A&E Fresh Takes — 26 September 2013
Martin Gallegos
Staff Writer

“Nothing Was The Same” is completely different from what was expected from Drake. However, in this case, it’s a good thing.

Drake’s highly-anticipated third album has finally dropped. What I was expecting to hear was more of the same made-for-radio songs like we heard in “Thank Me Later” and “Take Care” that I found myself singing in the car. While his first two albums were songs for the club, this album appears to be a reinvention of the 26-year-old rapper from Toronto. One big thing I immediately noticed after listening to the record was the lack of guest features. There are some big names who make an appearance like Jay-Z in “Pound Cake,” 2 Chainz and Big Sean in “All Me” but for the most part, Drake is more solo than YOLO in this album.

The first track, “Tuscan Leather,” sets the tone for the entire record. There’s no chorus, something often found in his music. Instead, Drake goes in for six minutes straight rapping about everything from how much money he makes to his strained relationship with Nicki Minaj. This track seems like a middle finger to those who thought Drake really couldn’t “rap” and just filled all of his songs up with a catchy chorus.

He comes across very cocky and confident in the intro track, but as the tracks go by, Drake has no problems sharing his insecurities and rocky love life. Look no further than track number two, “Furthest Thing.” The emotions expressed by Drake in this song may make you drive all the way to your ex-girlfriend’s house and beg her to get back with you.

Drake really shows his lyrical versatility when he hops on a track with Jay-Z in “Pound Cake.” This may very well be my favorite song on the album. The soothing beat and sampling of the old-school hook of “C.R.E.A.M.” by Wu-Tang-Clan make you want to listen to the song over and over again. This track really sends a message that Drake has stepped it up lyrically and deserves to be mentioned with the upper-echelon in the rap game.

This is Drake’s third album and it may be his best. Each album has been an improvement, and NWTS seems like a coming out party for him as a rapper. Also, the beats in the album are incredible and put the album on another level for me.

There have been great albums released so far in 2013. Jay-Z’s “Magna Carta” and Jay Cole’s “Born Sinner,” to name a couple. However, “Nothing Was The Same” tops all of the rest and gets my pick for Album of the Year as of right now. Drake has asserted his dominance of the rap game with this album and is no longer just making music for the club.

It’s a different style from other top rappers in the game right now like Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, but that’s what makes it so great.

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