2016 was a great year for rap, but 2017 is already looking to be equally prolific, if not more, and one huge reason is the return of Drake.
Following the release of his fourth studio album, VIEWS, which was also his biggest and most successful album release to date, Drake was on quite a tear, sparring with rival rappers like Joe Budden and Diddy via timely loose singles and guest appearances on tracks by French Montana and Future. Kicking off 2017, he's already hit the road for his Boy Meets World tour and has something new in the works.
Drake, who is known to drop multiple projects within a year's time, whether they be collaborative or solo, has been relatively mum on an official follow-up to VIEWS. Seeing him out and about with Jennifer Lopez and rumors of a new collaboration in the works definitely made OVO devotees anxious as to the next time they would get an ample serving of those catchy club bangers and solemn midnight vibes that have afforded Drake a spot atop the rap kingdom.
While no word has come as to his next studio album, Drake created quite the stir last year with the announcement he was working on a project titled More Life. But the news came with the catch that the project wouldn't be an album or mixtape, but was referred to as a playlist, a distinction which left many rap fans scratching their heads and wondering what the rapper exactly had in mind with this project and what they can expect.
Details surrounding Drake's latest musical endeavor may have initially been scarce, but with the passage of time, and with a few hints from the man himself, we've been able to glean a bit of information pertaining to this playlist. Here is everything to know about More Life so far.
More Life Will Be Released as a Playlist
Rather than an album, compilation or mixtape, Drake is adamant about his forthcoming project being referred to as a playlist. “I want to do a playlist," the rapper said about the effort. "I want to give you a collection of songs that become the soundtrack to your life.”
"Sneaking" and "Fake Love" Will Appear on More Life
On Oct. 23, 2016, Drake followed through on his promise to unleash some new music during an episode of his OVO Sound radio show. He dropped four songs in total, with two songs in particular, slated to be featured on More Life: "Fake Love,” produced by Vinylz and Frank Dukes, and “Sneakin,” produced by London on Da Track.
The Cover Art Is a Nod to Drake's Father
The cover art for More Life may appear to be a Photoshop job of Drake to make him appear like he was penning rhymes in a leisurely state since the 1970s, but the man pictured is actually Dennis Graham, the rapper's father. Graham used to perform as a drummer, and is siblings with famed bass guitarist Larry Graham and the late songwriter Teenie Hodges.
Drake First Hinted at the Effort in September 2016
Despite not officially announcing More Life until October, Drake had already hinted that he was hard at work on a project as far back as September 2016. That month, Drake told a crowd in Tacoma, Wash. about his plans to bless them with a new project. “I’m recording new music. I’m about like six, seven new songs in, he said, which instantly got the concert attendees, as well as the rap world, into frenzied anticipation.
The Title May Be Inspired by Vybz Kartel
The title of Drake's forthcoming More Life playlist was apparently inspired by dancehall group Vybz Kartel, whom the rapper credits as one of his “biggest inspirations” and “favorite artists.” In 2004, Kartel released a song titled "More Life," which is where the phrase is rumored to have originated from.
More Life Has Been Pushed Back Twice
Upon the announcement of the project, Drake and the OVO camp shared that it would be dropping at various points throughout last year, but the only concrete date that has ever been given is Dec. 3, by OVO affiliate ItsBizkit.
But after the 6 God himself denied those rumors, it was then revealed that the anticipated playlist would be arriving at the beginning of 2017.
“More Life is coming at the top of 2017,” said Oliver El-Khatib, Drake's right-hand man and business partner.
Although El-Khatib didn’t share the reason behind the delay, he reiterated that fans should “Stay tuned for some more updates,” hinting that more announcements were to be in store sooner than later.
Multiple Features Will Be Included
More Life has been referred to as a playlist by all parties involved with the project, which has thrown fans for a bit of a loop. However, producer and Drake collaborator Nineteen85 gave some context behind Drizzy's reasoning.
“More Life is interesting because this is [Drake] right on the peak of his biggest project yet [with Views], doing his biggest tour and still having so many good ideas that he just wants to put out without making it a big ordeal,” Nineteen85 said. “That’s why he’s trying to call it a playlist because he has a bunch of people in a space, hanging out. He’s so aware of what everybody else is doing musically that he likes to introduce new music and new artists to the rest of the world.”
A few names that are rumored to appear on More Life are 2 Chainz, Rae Sremmurd, Bryson Tiller, Trouble, Gucci Mane and The Weeknd.
Drake Plans to Resume Acting After More Life Drops
Before getting into the rap game, Drake's orignal claim to fame was acting, and with recent appearances on Saturday Night Live being such a success, it looks like the acting bug has caught him again.
“Acting is another thing that I just can’t wait to really dive into,” Drake shared during an appearance on University of Kentucky's Coach John Calipari’s podcast. “I think after I release More Life, which is this playlist I’m working on, and finish this tour, I think I’m going to really start to position myself in the acting world and, hopefully, take some great roles.”
Drake's Motivation Behind More Life Is His Legacy
Being at the peak of his career and with his tried and true formula of mixtape and album releases, some have wondered what is the motivating factor behind Drake deciding to unleash a playlist. During his appearance on Coach Cal's podcast, Drake gave the fans a bit of insight into what drove his decision.
“To keep people excited, give them new music, let them know I’m still hungry," Drake admitted. "I’m doing it to be remembered as a forward thinker. I want to be remembered... as an emotion-evoking artist.”
He continued, “At the end of the day, It’s all about the time you’re willing to put in. And, my biggest fear is always when I’m not doing it, there’s someone else that’s doing it. That’s my biggest fear in life. When I’m not doing it. When I take a night off for my personal life. When I choose to decompress or relax... not in the back of my mind, in the front of my mind, my biggest fear is if somebody’s not relaxing right now and they’re going to stumble upon something.”
London Rapper Giggs Will Appear on More Life
Drake has shared his admiration and affinity for a number of U.K. rappers in the past, most notably Skepta. Now, it looks like Drizzy is championing another rapper from Britain, with London rapper Giggs appearing on an untitled song the OVO leader shared during his concert in Amsterdam on Jan. 28. Although only a snippet of the song was shared, it is slated to appear on More Life when it finally is unveiled.
More Life Will Likely Arrive in February
After originally pushing back the Amsterdam dates on the European leg of his Boy Meets World Tour, Drake finally made it overseas on Jan. 28 to bless the crowd with a performance. During the concert, he also took the time out to give an update on his feverishly anticipated project.
“I want to thank y’all for a beautiful first show," Drake gushed. "Thank you very much. I really do appreciate you. And you know what the good news is? I know we got three more shows in Amsterdam right? But the best part about that is if you coming back to any more shows, More Life is going to be out, we can just do some whole new shit, you know what I’m saying. I love y’all for being patient with me and holding me down this week. It meant a lot.”
Being that the next Amsterdam stops are on Feb. 26, March 27 and March 28, More Life should be dropping sometime in February, at least according to the 6 God himself.