More Life

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More Life
Drake - More Life cover.jpg
Mixtape by Drake
Released March 18, 2017 (2017-03-18)
Recorded 2016–2017
Studio
  • Sandra Gale (Yolo Estate, CA)
  • S.O.T.A. (Toronto, ON)
  • Studio 306 (Toronto, ON)
  • Four Seasons (Toronto, ON)
  • Chris Athens Masters (Austin, TX)
Genre
Length 81:42
Label
Producer
Drake chronology
Views
(2016)
More Life
(2017)
Scary Hours
(2018)
Singles from More Life
  1. "Fake Love"
    Released: October 29, 2016
  2. "Passionfruit"
    Released: March 28, 2017
  3. "Free Smoke"
    Released: April 18, 2017
  4. "Portland"
    Released: May 16, 2017
  5. "Glow"
    Released: June 6, 2017

More Life is a commercial mixtape by Canadian rapper Drake. The artist describes More Life as a playlist,[4][5] though some publications have referred to it as a mixtape.[6][7][8] It was released on March 18, 2017, by OVO Sound, Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Republic Records.[9][10][11]

Production of More Life was handled by a variety of record producers, including 40, Frank Dukes, Boi-1da, Murda Beatz, T-Minus, Nineteen85 and Kanye West, among others. An ensemble of guest vocalists also appear, including Young Thug, Giggs, Skepta, Quavo, Travis Scott, 2 Chainz, Kanye West, Jorja Smith, Sampha and PartyNextDoor.[12] The songs on More Life feature a broad range of genres, including hip hop, R&B, dancehall, grime, trap, Afrobeat,[13] and pop.[14] The mixtape was supported by five singles: "Fake Love", "Passionfruit", "Free Smoke", "Portland" and "Glow".

More Life received generally positive reviews[6] and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, becoming his seventh consecutive number one album, while also breaking several streaming records.[15]

Background[edit]

Following the project's announcement, Drake described More Life as "a body of work [he's] creating to bridge the gap between [any] major releases".[16] He further commented on the project during an interview with Complex, detailing his intention to "[create] a playlist to give you a collection of songs that become the soundtrack to your life".[17] More Life was subject to many speculative release dates, with it initially set for December 2016. However, it was pushed back to January after Drake suffered an ankle injury on the Summer Sixteen Tour. Further dates were also rumored up until the official announcement in March 2017 of the project's release.[18]

More Life borrows its name from a Jamaican slang phrase to wish someone well, popularized by dancehall artist Vybz Kartel,[19] whom Drake has called one of his "biggest inspirations" for his own dancehall-inflected sound.[20][21]

The last song on the record, "Do Not Disturb" mentions "Club Palazzo in the Bridge". This is a reference to a now defunct nightclub in the northwest Toronto suburb of Woodbridge, Ontario.[22]

Cover art[edit]

The cover art of the project features a photo of Drake's father, Dennis Graham, taken in the 1970s. The photo is surrounded by a black border with the subtitle "A Playlist By October Firm" written below the photo.[23] The original version of the cover art released in October 2016 on Drake's Instagram did not feature the black border or subtitle.[24]

Promotion[edit]

More Life was preceded by three singles: "Fake Love", "Sneakin'" featuring 21 Savage, and "Two Birds, One Stone". The songs premiered on October 23, 2016, during Drake's thirtieth birthday edition of OVO Sound Radio. The episode also housed Drake's collaboration with Dave on "Wanna Know (Remix)".[25] "Fake Love", "Sneakin" and "Two Birds, One Stone" were all released as commercial singles six days later, however, "Fake Love" was the sole track that remained on More Life.[26]

Drake further previewed two additional songs on February 17, 2017, during appearances at the Paper Soho Club in London.[27] On March 11, he announced the release date as March 18, via commercials released through Instagram.[28] It initially premiered on the 39th episode of OVO Sound Radio at 6:30 p.m. EST.[29]

Singles[edit]

The mixtape's lead single, "Fake Love", was released for digital download on October 29, 2016.[30] The song was produced by Vinylz and Frank Dukes.[31] The song peaked at number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100.[32]

The mixtape's second single, "Passionfruit", was released to rhythmic contemporary radio on March 28, 2017.[33] The song was produced by Nana Rogues.[31] The song peaked at number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100.[32]

The mixtape's third single, "Free Smoke", was released to rhythmic contemporary radio on April 18, 2017.[33] The song was produced by Boi-1da, with additional production by Allen Ritter, while the additional music by Akira Woodgrain.[31] The song peaked at number 18 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[32]

The mixtape's fourth single, "Portland", was released to rhythmic contemporary radio on May 16, 2017.[34] The song features guest appearances from American rappers Quavo and Travis Scott, while the production was handled by Murda Beatz, with co-production by Cubeatz.[31] The song peaked at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100.[32]

The mixtape's fifth single, "Glow", was released to urban contemporary radio on June 6, 2017.[35] The song features a guest appearance from American rapper Kanye West, while the production was handled by 40 and Kanye West himself, with additional production by Noah Goldstein.[31] The song peaked at number 54 on the US Billboard Hot 100.[32]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?7.5/10[36]
Metacritic79/100[6]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[37]
The A.V. ClubB+[38]
Consequence of SoundA−[39]
Exclaim!8/10[40]
The Guardian4/5 stars[41]
The Independent4/5 stars[1]
The Observer3/5 stars[42]
Pitchfork7.8/10[43]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[44]
XXL4/5[45]

More Life received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the mixtape received an average score of 79, based on 25 reviews.[6] Dan Weiss of Consequence of Sound said, "The singing and melodies are massaged with a care unheard in the prior Drake discography; this album flows as improbably as The Life of Pablo, with more assured lyrics and smoother sequencing, to offset the lack of a certifiable genius at the helm."[39] Erin Lowers of Exclaim! said, "Excluding its minor gaffes, More Life cements a place for genres long-overlooked by mainstream media; dancehall, grime, Afrobeat, house, trap and, of course, rap, and takes Toronto on a world tour to celebrate life—More life."[40] David Turner of The Guardian said, "Even if the album lacks the humor of the Views songs "9" or "Childs Play"—no line here bests "Why you gotta fight with me at Cheesecake / You know I love to go there"—the breadth of styles recalls his 2012–2015 SoundCloud that found space for both Fetty Wap and James Blake remixes."[41] Clayton Purdom of The A.V. Club said, "More Life is light, often weightless. Despite its playlist tag, it is unmistakably a Drake album—it even has a Blueprint highball closer like each of its predecessors—and as an album, it is probably Drake's worst. But as a collection of totally atomized songs and ideas, it's up there with anything he's released."[38] Preezy of XXL said, "While fans and critics argue over whether or not he's one of the greatest MCs of his generation, let alone among the greatest of all-time, Drake continues to prove his worth as an elite talent with More Life, another blockbuster from rap's golden child with the midas touch."[45]

Andy Gill of The Independent said, "Pleasingly, two of the best [guests] are British, Sampha capping "4422" with an emotive outburst, and Skepta getting an entire "Skepta Interlude" to himself to muse about how he "died and came back as Fela Kuti". Elsewhere, the likes of Giggs, Young Thug and 2 Chainz add furtive but menacing sketches of thug life to tracks like "No Long Talk" and "Sacrifices", the latter offering Drake's most elegant mea culpa for past transgressions."[1] Jayson Greene of Pitchfork said, "The more voices he lets into the frame, the fuller and richer the results, and More Life bursts with energy and lush sounds—more guests, more genres, more producers, more life. It is as confident, relaxed, and appealing as he's sounded in a couple of years."[43] Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone said, "More Life is his finest longform collection in years, cheerfully indulgent at 22 tracks and 82 minutes, a masterful tour of all the grooves in his head, from U.K. grime ("No Long Talk") to Caribbean dancehall ("Blem") to South African house ("Get It Together") to Earth, Wind & Fire ("Glow"). Yet the more expansive he gets, the more himself he sounds—and the further he roams around the globe, the deeper he taps into the heart of Drakeness."[44] Scott Glaysher of HipHopDX said, "Other than the Yeezy collab "Glow" being a bit lackluster, primarily for being slow and sonically off-putting, More Life has very few stumbles and a plethora of exciting moments that will ensure this project's shelf life."[46] Kitty Empire of The Observer said, "By definition, More Life has sprawl in-built, so judicious use of the skip function is required, but this is high-quality filler."[42]

Accolades[edit]

Publication Accolade Rank Ref.
Billboard Billboard's 50 Best Albums of 2017
21
Clash Clash Albums of the Year 2017
31
Complex The Best Albums of 2017
10
Exclaim! Exclaim!'s Top 10 Hip-Hop Albums of 2017
4
Noisey The 100 Best Albums of 2017
7
Pitchfork The 50 Best Albums of 2017
38
Rap-Up Rap-Up's 20 Best Albums of 2017
6
Rolling Stone 50 Best Albums of 2017
27
Spin 50 Best Albums of 2017
49

Commercial performance[edit]

Worldwide, on the day of its release, More Life broke streaming records on both Spotify and Apple Music.[56] The tracks of the album achieved a total of 61.3 million streams on Spotify in a single day, breaking the previous record of 56.7 million for ÷ by Ed Sheeran, in early March 2017.[57] On Apple Music, the tracks of the album achieved a total of 89.9 million streams on the day of release (not including the number of listeners during the OVO Sound Radio debut of the album on Beats 1), setting the record of most streams of an album in a single day on Apple Music, as well as any single streaming service, and beating Spotify's number by almost 30 million streams.[58]

On the chart dated April 8, More Life topped the US Billboard 200 and set a streaming record, earning 505,000 album-equivalent units, of which 226,000 were pure sales.[15] By the end of 2017, More Life had accumulated 2,227,000 album-equivalent units in the United States, with 363,000 being pure sales.[59]

Track listing[edit]

Credits were adapted from the mixtape's liner notes.[31]

More Life digital download[60] and streaming[61]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Free Smoke"
3:38
2."No Long Talk" (featuring Giggs)2:29
3."Passionfruit"
  • Graham
  • Nana Rogues
Rogues4:58
4."Jorja Interlude"401:48
5."Get It Together" (featuring Black Coffee and Jorja Smith)4:10
6."Madiba Riddim"
3:25
7."Blem"
3:36
8."4422" (featuring Sampha)
FrancisGotHeat3:06
9."Gyalchester"
  • Graham
  • István Megyimorecz
  • Rico Brooks
iBeatz3:09
10."Skepta Interlude"Rogues2:23
11."Portland" (featuring Quavo and Travis Scott)
  • Murda Beatz
  • Cubeatz[a]
3:56
12."Sacrifices" (featuring 2 Chainz and Young Thug)
  • T-Minus
  • Deejae[b]
5:07
13."Nothings Into Somethings"
  • Graham
  • Ryan Martinez
  • Paimon Jahanbin
  • Nima Jahanbin
  • Edgar Panford
  • G. Ry
  • Wallis Lane
  • Nabeyin[b]
2:34
14."Teenage Fever"Hagler3:39
15."KMT" (featuring Giggs)
  • Graham
  • Thomson
  • Courtney Clayburn
  • Cameron Shaikh
  • Ness
  • Chef Pasquale
2:42
16."Lose You"
  • 40
  • Stwo
5:05
17."Can't Have Everything"
  • Graham
  • Jaswinder Singh
  • Steve Samson
  • Jazzfeezy
  • Samson
3:48
18."Glow" (featuring Kanye West)
  • 40
  • West
  • Goldstein[b]
3:26
19."Since Way Back" (featuring PartyNextDoor)
6:08
20."Fake Love"
3:30
21."Ice Melts" (featuring Young Thug)
  • Supah Mario
  • S1
4:10
22."Do Not Disturb"
  • Graham
  • Samuels
  • Ritter
  • Shebib
  • Snoh Aalegra
  • Levin Kali
4:44
Total length:81:42

Notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[c] signifies an additional music contribution
  • "Free Smoke" and "Gyalchester" features additional vocals by Baka Not Nice
  • "Passionfruit" features additional vocals by Moodymann and Zoë Kravitz
  • "Jorja Interlude" features vocals by Jorja Smith
  • "Madiba Riddim" features outro vocals by 4YallEntertainment
  • "Blem" features uncredited outro vocals by Lionel Richie and Lil Wayne
  • "4422" originally didn't feature credited vocals by Sampha
  • "Skepta Interlude" features vocals by Skepta
  • "Do Not Disturb" features background vocals by Snoh Aalegra
  • "Get It Together" features uncredited outro vocals by Burna Boy

Sample credits

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[98] 2× Platinum 160,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[99] Platinum 90,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[100] Platinum 300,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone

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