🎵 Weekly Music Newsletter: Tired of Drake?

Mic-Check Newsletter
9 min readOct 10, 2023

Also, PinkPantheress brings D&B to America’s youth. Sufjan Stevens returns to his roots. *NSYNC reunite after 20 years. blink-182 continue their comeback.

After being detained by ICE in February 2019 for overstaying his visa, 21 Savage can finally travel internationally as a newly permanent citizen of the U.S. The rapper will perform for the first time in his home country (the UK) next month.

Click here for a Spotify playlist with the songs mentioned in this article.

BIGGEST Songs of the Week 📈

Drake’s For All The Dogs is his fourth album in under two years. It’s evident that he’s haunted by the fear of fading into obscurity, especially given the album’s daunting 23-song, 85-minute duration, which arrives at a time when many of us are already experiencing Drake fatigue.

Regrettably, For All The Dogs succumbs to the same issues that have plagued Drake’s recent work. It feels hollow, lacking a clear artistic direction. The album encapsulates the essence of Drake: melodramatic relationship woes, trend-chasing, ostentatious displays of wealth coupled with rich-boy melancholy, and a fixation on petty grievances. The album revels in hedonism, with recurring themes of misogyny. It wallows in self-indulgence, unabashedly embracing Drake’s portrayal as a sometimes unlikable bachelor.

However, amidst these missteps, there are moments of brilliance. Opener Virginia Beach skillfully samples an unreleased Frank Ocean track. IDGAF stands out with its incorporation of a sample from the jazz trio Azimuth and a compelling contribution from Yeat. J. Cole’s verse on First Person Shooter also deserves recognition. While these moments often rely on collaborations, an exception is found in the gospel-tinged 8AM in Charlotte, where Drake’s solo performance shines.

8AM in Charlotte is part of Drake’s acclaimed “timestamp” series, which includes 9AM in Dallas (2010), 5AM in Toronto (2013), 6PM in New York (2015), 4PM in Calabasas (2016), and 7AM on Bridle Path (2021). These hook-less freestyles, despite their infrequency, remain some of the most highly regarded tracks in the rapper’s catalogue.

8AM in Charlotte undoubtedly steals the spotlight on the album. It features an alert…

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