Rap fans got a very pleasant surprise last week when Drake blessed the internet with a link to his new project, If You're Reading This It's Too Late.
Containing 17 tracks, a majority of which were previously unheard before the release, IYRTITL is the big topic of conversation for music enthusiasts this month. The impact is being felt at a time when attention spans are as short as ever when it comes to music. But being that we're talking about Drake, who tends to make some cohesive projects, listeners are actually taking the time to fully digest IYRTITL as a whole.
There's debate over whether the project should be considered a mixtape -- his liner notes on the effort refer to it as a tape -- or a full-fledged album, but what cannot be argued is that this isn't a successful release. The Toronto native has moved 535,000 units in its first week of release, according to Billboard, proving the benefit of releasing an album out of nowhere when you have a solid fan base.
Drizzy managed to catch the rap world off guard, as many were focused on when he'd be releasing the LP Views From the 6. The status of that album is unclear at this time, but what we do know is that If You're Reading This It's Too Late is the hottest project to be released so far this year with songs that are sure to dominate going into the warmer months.
While he tends to record an ample amount of R&B-driven tracks on his albums, this long player leans toward his lyrical side rather than his balladeer aspirations. Noticing this distinction -- as well as the quality of the raps themselves -- we highlight the standout verses. Check out 10 Best Verses From Drake's If You're Reading This It's Too Late.
"I ain't tryna chance it / I be with the bands like a n---- went to Jackson State or Grambling / Young Nick Cannon with the snare drum, dancin' / Watch the way I handle it, uh / Bring it to the bedroom, you know that shit is candle lit / She know I'm the man with it, uh / With the bands like I must've went to Clark, went to Hampton / I ain't playin' with it.""Used To"
Produced by Wondagurl, "Used To" has more than enough bass to spare and is powered by steady snares and synths, which Drake uses to give advantage, filling his verse with a slew of marching band references, resulting in his bars fitting the track like a glove. Opening up the verse with "Yeah, when you get to where I'm at / You gotta remind 'em where the f--- you at / Every time they talking it's behind your back / Gotta learn to line 'em up and then attack," he immediately pounces on the track with focused vigor. Comparing his jewelry to long-lost treasure and the Nick Cannnon Drumline reference takes this one over the top and makes for a killer verse.
"Please don't speak to me like I'm that Drake from four years ago, I'm at a higher place / Thinkin' they lions and Tygas and bears, I go hunting / Put heads on my fire place, oh my.""No Tellin'"
After this track, having a hot chick open your mail will be on the bucket list of men worldwide. Fresh off vacation and drunk off Hennessy and D'usse, the 6 God decides to send salutations to the competition on "No Tellin'." When Drake spits, "N----s think they can come take what I got, let's be logical, yeah / V-Live, I order that Alfredo pasta / then eat in the kitchen like i'm in the mafia / Houston, they get me though / European, my vehicle How much it hit me fo'?/ Ain't no tellin'," you know that he's taking the kid gloves off and is really getting to business. Tyga also gets thrown a subtle jab just for the hell of it, with Drake threatening to all but end his career. Now that's an effective subliminal if we've ever heard one.
"Fieri, I'm in the kitchen, I'm a magician / I'm on it, I'm like MacGyver, I'm Michael Myers / I kill careers and cut the lights off, this s--- is frightening / I knew it would end up like this, I'm f---in' psychic / Young but I'm making millions to work the night shift.""6 Man"
"6 Man" may be the shortest track on the album, clocking in at under three minutes, but what it lacks in length it makes up for with Drake's witty lyrics and exuberant energy. Paying homage to Atlanta High School basketball legend-turned-dating legend Lou Williams -- he's immortalized as the first public figure we know of to have two girlfriends that know about each other -- the song is chock-full of quotables. When Drizzy rhymes "Like I'm Lou Will, I just got the new deal / I am in the Matrix and I just took the blue pill" it makes you want to stop what you're doing and grab a Lou WIlliams jersey from the NBA store just to pay homage and hope for a smidgen of his swagger to fall upon you.
"Lil Wayne could not have found him a better successor / Every shot you see them take at me, they all contested / Allen Iverson shoe deal, these n----s all in question.""6PM In New York"
If you're checking out this list, you're probably familiar with Drake's time-centric series of songs, which include "9 AM in Dallas" and "5 AM in Toronto." Well, the MC has decided to revisit the series with this latest addition to the trilogy. Tyga catches another lyrical leg-shot in response to his disparaging comments of Drake in an interview with Vibe, with Drizzy poking fun at the rapper's alleged relationship with 17 year old Kylie Jenner, rapping I heard a lil lil homie talking reckless in Vibe / That's quite a platform you chose, you shoulda kept it inside / Oh you tried, It's so childish calling my name on the world stage / You need to act your age and not your girl's age" and putting his former YMCMB cronie on blast.
"Goddamn, we ain't even gotta scam / Cocaine coupe, we ain't even got a scale / Used to flip apps, now that old plug murked / Ain't a damn thing changed, you can still get the work.""Star67"
Drake gets straight to the point on "Star67," rapping "Brand new Beretta, can't wait to let it go / Walk up in my label like, 'Where the check though?' / Yeah, I said it," which could be a shot at Cash Money and Birdman himself with all of the legal turmoil surrounding the label and its artists. Switching from the Benz to the Rolls Royce in the middle of a verse is some stuntastic ish, but Drake manages to pull it off without the break of a sweat, adding another standout verse to his resume.
"I got no friends in this momma / I don't pretend with this momma / I'on joke with this momma / I pull the knife out my back and cut they throat with it momma / I'm 'Game of Thrones' with it momma / I'm 'Home Alone' with it momma.""You & the 6"
Introspective Drake is Drake at his best and that's exactly what we get on this endearing selection. Serving as an open phone conversation with his mother, the first verse of the song finds Drizzy feeling sorry for being an absent son and discussing his love life. The last half of this verbal confessional is the one that sticks out the most. Describing his mindstate while navigating the game, with bars like the ones mentioned above, "You & the 6" wins because of the honesty he reveals and is one of those moments when we get less Champagne Papi and more Aubrey Graham, which is always a pleasure in our book.
"Lately I feel the haters eatin' away at my confidence / They scream out my failures and whisper my accomplishments / Bitches alter my messages like we have words / And stories 'bout my life hit the net like a bad serve / Bitter women I'm overtextin' are PMSing crazy this year/ F---in' with my image, I've been tryna reach the youth so I can save 'em this year / F--- it I guess I gotta wait 'til next year.""6PM in New York"
The first verse of "6PM In New York" saw Drake targeting rappers and the competition, but the second portion of the track is full of nothing but reflective thoughts and slick talk. Brutal commentary comes in the form of honest lyrics, which find him sounding off on things like how social media irks him. "Nobody looking out for nobody / Maybe we should try and help somebody or be somebody / Instead of bein' somebody that makes the news / So everybody can tweet about it / And then they start to RIP about it / And four weeks later nobody even speaks about it / Damn, I just had to say my piece about it / Oh you gotta love it," he raps with a genuine air of disdain. With "I gotta make it back to Memphis to check on my cousins / Shout out to Ashley, Tasha, Biama, Julia, Ericka, Southern America / Part of my heritage, pardon my arrogance, part in my hair again / That's that comeback flow, comeback flow / Once I start it's apparent I'm with girl whose ass is so big that's partly embarrassin' / But f--- all the blushin' and f--- your discussions / And f--- all the judgment," he gives newer fans a sample his "comeback flow" while speaking on reconnecting with the southern side of his family. He calls out his haters, the bitter women that have crossed his path and his attempts to reach the youth." Quite inspiring, if we must say.
They got me feelin' like the one again / Yeah, shout goes out to Nike, checks all over me / I need a FuelBand just to see how long the run has been.""10 Bands"
"10 Bands," the third track on If You're Reading This It's Too Late, features Drake on cruise control. Flowing effortlessly over the Boi-1da production, Drizzy drops random bars about safe houses in Calabasas, holding mama down on the rent, and most importantly, bands. But the second verse is of the track is the real winner, with Drake going bezerk, rhyming "I've been on a mission, haven't left the condo / This that OVO, that SZN, this that new Toronto / I get boxes of free Jordan like I play for North Carolina / How much I make off the deal, how the fuck should I know? / All my watches always timeless, you can keep the diamonds / Treatin' Diamonds of Atlanta like it's King of Diamonds / Take a flick, I look like Meechy, look like Bleu DaVinci / I treat V Live like it's 07 in Magic City," providing what makes for one of the more entertaining 16's on the album.
"But I just roll with it momma, rolling stone with it momma / Gotta be careful around Rolling Stone or anyone that's tryna throw stones at me momma / I'm not condoning it momma / They will not tear nothing down I built this home for you momma / Know I don't call enough momma / I just been working with so little time for personal momma / Hard labor let me pay the price / You and the six raised me right that shit saved my life.""You & the 6"
We get a glimpse into Drake's relationship with his father and his time in Memphis, Tenn., as a youth on the second verse of the standout selection, "You & the 6." "Having conversations with momma, we start talkin' bout dad / You know he dropping a single, he saying this is his window / That n---- still wearing linen, that n---- still in the club / Call him after we get off the phone and show him some love," he rhymes. Drake hints at a possible music release from the senior Graham that may come sooner than later.
He also seems to have come to terms with his father's past shortcomings and is ready for all three of them to bury the hatchet, via transparent bars like, "He made mistakes throughout his life that he still doesn't accept / But he just want our forgiveness, and f--- it, look how we're living."
Rolling Stone gets thrown a jab by Drizzy, who was featured in the magazine in February of 2014. His off-the-record comments (according to him) weren't supposed to make the final interview (he had some words for Kanye West), causing him to take aim at the publication.
He ends off the verse apologizing to his mother for time missed while acknowledging that all of the "hard labor let him pay the price." She and Toronto are responsible for the man he is today.
"I got a backyard where money seems to come from the trees / And I'm never ever scared to get some blood on my leaves / Phantom slidin' like the s--- just hit a puddle of grease / I cook the beef well done on the double with cheese / Special order for anybody that's comin' for me / S--- you probably flinch if somebody sneeze / You see they got me back talkin' like it's just 40, Oli and me / Cuttin' all loose ends, I be the barber for free / I'm almost at four minutes going off on the beat." "6PM in New York"
While If You're Reading This It's Too Late is filled with jaw-dropping bars and flows from top to bottom, after giving the album one spin, there is no question as to the one verse that gives goosebumps upon hearing it. The close-out verse on the highlight reel is "6PM in New York."
After spitting two rewind-worthy verses, Drizzy gets straight felonious with his spit-game on the third one. Opening with "Your content so aggressive lately, what's irkin' you? / S--- is getting so personal in your verses too / I wanna prove that I'm number one over all these n----s / Being number two is just being the first to lose / My city dictated music, nobody seeing us / Winter here already, but somehow I'm heatin' up / Been observing the game and felt like I've seen enough / Let's drop a tape on these n----s then we'll see what's up / Yeah, boy, you rappin' like you seen it all / You rappin' like the throne should be the three of y'all," he effectively catches a lyrical homicide, all the while making it clear that he's more than capable of going for "The Throne" if tested.