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The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

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His Loss: Special moments of Drake album grapple with poor performances

In his newly released album “For All the Dogs,” Canadian rapper Drake underperforms after promises of the deeply missed “old Drake” style.

Rapper and singer Drake released his eighth studio album, “For All The Dogs,” Oct. 8 to an audience eager to see what the artist had to bring to the table after more than a year of anticipation. Was Drake going to return with a tracklist full of extraordinary hits like “Take Care” or “Scorpion,” or a bunch of filler songs that equated to nothing special? The answer: mixed results.

Before the release, Drake promised fans that “For All the Dogs” would be reminiscent of the “old Drake” style. Except Drake made it unclear what period of his career he was hinting at. Was the audience going to get to hear the mature, introspective Drake from the “Nothing Was the Same” era? Or were we going to get the unorganized, sloppy Drake from the “Certified Lover Boy” Drake? We received the latter.

Although “For All The Dogs” contains memorable tracks and incredible feature performances, an evident lack of organization and focus by Drake ruined what could have been a foundational, classic project in his discography.

“For All the Dogs” did effectively showcase his signature ability to switch moods, personalities and topics. With the slow and steady “Bahamas Promises,” Drake artistically speaks about previous relationship troubles and heartbreak, but with the introspective “8am in Charlotte,” he witfully uncovers layers of his success and career. The featured performers such as American rapper J. Cole, Latin American artist Bad Bunny and American singer-songwriter SZA were tremendous boosts to, if not the highlights of, the album itself. 

However, even if you might find yourself wanting to dance to certain songs, “For All the Dogs” has no story or clear message. When hearing songs like “Fear of Heights” and “IDGAF,” it seems that Drake entertains more than he performs with a series of poor deliveries and flows, as well as questionable and unimpressive lyricism. Creative decisions such as these have fueled memes of mockery instead of paragraphs of praise for the project. And while I understand how some of these songs have gained popularity in the short-video format of social media, those searching for a deeper, personal commentary from Drake might find themselves lost. 

A particularly disappointing moment arose during “Calling For You,” when Drake injects into the track a horrendously long skit depicting a woman complaining about luxuries. Many fans believe this was designed to be an insult aimed toward American rapper and longtime rival Pusha T, suggesting the whiny character from the interlude was representative of him. 

Coming as a surprise to the hip-hop community, hours before the album dropped, Drake formally announced he would be taking a break from creating music due to health complications he is experiencing. As I wish him a complete and wholehearted recovery, I also hope he comes back to the studio with creative and meaningful ideas for his next endeavor.

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About the Contributor
Taariq Ahmed, Digital Editor
Taariq Ahmed is a member of the Class of 2025 and serves as the digital editor. He joined the Midway as a sophomore after moving from St. Louis, where he completed Introduction to Journalism at his previous school in ninth grade. Taariq is a part of his school's Young Men of Color group and Being Racially Aware and Valuing Ethnicity conference board. Outside of school, Taariq enjoys reading the news, listening to music, playing soccer and spending time with family and friends.

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