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Photo credit: COURTESY OF: HIPHOPSINCE1987.COM

By: TAYLOR WEITER
progress@eku.edu

It must feel good to be Drake. After a peaceful 2014, Drizzy quietly released his album, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, on iTunes. Then he released his album, destroyed rival and past collaborator Meek Mill in back to back diss tracks and allegedly earned $19 million to guest DJ on iTunes Radio.

Similarly, American rapper Future is at the height of his career. Future, a Dirty South rapper and friend of Drake, was thrust under the spotlight after surprising fans and critics with his first album, Dirty Sprite 2 in July.

While neither rappers share similar flow or lyrics, there is no denying the two are the hottest in the game right now. And just like music moguls Jay-Z and Kanye West, Drake and Future set out to profit on their already concrete success with the release of the now number one album on the Billboard 200 Chart, What a Time to Be Alive.

The joint mix-tape, sneakily introduced on the rappers’ social media and released only through iTunes and Apple Music, is a quick and sometimes choppy product of a six-day studio session between the two camps.

Though it may be released as a collaboration between the two artists, the sound, along with album artwork, screams Future. Tracks such as Digital Dash and Live from the Gutter Feature Future’s, pardon my pun, futuristic sound and signature lyrics reflecting his troubling lifestyle.

Meanwhile, Drake lends some of his best “drake-isms” to the album. Lyrics, considered feminine and powerless by other rappers flood tracks such as Plastic Bag, a song honoring a stripper’s hard work.

For the die-hard University of Kentucky fans, Drake continues his loving relationship with the school and Coach Calipari, rapping, “I rock Kentucky blue on these hoes,” in the track Scholarships.

While tracks such as Jumpman, an ode to Michael Jordan, feel rushed and last-minute but cleverly worded lyrics such as “Jumpman, Jumpman, Jumpman, these boys up to something,” keep listeners’ attention.

Diamonds Dancing, considerably the most cohesive song on the mix-tape, does a good job of mixing the lyrical and musical stylings of both Drake and Future to create a double helix of humility and swagger.

The tracks sound raw and unfinished, but that is exactly what makes the mix-tape so pure and contemporary. Listeners can feel the cohesiveness of the pair, yet distinguish between the two very different, yet popular, lyrical and musical styles. A mixture that would only work at this very moment in rap music.

The collaboration may not seem as fitting as others between known collaborators such as Jay-Z and Kanye West, but it works. This collaboration highlights the many strengths of both rappers while appearing effortless and natural.

Although, it is obvious What a Time is not as outstanding as either rapper’s original work. The album still proves to be exactly what the fans and rappers wanted; unrefined, current, tracks that offer as a bonus to their preceding number one albums.

No complaints have been made by the #FutureHive and #Aubsessed.