The dogs were truly let down

What went wrong with Drake’s latest album, “For All The Dogs”?
The cover art and abstract drawing of a dog that was created by Drakes son Adonis (Photo credit Adonis Graham)
The cover art and abstract drawing of a dog that was created by Drake’s son Adonis (Photo credit Adonis Graham)



Notable rapper Drake finally released his highly anticipated album “For All The Dogs” Oct. 11 much to the disappointment to fans who wanted more of the “Old Drake” he promised. 

Drake, as a musician, has been having a rough several years in terms of criticism. The Canadian superstar just cannot seem to catch a break ever since the release of his 2021 album “Certified Lover Boy”, which was an album just caked in mediocrity with a few good songs like “Way 2 Sexy” and “Champagne Poetry”. The project was carried by its featured artists, a theme that would carry on Drake’s next few albums. 

Around a year later, Drake released two more projects. “Honestly, Nevermind”, a middling experiment with house music that ultimately failed, and “Her Loss”, a collaboration with 21 Savage, was also bloated and just kind of average. 

Nonetheless, 2023 was looking to be a massive year for Drake. In March he announced his co-headlining “It’s All a Blur Tour” with 21 Savage, which, similar to Taylor Swift’s “Eras Tour”, would take concertgoers on a trip through the rapper’s storied discography. Around a month later Drake released the project’s rumored lead single “Search & Rescue”, a laid back, lo-fi track that further built anticipation for fans to hear what the artist had in store next. The track was surprisingly not featured on the album. 

The promotional cover for Drake’s “It’s All A Blur” tour, showcasing the rapper’s looks throughout the years. (Photo obtained from Drake’s official website, Drake Related)

After the fact, Drake news was fairly quiet for the next few months until his first poetry collection “Titles Ruin Everything” released, where at the end of the book a link appeared with an announcement that a new  album is imminent and was going to be called “For All The Dogs”, or “FATD”.

Drake’s highly anticipated tour began in Chicago on July 5, and in between songs, Drake would tease fans that a new project was indeed on its way. According to Drake, “FATD” would take listeners back to the “Take Care” and “NWTS” era of his career, which intrigued fans who were tired of the modern Drake, making this project one to look out for. 

In August, Drake shared the cover art for the album on Instagram, which he stated was created by his son, Adonis, and further elaborated that the album was expected to drop sometime in September.

Drake released the final single “Slime You Out” featuring SZA on September 15 and announced that “FATD” was coming out on the 22nd. The album was ultimately delayed, and released on October 6 at around 6:00 a.m. EST.

The main selling point of “For All The Dogs” was that it was going to bring listeners back to the storied artist’s former glory, and the album failed to do that. Fans – yet again – got another sub-par Drake record, continuing the hope that maybe the next album will be Drake’s sprawling masterpiece.

“For All The Dogs” was rather mediocre in many ways, but the introduction to the album, “Virginia Beach”, gave fans a false hope while listening. The song opens up with a chipmunk-esque vocal sample that gave promise that the album would continue this trend, and for a while it did. If there is one good point to “FATD” it is the production, which for the first few tracks was relatively innovative for a modern day Drake album. A few highlights of this section of the album included the songs “First Person Shooter”, featuring J. Cole, and “IDGAF”, with Yeat. 

The beat for “FPS” almost reminds one of “MELTDOWN” off of Travis Scott’s “Utopia”, with its epic scale of production containing a prominent brass section, a fact which actually isn’t coincidence considering both songs have production credits from Boi-1da, Vinlyz, Tay Keith, and Coleman. 

The production of “IDGAF”, primarily produced by prominent upcoming producer BYNX barely sounds like a Drake song, with a rage style, featuring heavy synthesizers and an eccentric number of bells, nothing surprising for those who are fans of Yeat, but a pleasant surprise to see on a Drake project nonetheless. This duo of songs also happens to be the album’s most popular songs excluding the single “Slime You Out”, which had more time to rack up streams, and great in its own right, proven by the memorable production which incorporates a melancholy piano chord to insinuate the song’s melancholy theme. Production throughout the rest of the album is not really bad, but it is not all too great either, a motif that continues to plague Drake’s career present day.

The worst and most questionable area of “FATD” is when it comes to the album’s lyrical content. There is some truly terrible wordplay throughout the project – with two exceptions “8am in Charlotte”, a throwback to classic hip-hop rhyme scheme and once again “First Person Shooter”. Drake displays what might just be some of the worst lyrics put to pen on the song “Gently” featuring notable Latin trap and reggaeton artist Bad Bunny. The track seems kind of pleasant at first. Wrong. “Gently” shows just how terrible Drake can be when it comes to the pen in 2023. Lyrics such as “I live like Sopranos, Italianos” and “I’ve been El Chico for cincuenta años” are delivered in what is, quite possibly, the worst possible accent. A far cry from the duo’s previous collaboration “MIA”, where Drake seemed to flow in Spanish just fine.  

“For All The Dogs” was fully carried by each feature on the album. Drake has always managed to be overshined by his peers, may it be SZA on “Slime You Out” and “Rich Baby Daddy” or J. Cole, who, hands down, has the best feature on “FATD” with “First Person Shooter”. Drake just comes off as sluggish in comparison to the hard work that each feature put into their verses: they put 110% effort in, and Drake averaged out around 50%.  

Drake’s “FATD” is yet again another mediocre album from the world’s biggest rapper. On “First Person Shooter”, Drake claimed to be on the level of Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole, but that statement is true only in regards to popularity. The former has much more skill than Drake could ever have even, after releasing another 20 or so albums. Just because one is tied with Michael Jackson for number one Billboard hits does not mean one can produce a quality album. “For All The Dogs” shows listeners that in Drake’s eyes, quantity is more important than quality. 

The dogs have been let down so much that listeners should pay very little mind to the artist’s next release. Drake is washed up – and he has been for the past half decade. 





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