drake-future-what-a-time-to-be-alive

Review written by Mike D. (@YourBestManMike).

September 20th, Drake and Future released their recently rumored collaboration, What A Time To Be Alive (WATTBA), via Apple Music and OVO Sound Radio.

The project is a surprising delight for fans and the cherry on top for what has been a fantastic year for both artists. Drake and Future exhibit good chemistry over 11 tracks by delivering a slew of clever rhymes, extensive verses and raw emotions. Throughout WATTBA, Drake and Future chronicle their respective successes and their effects, or lack thereof, on their lifestyles. The mixtape is peppered with bangers and is without a doubt a high-quality project. However, WATTBA never seems to quite reach the level of both artists’ combined superstardom.

Future’s hypnotic trap vibe overshadows Drake at multiple points. It does not help Drake’s case that a majority of the tracks were produced by Future’s trusty beatmaestro, Metro Boomin’. Other producers included in the project were Southside and Drake’s longtime friend, Noah “40” Shebib, who produced the “30 for 30” instrumental.

The collaboration opens up fairly strong with Future and Drake splitting “Digital Dash.” But it’s the following song, “Big Rings,” that provides yet another level of energy and sets the tone. Right from the start, Drake’s boastful intro and hook will make you want to crank up the volume and rap along. Future follows up with a verse that’ll send chills down your spine but still keep your head bobbin’.

The middle of the tape/album (whatever you wanna call it) is highlighted by the melodic banger “Diamonds Dancing” produced by Metro Boomin,’ Allen Ritter and Frank Dukes. Hendrix and Drizzy skillfully trade lines back and forth about the chase for women and money. In songs such as “Live From The Gutter,” “I’m The Plug,” and “Change Locations,” Future dominates much of the conversation and connects his verses to the theme more effectively.

The back end of the album is highlighted by Metro’s “Jumpman” and Shebib’s “30 For 30 Freestyle.” On “Jumpman,” both rappers go off the handle about their luxurious lifestyles. Future’s trap aesthetic is in full effect, and he’s supported by Drake’s energetic epistrophes and witty one-liners. My personal favorite line occurs when Drake brags about having his own collection of OVO Jumpmans.

“30 For 30 Freestyle” is the pinnacle of Drake’s content on WATTBA. Drake raps over the entirety of the song’s four minutes in impressive fashion; however, because it’s the final track, the song still gives off the vibe that Drizzy showed up too late to the party.

I will give kudos to the 6 God’s blend of styles on “30 for 30.” At some points, Drake projects a more boastful and accomplished tone that has been recently — most notably on his No. 1 selling project If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. On the other hand, he flashes moments of his emotional R&B side that appeared heavily on albums such as Take Care and Nothing Was The Same.

Enjoy WATTBA for what it is: two superstar rappers in their primes who spontaneously decided to create a project full of sweet music for us to bump.