Drake releases Care Package, reminding fans of his influence

A day before dropping this collection of previously “unreleased” songs, Drake announced Care Package. Confusing some fans and exciting others, but nevertheless generating buzz for songs that already existed.

Mac Miller once said his motto was D.A.D.D. or Do As Drake Does, meaning he hoped to emulate Drake’s success through releasing as much music as Drake did. At the time, Drake was releasing an album almost every year. The span of time between Take Care, Nothing Was the Same, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, and ultimately More Life, was very short. His strategy leading up to the long-awaited Views was to produce as much music and amass as large of a discography as possible.

It certainly worked, as Drake is one of the biggest names in hip-hop and music in general. But somewhere in the mix, certain songs fell to the wayside. With the release of Care Package, Drake collected these tracks and packaged them into a searchable streaming “album”.

Aptly named by playing on the title of his first major album release, Take Care; Care Package is a look into the influence that Drake has had on pop music and hip hop. A care package is often delivered in a hospital when someone is sick. Titling this release Care Package is metaphorical; as if Drake is delivering a bouquet of flowers, a common form of hospital care package, to the rap game. Drake aims to bring “more life” into a rap game he views as sick and in need of rejuvenation. In proper Drake fashion, the cure is more Drake music. Not necessarily new music, but the more Drake music the healthier the game, I think.

Haven’t I heard these songs before?

For die-hard Drizzy fans, Care Package seems a bit redundant. Most of these tracks have been accessible for quite some time, leaked on less “certified” streaming services like YouTube and Soundcloud. Although by the numbers YouTube is the most widely used “streaming service”, the influence of Spotify and Apple Music is apparent with Care Package releasing on these platforms. For the casual Drizzy fan, this “album” could be an introduction to 17 Drake cuts they may not have previously heard.

With the Care Package drop, Drake is mainly aiming to reignite the number of listens that these tracks have. Most of the songs are familiar, they could have easily made it on to the albums from which they were cut. But albums need editing, and run-time is tricky to get right. Drake and his team of producers must be discerning in their choice of tracks to allow on albums.

Care Package is Drake’s equivalent to Kendrick Lamar’s untitled unmastered. On this eight track EP, Kendrick showcased what didn’t make the final cut on To Pimp A Butterfly. In the case of Drake and Care Package, a decade of releases left him plenty of choices when it came to tracks that didn’t make a final cut.

Every fan of an artist has their favorite album, and some can experience cognitive dissonance when that artist doesn’t produce music that lives up to the record they loved so much. This is why Care Package works; it reminds fans of the eras in which their favorite Drake albums were released.

Stand out tracks include:

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“The Big Day” album review

The Big Day, Chance the Rapper’s debut album, or OWBUM, as he prefers to stylize it, is a quintessential summer LP. With this release, Chance conveys a nostalgia for the summers of old; the endless summers of youth and adolescence.

At first, The Big Day feels a bit like a Tarantino film that could use some condensing. Although it is long, the length progresses the theme. With that in mind, the final cut of The Big Day can feel a bit overwhelming. At 22 tracks and 1 hour and 17 minutes in length, it’s an undertaking to sift through. But on subsequent listens the album seems to feel more whole, like one long summer vacation.

The bars are witty and inventive, fresh and “hot” like a summer day. Chance clearly wanted to showcase his talents and convey the clarity and peace of mind inherent to a summer vacation.

The second track, “Do You Remember”, with a hook performed by Death Cab for Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, primes the listener for this message:

  • “Do you remember how when we were younger the summers all lasted forever. Days disappeared into months, into years. Hold that feeling forever.”

As this hook concludes, a school bell rings. As a child, the feeling when that bell rang and school released for summer was incomparable.

Analysis

With 10 Day, Acid Rap, and Coloring Book under his belt, Chance was primed for a full LP release. Although, the months leading up to this album were somewhat tumultuous for Chance and his relationship with his fans. With the release of the single, “GrOceries”, far from a fan-favorite, Chance was faced with a split fanbase. Those who missed the quirky, loud, and funky ad-libs that stuck out on Acid Rap and were few and far between on Coloring Book, were worried by the direction the album might take given the poppy single.

It was rumored that Kanye West would include Chance in his string of seven track albums. This, like most of Kanye’s supposed recent work, has not come to fruition. It would be interesting to see a shorter album from Chance that harkens back to the style of 10 Day and Acid Rap, but The Big Day feels more thematic and polished compared to his mixtapes of old. This is a direction Chance has clearly been hoping to make for years.

As an artist, Chance has evolved and continues to do so. Acid Rap, the project that garnered him an almost cult-like following, was released on April 30th, 2013. Fast forward six years to July 26th, 2019, and Chance releases his first official album, The Big Day. With this album, July 26th was truly a big day for Chance and it’s exciting to witness his evolution through his unconventional route to success.

Standout tracks:

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