Drake releases unannounced mixtape, teases upcoming album


Chris Duncan

With his fourth album, Views from The 6, coming down the pipeline, Drake has a great year ahead of him. On top of the album, he went and pulled a Beyoncé, releasing an unannounced mixtape titled, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, on iTunes. The move caused his almost 21 million Twitter followers to clamor in excitement. Is this just another piece for Drake’s catalogue, or does it have replay value?

Drake, who has been teasing new content for months, has not said what exactly If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late is. Is this a mixtape, as all of Drake’s social media teasing has suggested? Is it an album with conceptual weight to justify its cost? Is this some sort of hybrid of the two meant to fight back against Cash Money Records and Birdman to free Drake from his contracts? So far, no one seems
to know.

One thing is obvious right off the bat: This isn’t the Drake we’re used to hearing. Drake was never a raw artist; this might be the closest he’s ever come to that status. The production is minimal compared to what I consider to be Drake’s best work.

The most upbeat song of the mixtape is “Legend”. This is classic Drake at his best, with familiar beats and rhymes that work well together. Drake hits the ground running, declaring, “If I die, I’m a legend.” After this somewhat reflective track, everything
becomes much darker.

The best track on the mixtape, “You & The 6,” is an open letter from Drake to his mother. He thanks her for raising him properly and touts her resiliency. The last song, “6PM In New York,” lifts the album’s gloomy vibe. Drake proves his skill with confident approach and complex rhymes.

This mixtape does have its bad moments, however. On the second track, Drake raps, “Bout to call your ass an Uber, I got somewhere to be.” Drake, you can do better than that. “Jungle” didn’t work well, either, given Drake’s usually
top-notch singing.

I enjoyed listening to If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, but I don’t think I’ll ever listen to it again. It’s not that it was bad; it just doesn’t seem to have any replay value. Drake wrote this for some self-contemplation and an opportunity for the listener to reflect as well, but it’s not something I would go back to.

The truth is, I just want the album. This just feels like a prelude. After listening to this mixtape, I’m looking forward to what Drake will release in the coming months.