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Drake Finally Changed His Formula: ‘Honestly, It Doesn’t Matter’ Essay Review

Drake likes to please people by nature, sometimes to his own detriment.

He keeps his public image polished to perfection, his loose thoughts are carved out through neatly written Instagram captions, and he’s fulfilled his fans’ wishes on every new album. When people wanted him to sing more, he came out More life. When people wanted a healthy balance between bars and melodies, he tried to deliver a double-sided album with the two on Scorpio. And when they wanted all his leaks and loosies in one place, he did Dark Lane demo tapes.

For over half a decade now, Drake has found himself stuck in a cycle of constant attempts to make albums that appeal to both his rap fans and his pop and R&B fans. “I’m the only one who’s committed to doing two things with every album,” he said on his 2020 rap radar interview, explaining why fans will never get a “10-song Drake classic.” “I gotta give people who love singing enough to hang on to, and I gotta give LeBron enough action.”

For this reason, his recent projects have prioritized a wide selection of flavors at the expense of focus and precision. Drake’s 2021 album, Certified Lover, suffered because it repurposed its patented something-for-everyone formula and delivered bars in the microwave at predictable rates. He knew the strategy would still pay good streaming dividends, even if it wasn’t inventive. He wasn’t wrong, but in CLB’s case, those same stories of love, jealousy, pettiness, and mistrust were getting old.

Drake’s latest studio album, Honestly it doesn’t matter, is his first project in years where he’s done something entirely for himself, instead of catering to the needs of every faction of his massive fan base. Rather than trying to make all his hip-hop fans happy, he made a dance album for dimly lit clubs and dizzying laser-light raves. He eventually moved away from the formula and focused on a singular new sound instead of trying to please everyone at once.

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