By Adrian Woods, Contributor
[OVO, Republic; 2022]
Key tracks: “Jimmy Cooks”
On June 16th, Drake announced a surprise seventh studio album, Honestly, Nevermind. It would be dropping at midnight, only nine months after his last release, Certified Lover Boy, and if you’re reading this, it might be too late for Drake to make a return to a creative highpoint in his career. Certified Lover Boy may have been an undoubtedly mediocre release, but at least songs like “Way 2 Sexy” gained some chart popularity and were played at bars and clubs. It at least seemed like Drake had put some sort of effort into an album for the first time since More Life or maybe Views. Honestly, Nevermind feels like the least amount of effort Drake has ever put into a release, and is definitely, positively, without a doubt the worst project of Drake’s career.
Honestly, Nevermind feels like Drake is just making songs for the sake of turning in a rough draft, as this album is filled with uninspired lyrics, boring production and some of Drake’s worst overall cuts he’s ever released. From the get go, it’s rough – Drake’s high pitched vocals on the song, “Falling Back,” are more nasally and unintentionally funny than ever before. It doesn’t stop on songs like “Tie That Binds” and “Overdrive,” which feel just as bad, if not worse than the opener. When he’s not in this high pitched voice, he’s singing in some of the most boring, monotone vocals in his career to what sounds like high quality elevator music. A lot of talk about this album is that it sounds like house music. People have stated that this is a good thing, but the issue with it is that this does not necessarily give this album a pass. There are so many great house music albums that have come out over the genre’s history, and this feels like a hollow shell of those great pieces of work. When those great albums like Discovery by Daft Punk come on, everyone gets excited and starts moving around and dancing. I feel like when this comes on, the only people who won’t be acting bored senseless are Drake fanboys who accept anything he releases as “masterpieces”.
Was it mentioned that this album has some of THE worst songs in his catalog? “Currents” is definitely a contender for worst Drake song. The lyrics aren’t terrible, but the beat and instrumentals are definitely the worst of Drake’s career. One of the samples sounds like the squeaking of a bed, a flow that is not smooth whatsoever, and undoubtedly the worst autotune on a Drake song. The pre-chorus sounds like someone that has little to no air in their lungs trying their best to belt out something that resembles singing. Imagine that with autotune over it. The track had a chance to be tolerable but the instrumentals and beat on the song are so bad it just can’t. Even though it sounds like he’s doing more than just a monotone voice, “Calling My Name” has some of the worst lyrics of Drake’s career, and a beat that sounds like any other generic, recycled afterthought Drake decided to put together. The only other contender for worst lyrics of a Drake song is “Sticky“, as the lyrics are reminiscent of Justin Bieber‘s “Yummy”. Both songs think the lyrics are cool and slick, without the knowledge that they’re really acting goofy and pandering to a low-hanging pop audience.
The last song, Jimmy Cooks, is the one somewhat decent track on here, and that is really what is keeping this abomination from getting a zero. It’s the only track on the album that looks like Drake put any effort into it, and having 21 Savage on the track was a pretty good feature, but it was far too late, as one song isn’t gonna save this album from becoming listenable as a whole. Drake posted about the backlash to this album and said, “It’s all good if you don’t get it yet”. But what about this album years down the road will make people do a 180 on it? Nothing about it is innovative or game changing and if anything, it’s a step back for Drake’s career musically as projects like Take Care and If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late were cutting edge for the rap game. This is not cutting edge, this is boring music that makes me worry that Drake may never return to the top of his game from a creative standpoint ever again.