[no Bobby, not about] a week ago, Drizzy Drake dropped VIEWS 🗼 — right. a week in, put aside my 4922-something plays of “Controlla,” “One Dance” and “Child’s Play,” i’ve now played the album twice in full and twice in condensed (shortened it to 12 tracks — i’ll explain why, shortly), and i’m still sitting with it, yet to really pass a judgement, since i guess “the boy” has proven over time that he can make music that grows on you and grows with you, somehow. still, i can’t sit here and act like he hasn’t been lazy and spewed generic work, having leeched off of many artists (let me not start a list… you know i’ll do it). one thing i will say: my little sister heard “U With Me?” and thought it should have been Bryson Tiller. now, i know somebody out there probably get mad up in their seat reading that last part, but i hear it, too. i see what she was saying. plus… we know there’s no Bryson without Drake, but shit… i’ll be damned if it’s gotten that bad that Drake now has to take Bryson’s sound when he was the one who built it with 40. sheeeshy.
dem ting deh cyaan run, my lard.
a week later, i get my hands on the LP i’ve been waiting nearly four years for — and expectations? exceeded. Konnichiwa 🇯🇵 by SKEPTA is everything VIEWS should’ve been.
[but, i guess that] when i say something such as my latter, i should be clear, right? so, ok. when i say what it “should’ve been,” i’m not talking at all about the sonics, because the great sounds that VIEWS did have to offer definitely. my biggest affair with what Drake put together for his fourth studio album [now], is the fact that there was just waytumuch “dargshit” on this effort. [the way i see it], pointless, shallow filler, just like on his second and third prior to this one destroyed the potential of having a special, significant album. there’s always a chance that you’re “missing something,” but on this one, maybe i’m being ignorant here… i [just] hardly think so. all those things said, though… the mix of Drakes from different parts of his career coming together was nice to hear in the music — especially the Comeback Season punchlines. it’s just a shame that he didn’t deliver in full and strong — to sit and say he did, I think, would only be an injustice, really, when it’s clear it was an average effort for Drake. i’m never going to be the one to knock his ability or his past work, because it’s that evident, according to his works such as So Far Gone, that he has got that in him. it’d be nice to see him really prove people wrong. i know there’s a lot of people who’ll never be pleased no matter how much he does right and kills everything (barely anymore), but for the position he’s in, and being the superstar that he is — it sure could be phenomenal to see him have the consistent music catalogue to go up there with his legacy, if he ends up having one.
but let me not make it all about Drake, who must have had the best ever serving of jerk chicken, curried goat, rice & peas, ackee & saltfish, callaloo and fried dumplings with a side of bigga, old jamaica or tropical rhythms of his life in the past year or so. i could do it… but i don’t think VIEWS needs anymore re- up on it, really. i’ll just say this: cut the LP down to your desired tracklisting if you wish to, and more-than-likely enjoy the album — you probably really will. i did, but i can only speak for me. this hnyarr is what i cut it to (dubbed “VIEWSNCLR” by Leb):
- Keep The Family Close
- U With Me?
- Feel No Ways
- Weston Road Flows
- Controlla (Poppy should have been on the LP verℑ, man — sly dropped in Beenie)
- One Dance (feat. Kyla & Wizkid)
- Child’s Play
- Summer’s Over Interlude
- Fire & Desire
basically, [if you] take away the excess, VIEWS is actually a very decent album with tracks that match the standard of his early introspective cuts like “Going In For Life,” “The Calm,” “Tuscan Leather” and “Club Paradise.” and then the quiet bangers, dem ones like “Don’t You Have A Man?” “Find Your Love,” “Cameras…” and “Connect” (you know those!?). i feel like the album would really benefit from having a short film to go with it, purely because though i get the concept of the changes of season (Winter to Summer and then back to Winter), i don’t think it was driven home like thaaat — you know?
just please, in future, Drake… don’t just throw anything on an album because the fans want and are calling on you for music, darg. and strengthen up your patois in the mean time! jelly coconut next, yeah? don’t go making that your fifth LP’s title either! one thing he mentioned in his interview with Zane Lowe sparked my attention, though, when he said something about getting the music. like, the idea of listening to music over and over to increase your listening taste, to a point where you can appreciate the different parts of the music. unfortunately, there’s just not any further aspects i’m hearing from the latest LP so far; nothing much that i’m drawn adhesively close to. doesn’t seem to have that much to offer to me, still.
back to one of thee deserving don dadaz of Grime… the one with a “deeper calling.” SKEPTA, mate. with this album, he’s pulled it out of the bag, and with sheer focus on production along with Ragz Originale, captured the true essence of British sound, while infusing the right pinches of oriental flavours — i can’t fault him in that the food’s been well done & seasoned. [even] the homage paid to that early Memphis, TN trap bounce <look up the obvious likes of “Project Pat” and “Three Six Mafia” in particular on Google… please… do> doesn’t feel the slightest forced upon ears. i won’t talk about the features, because i feel like it’s unnecessary and a disservice, which takes away from what’s really going on in this 12-track, balanced-and-bridged-gap-between-grime-and-rap, straight ‘no bullshit’ follow-up to what he did with BLACKLISTED [dropped in 2012] — better yet though, he closed the gap between the bridges if anything, still.
what i do really love, three listens in (twice 1—12 and once on shuffle), is just how it seemed effortless, fresh, and done [in]…SKEPTA’s way. #NuhBoddaOvadweet! that to me shows why it was a successful creation, that i only pray continues to keep accumulating in quality with each listen. to what i’d imagine my ears can say, the music has spoken for itself… and to my knowledge of how SKEPTA has been learning new ways of the game; finding his way through that #UnderdogPsychosis he was suffering from, and realizing he had a lane all along as well as the respect. no wonder he’s heralded and continues to get that acclaim. it’s all worthy. and, another thing i’ve gotta give credit to, is how “That’s Not Me,” “It Ain’t Safe” (though i wish he kept Ox on the beginning) and “Shutdown” don’t at all sound dated within the structure of the album — and it’s that alone that telling me that he had confidence in the project. he knew he could’ve dropped this at any time — so the timing really must have been right for this one; and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s had a specific, precise vision for this LP all along and if the album title sticking as was has a reasoning for that.
“like, North London, fam. you got the call from God to do something deeper, bro. you got the call to go and make everyone look at everything else that is happening over here, fam.” ~ Chip
i’m proud and forever inspired by anyone who does it their way and makes the people come to dem! no matter how long it takes.
thank you, Skeppy, man. more POWERS to you, too. if you’re someone to skip tracks, make sure you do go to these at least: “Crime Riddim” (disguuuaarsting beat!) “Text Me Back” (any boast of early UK garage sound NHEEEVER gets old). only downside to Konnichiwa, for me, was “Numbers” (Pharrell’s throwaway-ass beat and the 2 Chainz-ass verse! why?!) oh, and though it’s grown on me — “Ladies Hit Squad” could’ve been left off (that bass towards the end though, ooweeyargh!)… so yeah, really, the album could’ve been a focused 10-track with my latter two mentioned as two bonus tracks instead, maybe? Konnichiwa is definitely Skepta’s breathing testament to his brother’s bar (“if you don’t know me — Hello.”) to the world if they didn’t know who he truly is and set foot into this ting as, basically. even his website is just Konnichiwa in English anyway. so yeah, again, full circle.
out of the two albums, it’s quite clear which one i like more, even though i’ve spent more time with one of them — one clicks; while the other one just snaps, i suppose.
P.S. CHANCE 3 up next… [week, literally]!!!! thee album of 2016 is one the way, i’m calling it. championship ring, ring! Chi City won’t be fully losing this year — that’s for sure.
safe to say that i’ve got the bodied-majority of my summer playlist sorted then (this album being added to it):
Anderson .paak’s Malibu
Bas’ Too High To Riot
[and, recently added], Avelino & Wretch 32’s Young Fire, Old Flame