Drake reasserts himself as one of hip-hop’s front-running rappers with the release of his third studio album, Nothing Was the Same. While the album possesses chart-topping singles such as “Started From The Bottom” and “Hold On We’re Going Home,” the more obscure tracks deserve sizable credit for the album’s lyrical and melodic eminence.
Nothing Was The Same’s first track, “Tuscan Leather,” is arguably the musical highlight of the album. The song impressively samples Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing,” and Curtis Mayfield’s “When Seasons Change.” Commendably, Drake pays great homage to musical legends. In a solid track titled “Wu Tang Forever” he makes clever references to one of hip-hop’s greatest groups of all time.
The honesty put forth in Nothing Was the Same is one that rap fans do not come across very often. In the revealing single, “Too Much,” Drake brilliantly exposes his personal struggles by framing them with intelligent lyrics and a melodically heartbreaking chorus. His ability to successfully deviate from rap stereotypes by showcasing a rare form of vulnerability is a definite breath of fresh air.
While Drake does not feature many artists on the album, he decides to share the spotlight with A-list hip-hop powerhouse Jay Z on “Pound Cake.” This track may not be the album’s most preeminent song, but it is a great representation of the change in rap culture. With so much competition in the industry, it is captivating to see a young rapper go head-to-head with a notable veteran.
Nothing Was the Same puts Drake in the upper realms of both hip hop and R&B. With the help of producing partner Noah “40” Shebib, a Grammy nomination is likely in the works for the young artist.