On ‘6PM In New York’, Drake‘s bonus track to his surprise, platinum-selling 2015 mixtape ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’, the Toronto rapper – often prone to pondering his own legacy – throws down the gauntlet and spells out his utmost intent. “You rappin’ like the throne should be the three of y’all,” he boasts, making a markedly self-aware reference to Kanye West and Jay-Z‘s collaborative album ‘Watch The Throne’. Drizzy’s aim to top hip-hop’s long-ruling party of two has not dampened over the last twelve months, either, with recent single ‘Summer Sixteen’ seeing Drake brag about having a “bigger pool than Kanye”.
Rather than taking shots at his peers, such as Kendrick Lamar did with his infamous ‘Control’ verse, Drake has instead opted to keep his rivals close, with both West and Hov (billed as The Throne) appearing on one of two new tracks unveiled today, with this triple-threat effort titled ‘Pop Style’.
Like many of the standalone single releases Drake tends to release prior to a full length LP (‘Views From The 6’ is expected later in April), the song is a slowburner meant to whet appetites, with the star’s lyrics largely focusing on his recent beefs (“I can’t trust no fuckin’ body / They still out to get me cause they never got me”), hitmaking ability (“You’ve still got my number, girl you need to call me” making a nod to ‘Hotline Bling’) and general cringeworthy one-liners that would feel out of place on an album (“Got so many chains they call me Chaining Tatum“).
West and Jay Z, for their parts on the track, are largely on autopilot. In fact, only two lines from Jay Z seems to have made the final cut. Perhaps it shows how much Drake is keen to curry favour with the pair that he’s settled for what are clearly below-par cameos, or maybe it illustrates just how close to their heels Drake is that he virtually outshines them on ‘Pop Style’.
As well as ‘Pop Style’, Drake has also dropped ‘One Dance’, a Wizkid-featuring number that continues Drizzy’s recent nod to the UK underground. After befriending Skepta, rubbing shoulders with Section Boyz and getting a Boy Better Know tattoo, Drake has now paid homage to classic UK funky by sampling the Crazy Cousinz remix of Kyla’s ‘Do You Mind’. ‘One Dance’ is a dancehall-indebted dancefloor-filler, the size of which we’ve not heard since ‘Hotline Bling’.