Yesterday, seemingly out of nowhere, Drake dropped the Lauryn Hill-sampling head topper, "Draft Day", then promptly followed up with the release of the sleek, dark six-minute ballad "Days in the East" late last night.
The two songs pretty much embody each end of Drake's musical spectrum: the hater-hating, chest-puffing rapper ("Draft Day") and the sensitive, caring R&B singer ("Days in the East").
"Draft Day" is a fun track, but a little less attention-getting or adventurous as recent similar-minded songs like "Started from the Bottom" or "Worst Behavior" from Nothing Was the Same. Dropping big soon-to-be drafted college names like Johnny Manziel and Toronto brethren Andrew Wiggins, Drake peppers the track with shots at no one in particular and a lighthearted jab at Chance the Rapper: "And if I left shit to chance I would've picked a name like Chance the Rapper / Yeah, no offense cause I don't know that n*gga."
Produced by longtime collaborator Noah "40" Shebib and PARTYNEXTDOOR, "Days in the East" is minimalist and moody, punctuated by distant yells and smooth-sung lines seemingly pouring out of Drake's memory bank the moment he thinks about them. Common themes like the eagerness of young love, struggling with the effects of fame, and hometown loyalty pop up alongside an oddly endearing Erykah Badu name drop ("Remember one night I went to Erykah Badu house, she made tea for me / We talked about love and what life could really be for me"). Behind Drake's lines, sporadic airy synth tones swirl around a fairly straightforward drum sample for a beat that makes me think of a cold, vast tundra on the moon and how awesome that would be as a set for the music video. Anyway, give both a listen below.
"Days in the East"