Rapping Drake is back. In the three years since 2015’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Drake’s material has increasingly pivoted from spitting bars to singing over island instrumentals. While this brought some initial success- look no further than classic singles ‘Hotline Bling’ and ‘One Dance’– 2017 marked the end of Drake’s historic 431-week run on Billboard’s Hot 100. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that Drake is back to rapping again, back on the attack. “It’s a lot of bad things that they wishing on me”, he croons on ‘God’s Plan’. “She say “do you love me?” I tell her “only partly”, I only love my bed and my momma, I’m sorry” is peak Drake. It was Tony Montana that coined the mantra: “First you get the money, then you get the power, and then you get the women.” But what next? How do you defend your throne in a pool full of sharks? Comparisons to Scarface are tenuous at best, but with the hater’s voices louder than ever and a legion of new school rappers breaking through, it is high time Drake got back to delivering God MC verses if he’s going to secure another decade at the top.
Complete with shots at Joe Budden, ‘Diplomatic Immunity’ is a good place to start, a menacing banger that foreshadows the return of an irate Drake far removed from the tropical bliss of ‘Passionfruit’ & ‘Madiba Riddim.’ Whether ‘scary’ Drake is an anomaly or a harbinger of what’s to come is unclear, but in these early weeks of 2018 one thing is for certain: Drake season is coming.