At midnight, Drake released his seventh studio album titled “Honestly, Nevermind”.
The surprise project comes just nine months after “Certified Lover Boy,” which arrived last September to mixed reviews but record success.
The Toronto rapper and singer announced the project just hours before its release, and less than a day after fellow megastar Beyoncé announced she would be returning with a new solo album in July.
The 14-track album, which Drake produced with longtime collaborator Noah “40” Shebib and his manager Oliver El-Khatib, features additional production from Black Coffee, Gordo, Alex Lustig and Beau Nox. Congolese singer Mukengerwa “Tresor” Riziki provides additional vocals on several songs, but the only listed features of the project come courtesy of 21 Savage on the closing track, “Jimmy Cooks.”
Upon first hearing, “Honestly, Nevermind” sounds much more upbeat and poppy than CLB, reminiscent of some fans from Drake’s 2017 mixtape “More Life”.
As is tradition, Drake has paired his album release with an expensive (and expansive) new music video for lead single “Falling Back,” in which the 35-year-old marries no fewer than 23 women.
Here are six tips from the “Falling Back” video.
Singing Drake is back
Drake forgoes any rapping on the lead single, which harks back to the mellow tropical house sound of beloved 2017 track “Passionfruit.”
Midway through the video, the track transitions into a brief instrumental interlude with the bass and house-influenced track “Calling My Name”.
Overall, the video signals a departure from the sound and style of CLB, which was among Drake’s most densely lyrical and rap-focused releases.
I choose you
Directed by fellow Torontonian Director X, the visual in many ways feels like an ode to UGK/Outkast’s classic video for “Int’l Players Anthem (I Choose You)” from 1997.
Drake, like André 3000, plays the slightly nervous groom as his friends help prepare him for the ceremony. In both videos, the ceremony is followed by a loud party spurred on by a ridiculous wedding singer.
Sorry Drake – it’s a fun video, but the original just can’t be beat.
“Falling Back” has at least two cameos. The first is Brampton-born NBA player Tristan Thompson, who currently plays for the Chicago Bulls.
Thompson plays Drake’s best man, offering some words of wisdom before Aubrey says yes 23 times. This choice generated a little controversy on Twitter, given the Thompson’s recent… involvements… in the world of the Kardashians.
The video also features a rundown of Drake’s mother, Sandi Graham, who perfectly performs her role as the future mother-in-law.
As Drake walks through the long line of brides, neon green text appears on the screen with the words “Free YSL” – a reference to the incarceration of rappers Young Thug and Gunna, who, among dozens of others associated with Young, Stoner Life Records, were recently charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
Drake also refers to the ongoing case on the track “Sticky”, rapping:
“Hey Eric, bring the girls on stage, ’cause /Somebody’s getting paid and /Free Big Slime out of the cage.”
Everyone’s favorite wedding singer
The music video also contains a brief interlude with the foul-mouthed wedding singer from “The Hangover” (played by Dan Finnerty).
In the clip, Finnerty enthusiastically sings Drake’s 2010 hit “Best I Ever Had.”
Forever a Toronto man, Drake never fails to give his hometown a shout out. In the final sequence of the video, he and his many wives are seen leaving the wedding ceremony outside Union Hall, with the CN Tower in the background.
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