Less than a year after his collaborative album with 21 Savage, Drake made a strong return in 2023 with his highly anticipated For All The Dogs album.
Following an outcry from his fans asking for a return of the “old Drake,” the rap and R&B superstar delivered when dropping his eighth studio album, For All the Dogs, on Oct. 6. The new album caters to each of his musical eras, allowing it to be enjoyed by all.
Highly anticipated collaborations include features from J. Cole, SZA, PARTYNEXTDOOR and Lil Yachty.
Drake starts off the album with “Virginia Beach,” one of his strongest opening songs since “Tuscan Leather” off his 2013 studio album Nothing Was the Same. The similarities between songs are seen in the high-pitched, sped-up sample along with equally captivating verses in both tracks. This track also features a previously unused Frank Ocean sample that didn’t make the cut in the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino’s film, Django Unchained.
His second track, “Amen,” features rapper Teezo Touchdown. This gospel-esque song includes a very cool play on words of praying “amen” to find “a man.” The production is straight out of Drake’s 2009 mixtape So Far Gone, bringing back top-tier chorus vocals and smooth verses.
An element of the new Drake era is present in unexpected beat switches and tempo changes, featured in For the Dogs tracks “Calling for You,” “Fear of Heights,” “Daylight,” “First Person Shooter,” “7969 Santa,” and “Gently.”
“Calling for You” featuring 21 Savage seems to be an encore from their collaborative album Her Loss. The soundbites share similarities with his 2018 album Scorpion. Similarly, “What Would Pluto Do,” sounds like the second part to “Jumbotron Shit Poppin” from Her Loss, due to its similar springy beat and flow.
“Daylight” features a sample from Al Pacino’s “Scarface” film, which sounds like it came straight out of Drake’s 2016 album, Views. Drake’s son, Adonis, is featured laying down rap bars towards the end of the song.
Following J. Cole’s surprise performances alongside Drake in Montreal and Toronto for his “It’s All a Blur” Tour, it was only right that the two undisputed GOATs collaborated in the studio. In their first track together since “Jodeci Freestyle” from Drake’s mixtape Care Package, they went bar for bar to reach number one on the charts.
“Slime You Out” featuring SZA was released as the single to promote the album and is also a first-time feature on a Drake song for the superstar R&B singer. Drake famously name-dropped her in “Mr. Right Now” singing “I used to date SZA back in ’08.” She was arguably the most anticipated feature on the album, and she didn’t disappoint.
Listeners are brought back to the basics with “Bahamas Promises” and “Drew a Picasso.” Straight bars, a chill beat, and melodic Drake harmonies and verses define the old Drake sound audiences want, and these songs delivered it. Similarly, “Tried Our Best” has some unreal vocal harmonies, with some classic heartbreak Drake bars.
Keeping up the chill sounds, Drake seemingly floats on the beat in his feelings on “7969 Santa” resembling the gloomy theme of “TSU” from Certified Lover Boy.
Years after their last collaboration in the studio, Toronto fans are given a long-awaited gift on “Members Only” featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR. The track resembles their previous collaboration “Come and See Me,” and is the perfect tune to drive to at night.
The B-Side of the album is a testament to Drake’s musical versatility. “Gently” featuring Bad Bunny shows off his Spanish bars, and further caters to listeners around the globe. Drake’s multifaceted talents with singing, rapping, and producing are also showcased on “Away from Home” which offers a perfect end to the album.
Whether you wanted some singing from Take Care, chill bars from Views and More Life, or upbeat club tracks from If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, Drake has combined his creative prowess all into one. As one of his strongest albums in recent memory, Drake’s new record really is for all the dogs.
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