Drake’s much anticipated ‘More Life’ was finally released March 18th and in an interesting twist it premiered as a playlist on OVO radio, an impressive way to further heighten the buzz surrounding OVO - opening doors to a whole lot of industry claims of the playlist being the new and innovative way of putting out music. I've even seen posts claiming that Drake is paving the way for the future of music.
Since its release, the playlist was streamed 89.9 million times in just the first 24-hours of it dropping on Apple Music and garnered another 61.3 million streams on Spotify. The project switches up a lot track to track giving us Afrobeats in Madiba Riddim, Grime in KMT and Dancehall in Blem. I think releasing More Life as a playlist gave Drake the room to not have to be so cohesive in the overall feel of the tracks and allowed freedom to just put out what he actually wanted, I think criticism over the lack of connection between songs is because it’s being viewed as an album still, rather than a playlist, so does it even matter? In my opinion unless you're really into music or the industry itself, this will still be seen as Drake’s latest ‘album’.
Going into work the day after More Life's release, a colleague who is definitely a Drake fan commented that it’s mad he gave Skepta a whole track on his album, but I clarified “well it’s a playlist, so I guess the songs don’t have to be his”, Drake’s essentially just putting them together, which got me thinking that most people will probably ignore the fact that this is a playlist. Of course, in this circumstance the exciting part of this playlist is that it’s all new songs that we’ve never heard before with a majority from the man Drizzy himself, but my point is the average person won’t pay much attention to the fact that his new releases are being packaged as a playlist. It may as well be an album.
However, I do like the fact that the playlist nature of the project opens up the doors for collaboration in a new way because the guest appearances feel like more than just a feature. I do think that more artists, especially those in collectives, will start to use playlists as a way of group collaboration because it makes sense, a whole bunch of you can release tracks together without the pressure of having to be cohesive like an album would demand, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s the future of music and a revolutionary medium for new music. Either way, Drake came through with some great new music and didn’t disappoint fans by sticking to his usual mix of savage and sweetheart between tracks that were lyrical and still club worthy - plus creating a playlist with a whole lot of UK features was a nice touch.