While you were sleeping, Drake went ahead and dropped that mysterious mixtape we've heard so much about. It's called If You're Reading This It's Too Late, and features collaborations with Lil Wayne, PARTYNEXTDOOR, and Travi$ Scott, and beats from longtime Drake acolytes Boi-1da and Noah "40" Shebib."
The 17-song collection capped off a memorable day in the rap game, which began Thursday morning, when Drake released Jungle, a 14 minute art film suggesting that new music was imminent. Later in the day, Kanye West took over New York Fashion Week and dropped a stunning track off his forthcoming album, snatching all the attention away from Drizzy. We prematurely declared that West had won the opening round of what's expected to be a year-long slugfest between the two rappers.
We were wrong.
While West was delivering a triumphant performance in the Flatiron district — before jetting across town to join Drake's rival Diddy at his MSG takeover — Drake was busy plotting the surprise release. Some have suggested that IYRTITL is the official followup to Drake's third LP, Nothing Was the Same, but that's simply not the case. In a handwritten thank you letter posted to the OVO website, Drake specifically refers to the collection as "the tape" which means we should still expect an official fourth album — tentatively titled Views From The 6 — later this year.
Another glaring hint that Drake has more music in store: The songs here are as experimental as anything he's ever done, with no obvious singles for radio to latch on to. In other words, its the perfect stop gap until Drake decides to really drop the hammer. Some Internet sleuths are also speculating that an "album" full of throwaway tracks is a huge middle finger to Drake's label Cash Money, and an underhanded way to fulfill his four album contract with the label. Tensions have been running high between Drake's mentor Lil Wayne and Cash Money boss Birdman, and Drake's exit from the label now feels inevtable.
Still, there's plenty here for Drake fans to love: the woe-is-me laments, the choppy alien beats, and the eff you bragaddocio of a rapper intent on snatching that crown. Head on over to iTunes to see what we mean.
Your move, Kanye.