Not exactly a ‘time to be alive’
Drake and Future collaborative project doesn’t live up to the hype
Upon the release of the “mixtape,”on Sunday, there were mixed reviews about the project.
There are those that say the project is not even that good, at least compared to what we’ve come to expect from these artists.
Then there are talks of whether the project should be considered a mixtape and not a full album.
Some even say that this is a sign these artists are getting comfortable in a lane that they’ve been dominating for years.
What A Time To Be Alive clocks in at 40 minutes with 11 tracks, most of which feature beats from Atlanta up-and-comer Metro Boomin’.
It’s hard to consider this a mixtape, especially based off the fact that this “mixtape” is being sold like an album – remember Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and its rollout?
Calling this project a mixtape gives Drake and Future a pass in mediocrity.
2Pac posthumously released The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory after recording the album in just seven days. Drake and Future’s recorded their mixtape in just six days. But these projects are immensely different in quality.
2pac’s album was the same length as WATTBA, but there was more content in that project from one artist than there is from this project from both Drake and Future. And 2Pac’s album was more than just glossy beats.
When listening to WATTBA, you’ll notice that there aren’t many great hooks on the project – which is what the two artists are known for.
Not to say there aren’t any great hooks on it. Case in point: “Plastic Bag” and “Change Locations.”
The first track, “Digital Dash” starts off a bit rocky with a drop that sounds like a skip-step and a flow that sounds and feels offbeat. Thankfully, the rest of the project surpasses this mediocre first song.
But when you get to the following track, “Big Rings,” you’ll get a sense of a faux Watch The Throne feel, except the total lack of extravagance that Kanye West and Jay-Z’s Watch The Throne has.
It’s like going to a crappy club on a Saturday and calling it a profound cultural experience.
What Watch The Throne did was give listeners insight into a level of extravagance rarely experienced even by your other favorite rappers.
“Big Rings” sounds like a track a teen rapper who just got into the game would put out.
Drake and Future rapping about the same subject matter throughout the entire project leaves much to be desired.
After speaking to so many people about it, the main attraction of What A Time To Be Alive seems to be the beats.
The beats are good, but they have nothing to do with Drake or Future.
Seven of the 11 tracks feature Metro Boomin’ as the sole producer or collaborator alongside producers such as Southside, Boi-1da, Allan Ritter or Frank Dukes. Neenyo and Noël also have credits on this project with “Plastic Bag” and “Change Locations,” respectively.
Which begs the question: if Drake and Future aren’t contributing to the beats or providing catchy hooks and are only giving sub-par bars, is this really the amazing piece of work it’s being lauded as?
The simple answer is no.
But you will always have stans – die-hard fans that can see no wrong in their favorite artist.
While it has been a time to be alive, this album was not the reason for it.
Kenneth Kashif Thomas is the arts editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org