By Phil Brown, Reporter
I may be overthinking this, but from the outset, Drake’s latest musical release is immediately intriguing.
Drizzy released his 17-track collection of songs (everyone’s unsure of whether it’s technically a mixtape or an album) on Thursday with no warning, sending hype- beasts into a frenzy of iTunes purchasing, and netting Mr. OVOXO what industry experts expect to be over 500,000 in sales before these words are printed.
Drake has already made millions off of the tracks, mixtape or not. The Twitter feeds have already exploded, the Facebook statuses have already been posted and tor- rents of the album were made available before anyone had time to listen to the entire release. The egg has already been scrambled, and whatever message Drake is trying to send with this release has irrevocably been sent.
But what that message is exactly is a little less straightforward, and the most intrigu- ing part of the release. If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late finds Drake at his most cold and strident, continuing with the theme he started with Nothing Was The Same.
The only human being Drake loves in Too Late is his mother, and even she is held at phone-distance in “You and the 6.” He’s abandoned everyone else, staying loyal only to his city and to his own myth.
Too Late finds Drizzy at his most misogy- nistic; he gloats in “6 God” that “just like every single other thing in my life / You can have her when I’m finished.” But more than that, the Drake in Too Late is an un- apologetic misanthropist, it’s clear that this Drake doesn’t respect anyone, not even the people he knows.
“Please don’t speak to me like I’m that Drake from four years ago / I’m at a higher place,” he warns us in “No Tellin.” The whole album is foreshadowing, the preface to the saga of a super-villain. The title of the album is a taunt and a provocation. There’s nothing you can do about it, it says.
Some have surmised that the album has been released to fulfill Drizzy’s contractual obligation to Birdman’s Cash Money and Young Money, leaving him free to return to Toronto on his own terms. If that’s the case, it adds additional punch to lines like the one above.
He’s not the same Drake that entangled himself with Birdman’s New Orleans conglomerate in years gone by, and he’s made it abundantly clear that Toronto is the only city that matters to him in this tape.
Drake draws his lines in Too Late. They’re drawn around the city he names The 6, and around Lil Wayne, who is currently em- broiled in a bitter feud with both rappers’ boss and Wayne’s father figure, Birdman. Drake’s Cash Money labelmate Tyga is conspicuously singled out for contempt, however, with the apt “You need to act your age and not your girl’s age.”
Birdman, and the rest of the Cash Money brass, are absent from the long thank-you list on Drizzy’s blog. Drake takes his own side, and flaunts his power in Too Late.
When all is said and done, if you can sell 500k with a tweet, you don’t need Cash Money. Too Late, indeed. If You’re Read- ing This, there’s a new hip-hop supervillain in town.