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The Wingspan

The Wingspan

For All the Dogs by Drake: Does it live up to its reputation?


“Workin’ on an album,” Drake casually mentioned in an interview in response to his progress on “For All the Dogs,” which was recently released on October 6, 2023. Drake has never taken a break from his music, constantly producing new tracks since his 2006 album “Room For Improvement.” In fact, Drake has never gone two years without a major album release, with an almost 15-year streak of hits and consistent hip-hop tunes

For All the Dogs, his highly anticipated eighth studio album, kept fans on the edge of their seats as easter eggs were dropped about the album and the release dates changed numerous times. From September 22 to October 6, that patient excitement fans experienced completely paid off, with people all over the world waking up in the early morning to listen to  “For All the Dogs.” These 23 songs make up an album full of stinging heartbreak, a style that Drake isn’t generally used to, and includes some of his least-ambitious and laid-back rapping.

The first track on the album, “Virginia Beach,” really stood out to me because of its unique instrumentals and more slow-paced vibe. He emphasizes and almost drags out a lot of his lyrics such as, “Lean in, lean in soda/Fanta, fantasizin” with a background voice that matches the theme of the song and continues during the entire track. The song also features Frank Ocean’s voice in the beginning, with delicate vocals and lyrics such as “I bet your mother would be proud of you, ooh (you, you, you, oh)” which serves as a perfect way to start the track. 

Drake never fails to collaborate with other hit artists, specifically, the one and only 21 Savage in late 2022 and now SZA. The first single that came out on this album, “Slime You Out” featuring SZA, was a single that took me some getting used to. During my first listen, I had high expectations for this song, especially because it had two of my favorite artists. Although it started off rocky, the song grew on me. In my experience, Drake songs, or rap songs in general don’t get you hooked on the first listen, and you have to constantly play the song in order to get the full grasp of it. There were also numerous “filler songs,” songs that only make the album longer and not necessarily better. I think that in For All the Dogs there were only a few that I instantly added to my liked songs” playlist, such as the arguably most popular and talked about one, “IDGAF,” featuring Yeat. 

“IDGAF” which debuted at Number 1 on the Billboard Global 200 Songs chart shocked everyone, with lyrics saying, “Yeah, I dont be givin’ no f*cks, uh, I say whatever I want, yeah I do whatever I want, huh” that perfectly melted into his voice. The one-minute and five-second intro goes straight into Yeat’s voice and then suddenly catches the listener’s attention as the beat drops. Drake joins the song when Yeat raps, “I’m countin’ the money for fun,” which has become a joke on social media because of how uncalled for the verse was as he randomly came in. I personally think that the differences in their voices were extremely present in this song, with Drake having a more upbeat, high-pitched voice and Yeat delivering the complete opposite. Despite the differences in style these two artists have, they still came together to produce an enticing rap song. 

Another song that stood out to me was “First Person Shooter,” featuring J. Cole. My initial expectations of this song were extremely high as soon as I saw the feature on the song. As I had hoped, Drake and J. Cole were able to comprise a masterpiece, with impeccable lyrics and background instrumentals that bring the song together. I can see this song being in my most-played playlist for a long time. 

Overall, I was not disappointed in this album, as it comprised a collection of songs that will not fail to bring hype to any room and bring out some of Drake’s best talents. He has once again proved himself to produce some of the most preeminent rap music. Even if there were only a few out of the twenty-three songs that stood out to me, I wouldn’t be surprised at myself if I grew to love all of the songs in the future. However, I do believe that “For All the Dogs” simply cannot compare to several of his old works, such as “Her Loss” and “Champagne Poetry,” but I will still always respect him as an artist. The rapper shared that he will be “taking a break from music” in a recent Friday episode of his SiriusXM series Table For One, and it has left many fans, including myself, wondering when that will be. Until Drake does come back, he has left several incredible songs that will without a doubt secure himself a spot as one of, if not the best, rapper of all time.


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About the Contributor
Blenda Undrakhbold, Feature Writer