Album Review: ‘If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late’ showcases a new Drake

Yousef Fatehpour

Six years ago, Aubrey Drake Graham marked his final stamp in the immigration process of transitioning from a humble Canadian actor to one of the most versatile artists in the game.

“The 6,” the area code of humble Toronto, the city Drake reps with his life. The city that has inspired most of his music and especially the sound he’s been trying to achieve recently.

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Since Drake’s release, fans have been reaching out to social media stating the album has lyrical prose that could be used for media outlet captions. Photo from

After talks of a mixtape being released for months, Drake, with no announcement, released “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late” on iTunes. As a result, Sharebeast’s servers were in shambles, reminiscent of a 476 C.E. Roman Empire.

Potentially a message to Birdman, who has been a massive topic of conversation after ruining his father-son relationship with Lil Wayne due to his decision to push back “Tha Carter V.” The mixtape was made for sale and profits went to Cash Money which means Drake’s four-album deal is done. Nicki Minaj has stopped inviting Birdman to events, Wayne is ready to leave and by the time Birdman sees Drake’s album, it’ll be too late.

Drake’s confidence is beaming. He’s not scared to boast about his legacy and then quickly take shots at his competition in the first two tracks “Legend” and “Energy.” Although the first couple of tracks are lackluster, the album’s cogs start grinding on the fourth track. “Know Yourself”’s beat switch is so phenomenal, it’s actually one of his best tracks to date.

“Madonna” is also a great song, only a one verse track describing the potential a girl he’s met posses. Drake has never been shy of the “Girl-with-potential” subject in his songs (“Hold On We’re Going Home,” “July”), maybe he just saw a reflection of himself. The young boasting actor who starred in “DeGrassi,” whom Lil Wayne took under his wing until he blossomed into the vulnerable, confused, artist he is today, which isn’t bad at all.

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His acting days are also a big topic in this album. As many jokes and references have spawned from his role as Jimmy Brooks on “DeGrassi, the Next Generation.” But what many fail to understand is Drake embraces it to some extent. He’s never shy from shooting a line about how his acting days are over and the parallels between social behaviors and how he acted in front of a camera.

“IYRTITL” is Drake at his best. Maybe not sonically because “Nothing was the Same” will somehow always be a standout due to it’s cohesiveness. Rather it’s his best attitude wise. He from all people know how sensitive he can be. Of course it’s funny to some. Of course it spews out a pile of mediocre image-macros that are carried on through a retweet or an outdated Facebook like. But does he really care? Of course he doesn’t, he even says himself in the album how comfortable and stable he is with his being.
This album is a gateway, gates opening up to a better, much more comfortable sounding Drake. A Drake that doesn’t include a couple of cringeworthy lines, telephone calls and tasteless love.

That’s not necessarily saying Drake has given up the sensitive (“You & the 6”) or boastful (“6 God”) aspects of his music. He has just made them ten times better.

And that’s probably what makes our little Jimmy so loveable. We love to watch artists grow and if you need proof Drake has changed, just google “2009 Drake” and then “2015 Drake.” Try to build up the audacity to tell someone he looked better before.