By 2016, Drake had been in the pop lifecycle for six years which meant his time was running out. Threatened by the rise of new talent and the consistent chewing and spitting out of popular music, Drake decided to head into the storm full force. Views became the result; an-hour-and-21-minute long project that proved Drake could make pop music and he could do it pretty damn well.
In a world fighting to stay relevant, Drake knew he had to join the battle. He realised he had conquered his own sound and dipped into something new. Bouncy tracks like ‘Hotline Bling,’ ‘Controlla,’ ‘One Dance’ and ‘Too Good ft Rihanna’ followed the catchy grooves of previous ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ and ‘Take Care,’ but were catered to suit the present time. And this was his secret. Sprinkle a few bubbly hits onto every album to always stay in the pop cycle. Because just having a legacy on its own wasn’t going to keep you on the charts.
Views allowed Drake to grab hold of audiences he hadn’t been able to reach before. He had expanded his talents to invite new fans to see a piece of themselves in his music while also keeping his old fans close. Songs ‘Keep The Family Close’ (a track about finding trust in family when his friends betray him) and ‘Feel No Ways’ (the classic theme of Drake’s ex-flame no longer loving him and his lifestyle) mimic Take Care’s moody sound and ‘9’ (another ode to Toronto), ‘Hype’ (another success brag) and ‘Child’s Play’ (a hilarious reenactment of a girlfriend’s childish behaviour) could easily be off Nothing Was The Same.
Arguably the most powerful track on the album comes halfway through though. ‘Still Here’ is Drake literally reassuring the world he’s still here and isn’t going anywhere. “Doin’ well, dog,” he keeps repeating, as if to tell the music game that he’s too high on top to even worry about falling off. The low, angry beat of the track joins ‘Pop Style’ and ‘Views’ as a collection off If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, bringing in the fans of Drake’s angrier side.
Views stood as a metaphor for a lot of things. Not only was it an ode to his family and crew (and his undying devotion to Toronto), but it referenced how a now 30-year-old Drake was seeing everything around him. He had been around long enough to see what and who were real or not and he had definitely learnt what songs worked and what didn’t. He was expertly crafting his talent, growing older and wiser and deciding he still had so much more to put out in the world. If anything, Views saw Drake adjusting his seat on the throne, but only to get more comfortable. He had no intention then, or now, of ever giving it up to someone else.