Release Date: Sept. 24
Label: Cash Money/Young Money/Republic
"Nothing Was the Same" is the culmination of four years of the Drake musical experiment, in which hip-hop and R&B are held in careful equilibrium within the same artist. The new album largely does away with the purely slow songs that can be found on stretches of previous Drake albums, mostly confining R&B elements to hooks, bridges and atmospherics. As a result, the collection hits harder and more frequently than his earlier material, with Drake putting his rapping prowess at the forefront.
On the '90s-rap-inspired song "Wu Tang Forever," he weaves boasts of sexual virility around a plinking piano and rapid-fire drums. The outro to the album, tentatively titled "Pound Cake," features two incisive verses from Jay Z, even as Drake asserts himself above any and all competition by the song's climactic ending. "Studied the game to the letter and I did it better, like I'm supposed to feel guilty?" he rhymes.