UPDATED 3/17/2017 2:25 p.m. EST: More Life has a release date. On the upcoming episode of OVO Sound Radio, airing Saturday, March 18, Drake will share his playlist. But unlike Views, this project won't be an Apple Music exclusive. Amazon Music has confirmed More Life will be available on its platform at the same time as the Apple Music release, according to Pitchfork. Spotify has also promoted More Life. Tune in tomorrow.
More Life approaches. Drake's first project since Views, More Life is, according to Drake, a “playlist,” not an album; he wants you to be very clear on that, if not the distinction between the two. And it’s coming sometime…soon? We think it’s soon, but since it was announced in October of 2016, it’s been subject to several delays. As with all things Drake, the anticipation for the record is already reaching fever pitch, as we wait to see what the biggest rapper (and, potentially, pop star) in the world drops next. From what we’ve seen, heard, and inferred, it’s going to be an interesting project; Drake seems to be playing with a lot of disparate elements this time around, and as he proved on songs like “One Dance,” he’s a master at pulling different threads and weaving together something cohesive. With the pressure off for commercial success—Views was, after all, America’s favorite album last year—he’s free to try something new. With less than a week to go until its potential release date, here’s everything we know about More Life.
According to Oliver, Drake’s manager, More Life is set to drop on the next episode of OVO Sound Radio. So, in short, it’s set to come out soon. OVO Sound—Drake and co.’s Beats 1 radio show—happens biweekly, which likely means the day to watch is Saturday, March 4.
Still, all Oliver said was that it’s happening on the next episode of OVO Sound—he declined to set an actual date. The radio show doesn’t necessarily happen on a regular schedule, so the date of the show, and More Life’s release with it, are subject to change. There’s a strong possibility that the release date will move once again (More Life was initially announced with a December release date).
Regardless, if it doesn’t come out this coming weekend, prepare for it to drop on a Saturday, and Beats 1 will be the place to hear it first.
More Life was first announced at the tail-end of October, with scant information accompanying the announcement. It was a “playlist,” would have original music, and the announcement came with the premiere of four new songs. Additionally, though, was the unveiling of the More Life cover art—a photograph of Drake’s father, Dennis Graham, writing on a notepad—which has been just about the only constant as the project has developed since it was announced.
The prevailing logic surrounding More Life is that, while Drake calls it a playlist, it’s going to be an album-length collection of new Drake songs. However, it also looks like Drake wants to play with new sounds, and put some new people on in the process.
First up, is the project’s only confirmed guest, Giggs. The baritone Grime MC has been the subject of effusive praise from Drake in the past, and his presence on More Life was recently confirmed when Drake talked to DJ Semtex for a career-spanning interview. “We kinda got into this thing where it would be like, Yo I’ll send you something, and then he’d send it back and he’d kill it,” Drake said of their relationship. “Me and Giggs had like 3 or 4 songs, one’s for his project, I got two on More Life, and then another one just kinda there.”
From there, it’s nothing but speculation. Members of the OVO crew—Partynextdoor chief among them—are the most likely to pop up, but appearances from Bryson Tiller, the Weeknd, J. Lo, and Young Thug all seem like possibilities. Drake also likes to keep his ear to the ground, which could mean the addition of some artists you’ve never heard before as well. There’s also speculation that he’s working with rising Atlanta rapper SahBabii, but whether any collaborations between the two show up on More Life is anyone's guess.
The big production news Drake dropped is that More Life will be executive produced by Oliver, his manager. Drake described it as “a full circle moment for us,” in the interview with Semtex. “Oliver had so much input on So Far Gone, so I was like, Man it would be nice to do something with me and you again, so I gave him that task and he’s at home piecing it together.” It’s a partnership that has paid off well in the past, especially if Drake is name-checking his breakout mixtape, and a promising sign for the upcoming project.
Additionally, Drake has made it clear that his longtime right-hand man, Noah “40” Shebib, will be involved. “40 is obviously always involved,” he mentioned in the same interview. If we assume that other regular Drake collaborators will also be in the fold, expect beats from Boi-1da and OVO stalwart Nineteen85, as well as white-hot names and past collaborators like Frank Dukes and Metro Boomin.
Following the release strategy of Views, and continuing Drake’s partnership with the most valuable company in the world, More Life is going to be an Apple Music exclusive and premiere on Beats 1. Taking it one step further though, Drake intends on structuring More Life after his OVO Sounds show on Beats 1. This has some interesting implications. OVO Sound is a place for OVO premieres, but it’s also a place for curation—where Drake, a voracious consumer of music, can show off what he listens to. For fans, that platform hints at what Drake might sound like in a few months, or points to which artist he might remix. In this case, it likely means that Drake is going to be trying out some of the stuff he normally likes to put in front of his listeners.
Drake hasn’t taken an artistic risk in a little while. Views featured some new sounds, but it was a conservative record for the most part—it sounded like our expectations for Drake, and had several surefire hits stashed in its pockets. The last time we saw a real stylistic departure from him was on If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, which he was also careful to classify as something other than an album. If that’s any indication, More Life is an opportunity for Drake to try some new things on for size—we already know he’s pulling from grime for at least one or two tracks, but it seems likely that this is going to be an experimental record of sorts, and one that tries to recapture some of the critical acclaim he never picked up on Views.