Drake has always been able to seamlessly transition from taking himself super seriously (see the Take Care album cover) to taking the piss out of himself (see “Hotline Bling,” which became a joke the rapper was most certainly in on). With Views (the album formerly known as Views From The 6), Drake is leaning hard into the former, but we’re also seeing something from Toronto’s unofficial mascot that we’ve never seen before: Drake is finally coming off as “cool.”
Now don’t get me wrong, as a Jew from Toronto I am a diehard Drake fan. But with his turtlenecks and his goofy dance moves, his kind of lame clothing line and his dorky album covers (not to mention the whole Wheelchair Jimmy thing), Drake was never earning any cool points. Drake loves his mom. He’s pals with his high school teachers. He’s endlessly meme-worthy. He ain’t cool.
But Views might change all that. Take the 30 second teaser, for example. We find Drake driving to the studio in a snowy Toronto (Toronto isn’t always that desolate, frigid and depressing, by the way). It’s dark and aesthetically gripping, like a David Fincher film, and unlike previous attempts at seriousness, this one doesn’t come off as goofy or try hard.
— Drizzy (@Drake) April 28, 2016
Then there’s the album cover (shot by my pal Caitlin Cronenberg, who, by the way, is the coolest and makes Drake cooler by association). It’s his only album cover to date that doesn’t look like it was made by a teenager from the suburbs using Photoshop for the very first time. Gone is the goofy typeface and the rapper’s name in monstrous all caps. It’s more subtle and mysterious. Not to mention, what’s cooler than the CN Tower? Nothing, that’s what.
Today at 7PM Drake has instructed us to tune into Apple Music’s Beats 1 for what is being called a “Global Listening Party.” Presumably, Views will be unveiled. Then and only then will we know if Drake is in fact cool. I’m rooting for you, Jimmy.