The Ultimate Drake Review: For All The Dogs (2023)

Is Drake still Drake?

Rais Tuluka


Drake, whose full name is Aubrey Drake Graham, is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, and entrepreneur. He is one of the most prominent and successful figures in the music industry, known for his versatility in blending hip-hop and R&B genres. Drake first gained widespread recognition as an actor on the television series “Degrassi: The Next Generation” before transitioning to a music career.

When Drake announced his 8th solo album, For All the Dogs (2023) earlier this year, the world was both shocked and excited. Unanimously, we all thought, “You’re going to give us more music?” However, none of us complained. It’s always a special occasion when a great artist decides to share their gift. Hip-Hop is also in a weird place. There are lingering questions as to what will happen when Drake, Kendrick Lamar, and J.Cole decide to step away from the game, and who will lead the culture in their absence. So for as long as I can, I will anticipate a new release from Drake. I know this won’t last forever.

Over the last few years, Drake has had an unprecedented run at robust creativity and pure dominance, almost releasing an album every year since he first arrived on the mainstream scene. In 2020, the rap superstar released Dark Lane Demo Tapes (2020), a solid collection of offerings which had the COVID-19 pandemic not historically derailed the entertainment business like it did, a lot of those songs, such as the brooding and melodic “Chicago Freestyle,” and the reflective open-letter to maturing in Hip-Hop, “When to Say When” would have been on his 2021 solo album Certified Lover Boy (2021). Though just a collection of music with no coherent theme, Dark Lane Demo Tapes (2020) is well put together and sonically sharp.

He released several critically acclaimed albums and mixtapes, including “Take Care,” “Nothing Was the Same,” and “Views.” His music often explores themes of love, success, and personal experiences. Drake has achieved numerous chart-topping hits and awards throughout his career, making him a global music sensation.

Certified Lover Boy (2021) is Drake displaying a mastery over the style he popularized with So Far Gone (2009), a style that not many can do well, let alone do at all. Fans often sight rappers like 50 Cent, Ja-Rule, or even Kanye West for being some of the first rappers who harmonized on rap records, but with Drake it’s just different and we have to acknowledge the distinction. With Drake, it was never the fact that he sung, but it was that he sung what he could’ve rapped. It became apparent that only Drake possessed the ability to put melody to words that are so clever and witty that he might as well have rapped them. He didn’t just play with melody on a hook or a bridge, he played with melody within his verses, often oscillating back and forth between both skillsets in a…