If You're Reading This It's Too Late
Even though Drake only released a few singles in 2014, including the Soundcloud-released + Grammy nominated “0 to 100/The Catch-Up”, it was undeniably his year in the spotlight (head to our Year End Review to see how his influence could be felt all across the charts). He also promised on that aforementioned single that 2015 would “be poppin”. He wasn’t lying. Last week, just a couple hours before NCM went to publication, he released a 17-track mixtape, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, on iTunes without any prior notice. For most artists, the mixtape is a between-albums format, usually offered for free, and intended to be less polished than studio releases – but that’s too pedestrian for Drizzy. Accompanied by a fifteen-minute art film, "Jungle", this release is as bold and ambitious as anything he’s ever done and just as culturally important. Of course, it’s always about himself – Drake is one of rap’s most prominent narcissists, only behind Yeezus himself, Kanye - but extra credit should be given to the album’s producers, Noah “40” Shebib, Boi-1da, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Vinylz, and Frank Dukes (and more), who are all doing work at the top of their game, and to Toronto (or the “6”), which practically fits the role of a recurring character throughout the disc. At an hour+ running time, a $13 price tag for a mixtape, and no lead-up beforehand (an approach we will see more of soon), it doesn’t fit the mold of a conventional release, but Drake has proven again and again that he’s far from being a conventional Canadian A-list artist.
Billboard is already reporting that If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late should sell more than 500,000 copies in its first week and debut at #1, giving him his fourth consecutive release to debut at the top.
No word yet on whether this release is taking the place of the previously announced Views From the 6, or whether we should expect another album from Drake later this year.