Drake hasn’t even begun recording his fourth album in earnest, but it already has a title: “Views From The 6.”
Drake was set to confirm the album title Tuesday morning (July 15) as part of an exhaustive roster of upcoming projects. The first arrives tomorrow (July 16), when the 27-year-old rapper hosts The ESPYs on ESPN. Then his record label OVO Sound, distributed by Warner Bros., will release its first two projects – Majid Jordan’s EP “Place Like This” and PARTYNEXTDOOR’s second full-length release, “PARTYNEXTDOOR TWO” on July 29. PARTYNEXTDOOR premiered a new song with Drake, “Recognize,” earlier this week as one of two songs available on the album’s pre-order.
Up next is OVOFest, Drake and October’s Very Own’s fifth annual hip-hop festival in Toronto, which returns to the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre on Aug. 3 and 4 with headlining sets from Outkast and Drake himself. Over 35,000 tickets to this year’s festival sold out in record time, with a long list of surprise guests expected to appear as they have in years past — Kanye West, Lil Wayne, TLC and J. Cole are among the bold-faced names who showed up last year.
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Immediately following OVOFest, Drake heads out on a 31-city co-headlining tour with Lil Wayne, which kicks off Aug. 8 at New York’s Darien Lake Performing Arts Center. As sponsored by video-game publisher Capcom (makers of “Street Fighter”), the tour is set to be formatted like a battle each night. “A lot of people still don’t know it’s a real thing, but it’s real and it’s going to be very competitive,” Drake said last week in a conference call discussing his ESPYs plans.
And there may be a few more tricks up Drake’s sleeve. As he details on “0 to 100 / The Catch-Up,” a new track he dropped in early June: “We already got spring 2015 poppin’ / PND droppin’ / Reps-Up P droppin’ / Majid Jordin droppin’, OB droppin’ not to mention me droppin’.” Of that list of other OVO signings, P. Reign (aka Reps-Up P) and OB Obrien (aka OB) have yet to announce official releases.
As for Drake’s new album, it’s not entirely clear what “The 6” is, though a recent online hoax would suggest it’s a reference to his hometown. Shortly after April Fool’s this spring, pictures of fake Toronto billboards supposedly planted by Drake started cropping up, and got picked up by magazine and sites like Complex and HotNewHipHop. One of them was emblazoned with the number 6, while another read “T6r6nt6 – 416 The Six 647,” shouting out the city’s two most prominent area codes. Drake fan site Word on Road ultimately shot the veracity of the billboards’ existence down, but chances are “Views From the 6” are as much of a hometown shout-out as Jennifer Lopez’s Bronx-repping “On The 6” was back in ’99.