Views (album)

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Views
Drake - Views cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedApril 29, 2016 (2016-04-29)
Recorded2015–2016[1]
Studio
  • The Connaught Hotel (London)
  • CR3
  • S.O.T.A. (Toronto)
  • Sandra Gale Studio (Yolo Estate, California)
  • Triangle (Atlanta)
Genre
Length81:14
Label
Producer
Drake chronology
What a Time to Be Alive
(2015)
Views
(2016)
More Life
(2017)
Singles from Views
  1. "Hotline Bling"
    Released: July 31, 2015
  2. "One Dance"
    Released: April 5, 2016
  3. "Pop Style"
    Released: April 5, 2016
  4. "Controlla"
    Released: June 7, 2016
  5. "Too Good"
    Released: July 26, 2016

Views is the fourth studio album by Canadian rapper Drake. It was released on April 29, 2016, by Cash Money Records, Republic Records, and Young Money Entertainment. Recording sessions took place from 2015 to 2016, with both Drake and his longtime collaborator and record producer 40 serving as the record's executive producers. 40 also primarily handled the production on the album alongside other record producers such as Nineteen85, Maneesh Bidaye, Kanye West, and Jordan Ullman, among others. Featured guest appearances include PartyNextDoor, Pimp C, Dvsn, Wizkid, Kyla, and Rihanna.

Views takes influence from West Indian and West African music. The album marks Drake's first full foray into Jamaican dancehall music, while also featuring other genres such as R&B, trap, Afrobeat, UK funky, and pop. Similar to his previous records, the album sees Drake discussing his relationship woes, experiences with betrayal, and celebrations of loyalty and friendship. The album was supported by five singles: "Hotline Bling", "One Dance", "Pop Style", "Controlla", and "Too Good".

The album debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, with over one million album-equivalent units earned in its first week of release, including 852,000 copies, and achieving a then record over 245 million streams. It spent a total 13 non-consecutive weeks at number one on the Billboard 200, and also became Drake's first number-one album on the UK Albums Chart. All 20 songs from the album charted on the US Billboard Hot 100.

The album received lukewarm reviews from critics, many of whom found it to be an overlong retread of Drake's previous work. Despite this, it became Drake's most commercially successful album having sold over seven million certified units worldwide. The album has been certified six times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). It was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album at the 2017 Grammy Awards. The album also won Top Billboard 200 Album at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards, among other awards.

Background[edit]

The album's title was first announced as Views from the 6, as it first appeared from a report in a July 2014 article from Billboard.[6] According to Drake on Twitter, "the 6" is a reference to his hometown of Toronto, Ontario. On April 29, 2016, it was revealed that the title had been shortened to Views.[7] The cover artwork for Views was released via Drake's Twitter account on April 24, 2016, which features Drake sitting atop the CN Tower in Toronto. The fact that Drake was significantly larger than life-size on the cover was widely discussed,[8][9] and CN Tower's Twitter account later confirmed it to be photoshopped.[10][11][12] The album cover and booklet were shot by Toronto-based photographer Caitlin Cronenberg.[8]

Themes and production[edit]

Songs on Views see Drake discussing his relationship woes, experiences with betrayal, and celebrations of loyalty and friendship.[13] Writing for Vice, Emma Garland said that while the album "lacks in lyrical sentiment, it makes up for in musical experimentation and production." Garland further define the album as a "minimal nuance of If You're Reading This It's Too Late [that] has bloomed into the more fleshed-out format of Take Care."[14] Elliot Sharp of Red Bull Music described the album's vibe as "chill, slow, smooth, soft, silk, and sleepy".[15] In an interview with Apple Music's Zane Lowe, Drake said that the theme of the album is the "haphazard, ever-changing weather in Toronto."[14]

Views takes influence from West Indian and West African music,[14] while it marks Drake's first full foray into Jamaican dancehall music,[16][17] after having previously explored the genre in his 2015 mixtape, If You're Reading This It's Too Late.[18] Of the five singles released from Views, three were primarily dancehall songs ("One Dance", "Controlla" and "Too Good").[19] Other genres featured on the album include R&B,[14] hip hop,[2] trap,[20] Afrobeat,[14] UK funky,[14] and pop.[5]

Promotion[edit]

Drake premiered a single, titled "Summer Sixteen" through OVO Sound Radio on January 30, 2016. The track was produced by 40, Boi-1da and Cubeatz. The song contains a slowed-down sample of "Glass Tubes" performed by Brian Bennett.[21] The cover art was designed by Filip Pągowski, who was a creator of the Comme des Garçons logo.[22] The song peaked at number six on the US Billboard Hot 100, selling 215,000 copies in its first week, making it the highest debut sales of Drake's career.[23] As of March 27, 2016, the single sold 358,000 copies in the United States.[24]

On April 4, 2016, the album was initially teased in London.[25][26] On April 9, Drake released a trailer for Views on Twitter.[7] On April 26, Drake revealed that Views would include 20 or more songs than any of his previous albums, excluding the bonus tracks.[27] After his last "pop-up" store stop in his home city of Toronto, Drake released the album's cover artwork on social media. On April 29, the album premiered on Apple Music's OVO Sound Radio, following his interview with Beats 1's radio host Zane Lowe, and then released on both Apple Music and iTunes exclusively,[28] followed by a release on to other digital retailers and a physical release a week later, and a release on to other streaming services a week after that. On May 14, Drake was the host and musical guest on an episode of Saturday Night Live, where he sang "One Dance" and "Hype".[29] On September 26, Drake released a short film on Apple Music, titled "Please Forgive Me", which features several songs from Views.[30]

Singles[edit]

Nigerian Afrobeats artist Wizkid was involved in the writing and production of "One Dance"

"Hotline Bling" was released as the album's lead single on July 31, 2015, the song was produced by Nineteen85.[31][32] Despite the song being released as the official lead single for Views, "Hotline Bling" was included as the bonus track on the album.[33]

"One Dance" was released as the album's second single on April 5, 2016.[34] The song features guest appearances from Nigerian singer Wizkid and British singer Kyla.[34] Wizkid also co-wrote and co-produced the song.[32] Nineteen85 also produced the song, with co-production by DJ Maphorisa and Drake's longtime collaborator 40.[35] It spent 15 consecutive weeks atop the UK Singles Chart.[36]

"Pop Style" was released as the album's third single on April 5, 2016.[37] The song features guest appearances from American hip hop duo The Throne (composed of rappers Kanye West and Jay-Z),[37] while the production was handled by Sevn Thomas and Frank Dukes, with additional production by Drake's longtime collaborator Boi-1da, alongside 40.[32] Upon the release, Drake removed The Throne's verses, and then re-recorded his own verses as a part of their replacement verses to the song.[38]

"Controlla" was released as the album's fourth single in the United States on June 7, 2016.[39] The song was produced by Boi-1da, with co-production by Supa Dups and Allen Ritter, with additional production by Di Genius.[32] The leaked version features a guest appearance from Jamaican dancehall artist Popcaan.[40]

"Too Good" was released as the album's fifth single on July 26, 2016.[41] The song features a guest appearance from Barbadian singer Rihanna, while the production was handled by Nineteen85, with additional production by Supa Dups.[32]

Other songs[edit]

In August 2014, a one-minute-long snippet, titled "Views from the Six" was leaked online.[42] On September 24, 2016, an extended version of "Faithful" with two additional verses from Dvsn was premiered on OVO Sound Radio.[43] On May 21, 2016, the remix version featuring Lil Wayne, premiered on OVO Sound Radio.[44] On February 17, 2017, Future premiered an extended cut of the song "Grammys" with additional verse from himself on his radio show, Freebandz Radio.[45]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?6.7/10[46]
Metacritic69/100[47]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic2.5/5 stars[48]
The A.V. ClubB−[49]
The Daily Telegraph3/5 stars[50]
Entertainment WeeklyB[51]
The Guardian4/5 stars[52]
NME4/5[53]
The Observer4/5 stars[54]
Pitchfork6.8/10[55]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[56]
Spin7/10[57]

Views was met with lukewarm reviews from critics.[58] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 69, based on 31 reviews, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[47] Aggregator AnyDecentMusic? gave it 6.7 out of 10, based on their assessment of the critical consensus.[46]

Many reviewers found it overlong and lacking in a cohesive theme, while claiming Drake was not challenging himself artistically;[59] according to MTV's Meghan Garvey, the unenthusiastic response to the record may have been attributed to Drake's "unwillingness (or inability) to significantly evolve beyond his time-tested signature sound, clinging to the comfort of the same frosty 40 beats, zingy aphorisms, and perennial trust issues".[58] Reviewing Views in The New York Times, Jon Caramanica said Drake's "emotional excavations aren't as striking as they were a few years ago, when they had the sting of the new to them."[60] In The A.V. Club, Evan Rytlewski argued that he had "done this before and done it better", describing the album as "too long and stubbornly low energy".[49] Neil McCormick wrote in The Daily Telegraph that in spite of some evocative production and Drake's impressive rapping skills, his continued "navel gazing" demonstrated a lack of emotional maturity and insight.[50] Andy Gill of The Independent was more critical, panning the album as "utterly wearying and unpersuasive" while declaring that "rarely has one man moaned quite so much about so little."[61]

Alexis Petridis wrote a largely positive review in The Guardian, arguing that Views "offers a lengthy inventory of miseries, cleverly offset by a sly sense of humour and eclectic sound". He deemed it "compelling evidence that this is the defining pop artist of the moment".[52] In The Observer, Kitty Empire found the lyrical and production detail "pin-sharp",[54] and Mojo's Andy Cowan wrote that the overly introspective themes were redeemed by Drake's nimble flow and clever sense of humor.[62] NME journalist Nick Levine said his "signature brand of downbeat introspection remains gripping".[53] Los Angeles Times critic Mikael Wood wrote that the record "sets his harshest thoughts about women against the prettiest, most sensual music he's ever made", featuring a number of "deeply beautiful tracks" that "further dismantles whatever barrier was left between rap and R&B following Drake's earlier albums".[63]

Accolades[edit]

Year-end lists
Publication List Rank Ref.
Billboard Best Albums of 2016
17
The Guardian The Best Albums of 2016
20
The New York Times The Best Albums of 2016 (Jon Caramanica)
10
NME NME's Albums of the Year 2016
17
HotNewHipHop Hottest 20 Albums of 2016
20
People Top 10 Albums of 2016
5
Rolling Stone 50 Best Albums of 2016
42
Vibe The 25 Best Albums of 2016
9
Awards for Views
Year Ceremony Category Result Ref.
2016 American Music Awards Favorite Pop/Rock Album Nominated [72]
Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Album Won
BET Hip Hop Awards Album of the Year Won [73]
Soul Train Music Awards Best Album of the Year Nominated [74]
2017 Billboard Music Awards Top Billboard 200 Album Won [75]
Top Rap Album Won
Grammy Awards Album of the Year Nominated [76]
Best Rap Album Nominated
iHeartRadio Music Awards Hip-Hop Album of the Year Won [77]

Commercial performance[edit]

In Drake's home country of Canada, Views sold 110,000 album-equivalent units, and sold 92,000.[78] In the United States, Views debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, with 1.04 million album-equivalent units, selling 852,000 copies in its first week of release, and achieving over 245 million streams (despite the album, with the exclusion of its singles released at the time, only available to stream on Apple Music for the first two weeks), more than previous record 115.2 million by Beyoncé's Lemonade (despite that album only available to stream on Tidal).[79] It had the biggest week for an album since Adele's 25 collected 1.19 million units in its fifth week of release (week ending December 24, 2015).[80] The last album by a male artist to post a bigger pure album sales week was Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience, when it debuted with 968,000 copies sold in the week ending March 24, 2013.[80] Views became Drake's sixth consecutive number-one album (fifth as solo artist) on the Billboard 200 and largest sales week.[81] In the year 2016, it accumulated 4.14 million equivalent album units, of which 1.6 million were pure sales, ranking as the second best-selling album of the year in pure sales and best-selling including equivalent albums, and his best-selling album to date.[82]

In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, with 78,000 sales, becoming Drake's first number-one on that chart.[83] With Views, Drake also joined Adele, Michael Bublé, and Taylor Swift as the only artists in the 2010s decade to have an album remain at number one on the Billboard 200 for six consecutive weeks.[84] Overall, as of 2016, Views has attained one billion streams in the United States, according to his record label.[85] As of April 2018, Views has sold 1.73 million recognized copies and a total of 5.41 million album-equivalent units in the United States.[86]

Nearly every song from Views charted on the Billboard Hot 100 during its debut week; Drake held 20 songs on the chart.[87] As a result, he broke the record for most songs on the Billboard Hot 100, simultaneously.[88] He would later go on to break his own record twice, once through More Life in 2017, and again through Scorpion in 2018.[89] Several of the songs on the album also went platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[90]

Views was ranked as the second most popular album of 2016 on the Billboard 200.[91] The following year it was ranked as the thirteenth most popular album of the 2017,[92] and in 2018, two years after its release, the album was ranked as the forty-seventh most popular album of the year.[93]

Track listing[edit]

Credits were adapted from the album's liner notes.[94][32]

Digital download / streaming
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Keep the Family Close"
Bidaye5:28
2."9"4:15
3."U with Me?"
4:57
4."Feel No Ways"
4:00
5."Hype"
3:29
6."Weston Road Flows"4:13
7."Redemption"405:33
8."With You" (featuring PartyNextDoor)
3:15
9."Faithful" (featuring Pimp C and Dvsn)
4:50
10."Still Here"
  • Graham
  • Shebib
  • Dwayne Carter
3:09
11."Controlla"
4:05
12."One Dance" (featuring Wizkid and Kyla)
2:54
13."Grammys" (featuring Future)
3:40
14."Childs Play"
  • Graham
  • Shebib
  • Leland Wayne
  • Mark Morales
  • Darren Robinson
  • Damon Wimbley
4:01
15."Pop Style"3:32
16."Too Good" (featuring Rihanna)
  • Nineteen85
  • Supa Dups[b]
4:23
17."Summers Over Interlude"Bidaye1:46
18."Fire & Desire"
3:58
19."Views"
  • Graham
  • Bidaye
  • Samuels
  • Aion Clarke
5:11
20."Hotline Bling" (bonus track)
Nineteen854:27
Total length:81:14
CD
No.TitleLength
1."Keep the Family Close"5:24
2."9"3:58
3."U with Me?"4:51
4."Feel No Ways"4:00
5."Hype"3:27
6."Weston Road Flows"4:14
7."Redemption"5:34
8."With You" (featuring PartyNextDoor)3:15
9."Faithful" (featuring Pimp C and Dvsn)4:44
10."Still Here"2:55
11."Controlla"4:05
12."One Dance" (featuring Wizkid and Kyla)3:07
13."Grammys" (featuring Future)3:40
14."Childs Play"4:01
15."Pop Style"3:32
16."Too Good" (featuring Rihanna)4:23
17."Summers Over Interlude"1:46
18."Fire & Desire"3:58
19."Views"5:05
20."Hotline Bling" (bonus track)3:49
Total length:79:45

Track notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[c] signifies an uncredited co-producer
  • "Keep the Family Close" features background vocals by Filbert Assibo-Dadzie, Sabrina Galmo and Aion "Voyce" Clarke
  • "9" features additional background vocals by Jelleestone
  • "U with Me?" features additional background vocals by Divine Brown and PartyNextDoor
  • "Feel No Ways" features background vocals by Daniel Daley
  • "Hype" features background vocals by James McMorrow and additional background vocals by Baka
  • "Redemption" features background vocals by Darhyl " Hey DJ" Camper, Jr.
  • "With You" features background vocals by Jeremih
  • "Faithful" features background vocals by Darhyl "Hey DJ" Camper, Jr.
  • "Controlla" features background vocals by Beenie Man
  • "Too Good" features background vocals by Beverly Crandon
  • "Summers Over Interlude" features vocals by Majid Al Maskati
  • "Views" features background vocals by Aion "Voyce" Clarke

Sample credits

  • "9" contains a sample of "Dying", performed by Mavado featuring Serani.
  • "U with Me?" contains a sample of "What These Bitches Want"; and contains an interpolation of "How's It Goin' Down", performed by DMX; and an interpolation of "Views from the 6", performed by Drake.
  • "Weston Road Flows" contains a sample of "Mary's Joint", performed by Mary J. Blige.
  • "One Dance" contains a sample of "Do You Mind (Crazy Cousins Remix)", performed by Paleface featuring Kyla.
  • "Feel No Ways" contains a sample of "World's Famous", performed by Malcolm McLaren.
  • "Redemption" contains a sample of "One Wish", performed by Ray J.
  • "Faithful" contains samples of "Get Gone", performed by Ideal; and "Tom Ford (Remix)", performed by Jay-Z featuring Pimp C.
  • "Controlla" contains a sample of "Tear Off Mi Garment", performed by Beenie Man.
  • "Childs Play" contains a sample of "Rode That Dick Like a Soldier", performed by Ha-Sizzle.
  • "Too Good" contains a sample of "Love Yuh Bad", performed by Popcaan.
  • "Fire & Desire" contains a sample of "I Dedicate (Part I, II, & III)", performed by Brandy.
  • "Views" contains a sample of "The Question Is", performed by The Winans.
  • "Hotline Bling" contains a sample of "Why Can't We Live Together", performed by Timmy Thomas.

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[94]

Production

  • 40 – production (2–3, 6–7, 9, 13–14, 18), co-production (10, 12), additional production (4, 15, 19)
  • Axlfolie – co-production (3)
  • The Beat Bully – co-production (5)
  • Murda Beatz – production (8)
  • Maneesh Bidaye – production (1, 17, 19), additional production (10)
  • Boi-1da – production (5, 11), co-production (2, 9), additional production (15, 19)
  • Metro Boomin – additional production (14)
  • Cardo – co-production (13)
  • Cubeatz – additional production (5)
  • Daxz – production (10)
  • DJ Dahi – co-production (3)
  • Frank Dukes – production (15)
  • Supa Dups – co-production (11), additional production (16)
  • Yung Exclusive – co-production (13)
  • Di Genius – additional production (11)
  • Hagler – additional production (18)
  • Jordan Lewis – additional production (18)
  • Brian Morgan – co-production (2)
  • Nineteen85 – production (5, 12, 16, 20), co-production (9), additional production (8, 14)
  • OZ – additional production (3)
  • Ricci Riera – co-production (3)
  • Allen Ritter – co-production (11)
  • Southside – production (13)
  • Stwo – co-production (6)
  • Jordan Ullman – production (4), additional production (14)
  • Vinylz – additional production (3)
  • Kanye West – production (3), additional production (4)
  • Wizkid – co-production (12)

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Certifications for Views
Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[150] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[151] Gold 7,500*
Canada (Music Canada)[152] 6× Platinum 480,000double-dagger
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[153] 3× Platinum 60,000double-dagger
France (SNEP)[154] 2× Platinum 200,000double-dagger
Germany (BVMI)[155] Gold 100,000double-dagger
Italy (FIMI)[156] Gold 25,000*
Mexico (AMPROFON)[157] Platinum+Gold 90,000^
Poland (ZPAV)[158] Gold 10,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[160] 2× Platinum 410,000[159]
United States (RIAA)[161] 6× Platinum 6,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  4. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (April 28, 2016). "11 Songs Drake Sampled on 'Views': Listen Here". Fuse. Archived from the original on May 3, 2016. Retrieved May 1, 2016.
  5. ^ a b Unterberger, Andrew (March 26, 2017). "'More Views': A True Drake Playlist Combining the Pop Highlights of His Last Two Efforts". Billboard. Archived from the original on March 26, 2017. Retrieved March 26, 2017.
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