Drake has done it again with his latest mixtape-turned-album, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.” A few solid additions to his growing collection of top 40 hits grace the album, along with a good number of tracks dedicated to letting us get to know Aubrey Graham. “If You’re Reading This” is not too daring, but that’s not to say it isn’t worth listening to; on the contrary, it has earned its spot on this Drake fan’s constant rotation.
There’s no such thing as a Drake album without a good song to bust out at every party until your friends get tired of both Drake and you. (Or is that just me?) “If You’re Reading This” does not disappoint: expect to hear “No Tellin’,” “Legend,” and “10 Bands” a few hundred times between now and the release of Drake’s next album, “Views from the 6.”
Drake also shows his introspective side here. Notably, “You and the 6” discusses his relationship with his mother and the issues he faced growing up in Toronto. This album also signifies Drake’s separation from Birdman and Cash Money Records after completing his contract; as depicted in “Now & Forever,” it is a decision he struggled with, and he is uncertain what his future will bring.
As far as Drake records go, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” is excellent fare, but not entirely spectacular. At first play it feels like some songs are merely leftovers that didn’t make it onto other albums. But it certainly shows Drake’s talent as a lyricist, focusing not on themes of braggadocio or violence, but rather on relationships and a sense of belonging to one’s hometown, an element for which Drake is known.
As evidenced by the number of spins it has had both in my home and car, this album also has great replay value. “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” holds its own in what is shaping up to be a fantastic year for hip-hop.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Better than: “Sorry 4 the Wait 2” and “ILoveMakonnen.”
Not as good as: “Take Care” and “Channel Orange.”
You might also enjoy: “Dark Sky Paradise” and “Nothing Was the Same.”
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.