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-breaking success.
The Toronto rapper and singer announced the project just hours before its release, and less than a day after his fellow mega-star Beyoncé announced that 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 song, but the project’s only listed features comes courtesy of 21 Savage the closing track, “Jimmy Cooks.”
Upon first listening, “Honestly, Nevermind” feels much breezier and poppier than CLB, reminding some fans of Drake’s 2017 mixtape “More Life.”
As is tradition, Drake paired his album drop with an expensive (and expansive) new music video for the lead single “Falling Back,” in which the 35-year-old gets married to no fewer than 23 women.
Here are six takeaways from the “Falling Back” video.
Singing Drake is back
Drake forgoes any rapping on the lead single, which harkens back to the smooth tropical-house sound of the beloved 2017 track “passion fruit.”
Midway through the video, the track transitions into a brief instrumental interlude featuring the bass-heavy, 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 the classic UGK/Outkast 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 raucous party spurred on by a ridiculous wedding singer.
Sorry Drake — it’s a fun video, but the original simply can’t be topped.
“Falling Back” has at least two cameos. The first is the Brampton-born NBA player Tristan Thompson, who currently plays for the Chicago Bulls.
Thompson plays Drake’s best man, offering up some words of wisdom before Aubrey says yes 23 times. This choice sparked some minor controversy on Twitter, given Thompson’s recent … entanglements … within the world of the Kardashians.
The video also features a brief came from Drake’s mother, Sandi Graham, who perfectly executes her role as the doting mother-in-law to be.
As Drake makes his way 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 with dozens of others associated with Young Stoner Life Records, were recently charged with conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
Drake also refers to the ongoing case on the track “Sticky,” rapping:
“Hey yo Eric, bring them girls to the stage, ’cause /Somebody’s getting paid and /Free Big Slime out the cage.”
Everyone’s favorite wedding singer
The music video also contains a brief interlude featuring the potty-mouthed wedding singer from “The Hangover” (played by Dan Finnerty).
In the clip, Finnerty enthusiastically performs Drake’s 2010 hit “Best I Ever Had.”
Forever a Toronto man, Drake never fails to give a shout to his home city. In the video’s final sequence, he and his many wives are seen driving away from the wedding ceremony outside of Union Hall, with the CN Tower in background.
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