buddy with the opposition / it’s like a front of the plane, nigga, it’s all business / but I haven’t flown with y’all boys in a minute” – “Views”
Commentary: Along with “No New Friends,” apparently Drake is ditching the old ones as well…
21. “Running through the 6, thumbing through the contracts / I’m possessed, you can see it under the contacts / they think I had the silver spoon but they’ll get it soon / I still got something left to prove since you left me room” – “Views”
Commentary: Drake has made it, but he still has more to give – he’s still hungry to take things to the next level.
22. “You used to call me on my cell phone / late night when you need my love / call me on my cell phone / late night when you need my love / and I know when that hotline bling / that can only mean one thing / I know when that hotline bling / that can only mean one thing” – “Hotline Bling”
Commentary: Who can’t get this hook out of their head?
23. “Ever since I left the city you / got a reputation for yourself now / everybody knows and I feel left out / girl you got me down, you got me stressed out” – “Hotline Bling”
Commentary: She’s no longer his anymore, and he’s out of the loop with what she’s become because he’s not in the city anymore.