Nothing Was The Same: Complex Staff's First Impressions of Drake's New Album

Drake's latest album has sprung a leak. We gave it a listen. Here's what we think.

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Image via Complex Original
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Drake is such a piece of work.

Even as he's won us over with his talent, making better and better music, flexing his inarguable talent in more and more compelling ways, he still finds ways to frustrate, annoy, ruin a day. Last night, after a long weekend, just as we were all watching "Breaking Bad," letting all the beer we'd drank watching football or baseball or 60 Minutes or whatever soak in and lull us towards our beds for a good night's sleep before the hard work week ahead... BLAMMO! The most feverishly anticipated album of the year leaks and Twitter explodes and drunk people send embarrassing emotional texts to their exes and then write embarrassing tweets on Twitter about how they just sent their ex a bunch of embarassing emotional texts and hardcore Drake fans break out the white wine and middle-aged editors who need to get some sleep clench their fists and shake them skyward and shout at the top of their lungs whisper, because their wives and kids are already asleep (Sunday is a night schoolnight after all!) 

"Damn you, Drake!" 

So, today, we find ourselves a bit underslept, because of course we stayed up listening. It's a NEW DRAKE album for Pete's sake. And here are our initial, blurry-eyed thoughts. In a post you are about to read called Nothing Was The Same: Complex Staff's First Impressions of Drake's New Album.

RELATED: Nothing Was The Same: What Happens When You're Visiting Your Ex On the Other Side of the Country and Drake's New Album Leaks 

"'The Language' is where Drake shows his flair for effortlessly floating between topics of discussion."

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Drake: Jay-Z :: Kendrick Lamar: Nas.

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My immediate reaction (and what other kind of reaction can you have 16 hours after an album leaks?) is that Drake (to be specific, rapping Drake) is the Jay-Z to Kendrick Lamar’s Nas. It’s a loose analogy, so before you start poking holes, I’ll clarify:

Kendrick is a self-indulgent artiste. A singular talent who makes music within his own little literary bubble. As a result, his music feels original and deep and timeless. Drake, on the other hand, is very much a now rapper, of-the-moment, hyper-relevant, neurotically self-aware. Nothing Was The Same finds him in that Jay Z “A Million and One”/“Streets Is Watching” zone, where every line is a quotable or a subliminal and usually both. He’s listening to the haters, reflecting on their criticisms, and responding—trolling them, even. The urgency of his raps means that they may feel dated by his next album.

Kendrick raps like only Kendrick can, and that is why he is unique and great. Drake raps like a lot of other rappers do, only he does it way better. He’s a style carpetbagger, but like Jay was, he’s the best at it. Just imagine Kendrick trying to hop on a Migos record—it’d be like Nas putting a verse on Juvenile's “Ha.”

What this all basically means is that, like the peak of the Jay-Z/Nas era, you won’t be able to argue the merits of Drake without bringing up Kendrick for the next few years, and vice-versa. It also means that it may only be a matter of time before they collide for real, for real. —Donnie Kwak

"It's going to be a slow burn."

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"My initial reaction is that it is a much more focused and much more disciplined album than Take Care."

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"Take Care had an inner warmth that, by comparison, feels almost entirely absent on the frostily windswept Nothing Was The Same."

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