October 29, 2021No Comments

The late late review: Dave’s, we’re all alone in this together

Psychodrama was the album where we sat back relaxed and deeped life a little more than usual. We’re All Alone In This Together? Music that throws you into the headlights of Daves scars and life.

Like many others, ‘Location’ was the first Dave song I truly knew the words to and served the summer of 2019 quite well. But during a pandemic, the summers were ruined and the music stopped flowing for a while. Albums were left on hold, Kanye’s Donda and Drake’s CLB finally got their release date and Dave’s album dropped at the perfect time.

Dave’s second album comes at a time of freedom. Where I, you and Sandra from next door aren’t forced to take that Tesco shopping trip to buy unnecessary purchases. The clubs are open and they’re gasping for new music to fill the last two years of confinement. But this album seems to be less about freeing and more about thinking. It's a story, a movie in the making and the life of his mum (Juliet). 

Image Credits: Charlie

The Intro

Embodying a South London Shakespeare, Dave has created an album of soliloquies, speeches and acts. Its stories hold the weight that undeniably uplifts us out of our beds and makes us aim for bigger things. It’s more than an album but a story and artwork. Not to mention probably one of the best Dave has produced. 

Like a good story, this album holds a beginning, middle and end. Its storytelling angles create a solid structure and lead us through the album. Much like Romeo and Juliet itself, Dave sets the scene with an eerie opening, mumbles and grumbles of anger in song 1. “We're All Alone,’ opens the album with a fickle and subtle ode to suicide, culture and the past.

The outro of the song is interesting in itself, a voicemail (classic hip-hop move) from a movie agent? This song is like the opening soliloquy of Romeo and Juliet; it's a song of memory, past tense and has a ‘live in the past’ kind of flow and to be honest, what comes next is suspected from Dave. 

Act One

The party, dance and afrobeat style songs to follow are essentially act 1. ‘Verdansk’ so far the most popular track of the album holds a heavy snare beat and makes the perfect ‘shout these lyrics in the club’ vibe. But with a title that is literally a city from the game Call Of Duty the song is the anthem for any special ops agents on their mission (for imagination only.) This song is followed by Clash ft Stormzy which was the first song to be released off the album. Its popularity has died down but the ‘one’ repetition is one to get in your head and has been a festival favourite (sorry Headie.)

The next song is one of the best and most powerful collabs on the album. Featuring Fredo, Meeks, Ghetts and Giggs the follow and not to mention the lyrics are near perfection. It's a whole ‘fire in the booth’ setting and the gospel beat behind levels up the capacity of the song even further.

Image credits: Charlie

The next song is slower with a lighter beat but much heavier lyrics. ‘Three Rivers,’ features Theresa May as well as vocal news reports, first accounts and open discussions. This song debates the violence and change in the middle east as well as the tension between Britain and the Windrush generation. It highlights social issues deeper than the rapper himself but sheds a light on the truth. The outro of this song is another voicemail reading ‘the tide will tell me being black is an obstacle.' And followed by life advice about identity, it's one that makes us think ore.

Act Two

We’ve come to the centre of the album, four songs each with a feature. WizKid, Boj, Snoh Aalegra and James Blake make these three songs about culture, partying and living. System featuring ‘Africa's biggest artist,’ has that ultimate Afrobeat style, bring the drink and we’ll bring the party type of vibe and it's not surprising it's one of the albums best songs.

However, ‘Lazaras’ (meaning God has helped)  brings a vibration unmatchable. It brings politics, a genuine beat and an incomparable flow. Boj brings the Nigerian lyrics adding that spice to the song but Dave's flow on this one just projects his impeccable talent and it's a Culture Shift favourite. ‘Law of attraction’ produced by JAE5 is a slow-moving and easy listen to song. The Snoh Aalegra feature on this one fits perfectly with Daves love struck verses, definitely made for the girls.

The last feature song opens perfectly on the theme “who’s your Juliet? What's the dynamic between the two leads? I guess we’re all just looking for a happy ending somewhere.” ‘Both sides of a smile’ featuring James Blake brings back that eerie setting at the start of the album but this time with a stronger essence of pain. Dave uses the lyrics to the best of his ability and questions his own actions, process and life. And after verse 1 comes a huge change in lyrics. A female vocal spouting anger, hate and hurt leads elegantly but abruptly on the beat and is followed by a chord change. This song is different from the rest and closes the feature section flawlessly. 

Act Three

After those four very different and exciting songs it's predictable that Dave gives us a softer contradicting ending. He wants us to take something powerful from this album and really hones down what he is good at (piano and storytelling.) The next three ‘twenty to one’ ‘Heart attack’ and ‘Survivors guilt’ are the last act of this movie soundtrack. Juliet had found Romeo by now and the reality of death, life and love is coming to a close. Time is coming to an end and in ‘twenty to one feels a rush of reality and is three minutes of soft vocals, harder beats and fast spat lyrics. This song isn’t a stand out at all but adds to the story of the album.

The next two outro songs get us thinking. ‘Heart attack’ is the most anticipated of the album and is said to be a follow on from Daves previous song ‘Panic Attack.’It begins in a similar way, we have a heartbeat, sirens and news reports of crime. It's an awakening song and the first line is matched to that of ‘panic attack’ reading ‘I bet them boys think I'm panicking,’ it's special and takes us to Dave's past as well as previous music that his die-hard fans recognise instantly.

This song really highlights London's violence and the impact it can have. It also has relations to ‘Lesley’ found on Daves Psyscodrama album with mentions of suicide and domestic abuse. This seven-minute song ends acapella with Dave’s mum crying out for help. Next comes survivor's guilt, a song with a sampled beat and the last in the series for a reason. It's heavy on culture, love and heartbreak. Dave is one of the only UK rappers to be honest and truthful about his mental health and this song is a reminder that ‘we’re all alone in this together.’ 

Overall review: 

The album for me hasn't lived up to Psychodrama but in all honestly, they’re completely incomparable. This album is NOT for us to listen to on the bus or on our way to work. It's an album to sit and listen to when we need it. Like Daves previous music it still carries that therapy session feel. The features could’ve been better but if WizKid is on the album we’ll take it. The best elements of this album come from the music, production and lyrical flow Dave has perfected. ​​Dave has shown his acting prowess on the small screen and has the ability to create atmospheric music and brilliant storytelling. Don't be too surprised if we soon see Dave behind the camera on the big screen as a filmmaker.

July 6, 2021No Comments

5 Lessons Drake Taught Us About Love And Life

Not only is Drake artist of the decade but also our heartbreak hero. Listening through his anthems on a long car journey made us feel like we were the heartbroken one in the music video. Aside from teaching us what heartbreak is, he also taught us what love is. The love we have for this man for being that absent parent, our therapist and the one who told us what we needed when we needed it can never be repaid.

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January 19, 2021No Comments

Drake Officially Becomes First Artist To Surpass 50 Billion Spotify Streams

Another day, another record for Drizzy. According to Chart Data's tweet, Drake is officially the first artist in history to generate 50 billion total streams on Spotify.

According to ChartMasters, the Canadian rapper has accumulated a total of 50,001,998,828 over the years. The impressive stats include 35,704,203,269 streams for songs in which Drake is credited as the lead and 14,297,795,559 in which he is a featured artist.

Of course, with his highly-anticipated studio album ‘Certified Lover Boy’ said to drop on January 29, the number of streams will undoubtedly increase significantly in 2021.

The news comes after Spotify revealed that Drake was the most-streamed artist of the 2010s, with his hit record ‘One Dance’ the second most-streamed song of the 2010s behind Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape Of You’.

2020 was also the year that saw Drake and Future take the top spot for YouTube’s top music videos in the UK for their track ‘Life Is Good’ while ‘Toosie Slide’ came in at number 10.

The record-breaking news comes over a decade after Drake first entered the Hot 100 at No. 92 on May 23, 2009, with his record ‘Best I Ever Had’. Over the years, the hitmaker has collaborated with Rihanna and Mary J. Blige to Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj, earning his stripes as one of the most successful artists of our era.

In the ten years since his breakthrough mixtape ‘So Far Gone’ dropped, Drake has released an impressive five studio albums, three compilations, six mixtapes and 55 singles outselling the likes of Jay-Z, Eminem and Tupac.

As we patiently await his sixth studio album, now is an excellent time to stream some of Drizzy’s greatest hits.

April 14, 2020No Comments

Drake Continues To Make History With Chart Topping Hits

Is there any record Drake can't break?

"Toosie Slide" - the new single released by Drake has taken the internet by storm, particularly the TikTok generation. With not much else to do in quarantine, we're seeing a rise in "Toosie Slide" dances. Thanks to the rapper's instructional lyrics, fans have been quick to jump on the hype. As a result, Drizzy has landed his 3rd Debut No.1 Single on the US Billboard Hot 100 songs chart. He is now the first male artist to ever achieve this feat.

When it comes to breaking records, it's almost second nature to Drake. As he celebrates unrivalled success, we're taking a look back at some of the records he's broken. In the past decade, Drake has earned his stripes as he's consciously showcased his ability to lead the way in the US and beyond.

If we're talking numbers, the simple answer to the number of records he's broken is a lot. After achieving his first number one record with "What's My Name?" featuring Rihanna, his ran began and didn't slow down. Back in 2012, the Toronto native overtook Jay-Z for the title of most number one's on Billboards famed R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart as he dropped his hit record "No Lie" featuring 2 Chainz.

The Hot 100

From then on, his achievements snowballed as he rose above his competition. Most recently, "Toosie Slide" success has secured Drake's 50th week at the top of the Hot 100. As of now, only The Beatles, Rihanna and Mariah Carey have enjoyed more weeks at number one. The success of "Toosie Slide" comes a matter of weeks after he rewrote the record for most entries ever on the Billboard Hot 100. Last month, his collaboration with Lil Yachty and DaBaby "Oprah's Bank Account" broke into the Hot 100, landing Drizzy his 208th career title on the list.

His charting success is mirrored by his accolades over the years as he's the proud owner of four Grammy's from 44 nominations. Beyond the Grammy's, over the years he's racked up a staggering 175 awards from 636 nominations. These include 27 awards out of 81 nominations on the Billboard Music Awards. While some may think fans are setting the bar too low for Drake, there's no denying he continuously rolls out great music. In recent weeks, he's been taking to social media to entertain fans on the regular during the lockdown. As he keeps up his impressive work rate, we’re not expecting the record-breaking, award-worthy tunes to slow down anytime soon.

April 14, 2020No Comments

Lockdown: A Link Up Between Artists And Fans

As social distancing has come into play, our screen time has inevitably increased. Thankfully, rather than leaving music fans to scroll aimlessly through our timelines for hours on end, artists have stepped up with some serious entertainment. Although tours have been rescheduled, releases are postponed, and real-life connection is on hold, fans seem to be more engaged than ever.

With social media entertaining the masses, Instagram and TikTok have offered huge opportunities for musicians to connect with fans. As music fans all over the world are entertained for hours on end, we're taking a look at some of the highlights from the past few weeks.

Record-breaking lives

Unless you've been living under a rock lately, you've probably tuned in to Tory Lanez infamous quarantine radio. If not, you've more than likely seen a wild snippet or one of the weird and wonderful trending topics. Yep, the almond milk and hand sanitiser trend was thanks to Tory. Nope, it wasn’t a shopping list.

Last week, as Tory called on some famous friends to join his Instagram lives, he teamed up with Drake. Unsurprisingly, the pair threw fans into a frenzy as they broke the record for hip-hop related IG live with over 315k viewers tuning in, surpassing 6ix9ines previous record. Along with Drake, the likes Megan Thee Stallion and DMX have joined Tory.

More recently, Tory's latest live streams surpassed 350k viewers thanks to a whole lot of twerking and a giant gummy sweet. The twitter reactions were PRICELESS. Although his live capabilities were stripped for a minute, Tory made his come back just in time for the release of his new album, The New Toronto 3. Long live quarantine radio and those incredible ad-libs!

Live producer clashes 

We've tuned in to a fair amount of clashes among heavyweight producers in the UK and beyond in recent weeks. Among the clashes, Skepta has stepped up for the UK grime scene as he's battled it out with Jammer and Jae5 in a light-hearted friendly. It's impossible not to be gassed after tuning it to that.

Of course, no clash would be complete without Wiley chipping in. ICYMI,  he took to Twitter to call out Drake, Ed Sheeran and Boris Johnson for a clash. Forever trolling.

Across the pond, hip-hop producers Swizz Beats and Timbaland went head to head as The Dream, and Sean Garrett were also amongst the musical masterminds getting involved.

Songwriter battles 

If you're an R&B lover, plenty is going on for you too. With an impressive five Grammy awards between them, Ne-Yo and Johntá Austin battled it out. The duo showered fans with a string of their great hits as over 40,000 viewers watched on. With Ne-Yo rolling out bangers including "Take A Bow" and his own jam "Sexy Love" Johntá came with the goods as he took a step back in time with Mariah Carey and Mary J Blige tracks on offer. It was nothing short of a masterpiece.

Unlikely duos 

As some artists are taking the time to jump on lives with fans, Davina McCall stepped up as she flexed her moves with NSG. That's right; a whole Davina McCall nailed the OT bop as fans were delighted to see her pop up. Branded as one "probably the best thing that's happened during this lockdown period" – you've got to check it out!

Showcasing new music 

Along with popping up on Tory's live, Drake has done his fair share of self-promotion during the lockdown period. In case you missed it, Drake took to IG live to preview a whole host of his upcoming music. As he streamed live alongside Mark from his OVO camp, Drizzy played out snippets of his unheard tracks as fans eagerly await his upcoming project. Not content with stopping there, he upped the game and released brand new track "Toosie slide."

Alongside the track, which is bound to become a TikTok hit, Drake stayed inside the four walls of his lavish home as he reinvented MTV cribs. In what looks like the home of a 40-year old mob wife, Drizzy showed off his fresh new dance moves to complement his playful lyrics as he debuted his latest offering.

Young T & Bugsey securing US chart success 

Perhaps one of the greatest musician successes to come out of lockdown is for Britain's very own rising stars, Young T & Bugsey. As their banger "Don't Rush" featuring Headie One has become a staple track for TikTok's #DontRushChallenge, they've flown up the US Charts. Earlier this week, they made it top the Top 20 in the US iTunes chart. At the same time, they sat at number 3 in France. While the fans have contributed massively here, this much-deserved success is ultimately the result of yet another fire offering from the duo! If you like the track, their mixtape Plead The 5th is sure to fill your quarantine days.

With artists digging deep to connect with fans, we can't wait to see what's to come. Even when social distancing is over, we hope this kind of thing lasts!

July 19, 2018No Comments

Drake Breaks Yet Another Record

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