Like most Drake albums, Honestly, Nevermind fixates on what happens with love: when it ends, when it begins and the messy middle passage in between. The 14-track offering — which landed Drake his 11th No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 — is laced with a number of dance- and Caribbean-inspired beats, and only includes one feature (21 Savage on “Jimmy Cooks”). Amid the frank, status update-worthy love lyrics on the album, he also makes room to address his haters on “Sticky.”
There are many intricate moments on the album which, true to the set’s title, encapsulate a theme of telling the brutal truth. On the album’s description on Apple Music, Drizzy explains what he tried to accomplish with Honestly, Nevermind: “I know everyone that tells me they love me doesn’t love me all the time especially when im doing better than alright & they have to watch it from whatever point they at in their life… I got here being realistic. I didn’t get here being blind. I know whats what and especially what and who is by my side.”
He also adds in blunt details about his work ethic: “That’s some real detrimental s–t but that’s that s–t my perfectionist mind doesn’t really mind because no one knows whats on my mind when I go to sleep at 9 & wake up at 5 – unless I say it in rhyme,” he writes. In an effort to help decipher the truth in these songs, we’ve deciphered 10 of Drake’s most honest lyrics on Honestly, Nevermind.
1. I can’t strеss about no b–ch ’cause I’m a timid soul
Plus I’m cookin’ up ambition on a kitchen stove
Pot start to bubblе, see the suds, that s–t good to go (“Jimmy Cooks” feat. 21 Savage)
With some assistance from 21 Savage, Drake is blunt about his shy demeanor — which, this time around, isn’t about being charming, but rather more conducive to focusing on himself, and not on women.
On this track, he’s calling out faux models who would never stroll down designer catwalks or make it to the pages of high fashion magazines (he was probably inspired by all of the world’s Instagram girls who have millions of followers seemingly for no reason). In this juncture, Drake is candid about his hunger for success and firing up his ambitions. His pursuits aren’t romantic, and his admissions aren’t about heartbreak either, but it’s more so all about him.
2. I can’t even remember when we lost each other
Was it last year? This year? Or some other?
Been so long since you said things that cover up the lies (“Texts Go Green” )
Through a mélange of Caribbean-infused Afrobeats, the Toronto native ponders when exactly a relationship sank in deep waters. It’s been a while and he isn’t too trusting of what this particular woman has to say. He’s caught her in some lies, as his emotions were drifting away into numbness as she departed from his heart and consciousness. It seems like he doesn’t care to hear from her — not even via a “how u doin” text.
3. What can I do for you, how can I makе a difference?
Friendship and loyalty, that’s not what it’s giving
Giving that, “Why would I keep you around?” (“A Keeper” )
Drake is questioning a lover’s purpose and space in his life. For Aubrey, it feels like she isn’t “the one” anymore. Because, well, he’s got different inspiration now: “I found a new muse,” he asserts. Let’s just say his curve game is strong.
4. You’re my water, my refresher
Take off your clothes, relieve pressure
I need your touch when I’m with her
My heart, it beats different rhythm (“Calling My Name”)
Someone is caught in a love triangle here. Drake is lost inside his carnal desires and yearns for that special touch from his side-chick. It isn’t fair to his main squeeze, but to him it’s valid. This special girl takes away the mundane stressors of life while she also pleases Drake’s sexual urges. This whole situation is hurtful to the person on the receiving end, but at least it’s honest.
I know it’s getting late
And I’m struggling to let go
Although there’s distance between us
There’s no place I’d rather be
Owe you some hospitality
And it comes so naturally (“Flight’s Booked”)
It doesn’t get more transparent than namedropping who the subject of your song is. Futuristic synth smooth out his love note to “Lila.” It’s endearing because it’s reminiscent of the intoxicating stages when you’re first getting to know that special someone — spending hours talking on the phone, or getting butterflies in your stomach when you’re about to see that person.
6. Then they thought they had the trap set for me
How you really think that went for me?
N—as gotta do a fact check for me (“Sticky”)
Not every Drake song is about love and heartbreak. He’s keenly aware of his status in the game, and doesn’t hesitate on reminding his foes on here. If they think he was going to get caught in their malicious spider-webs, they were mistaken. He knows things get complicated, but Drake doesn’t fixate on the distractions.
7. Hold the line, we ain’t done
Don’t give up this divine bond between us
I’m hanging on, but you don’t see
It’s a phase we’ll overcome, my love (“Overdrive”)
Here he details a love story that is sinking in murky waters. Things are getting real, but Drake is certain that this is temporary. This relationship is too important for him to let go, and he knows it’s worth fighting for. He’s puts his ego aside and masterminds how to make this partnership work. These are the troublesome candid moments we all can relate to; that’s the Drake effect — being honest about his, and your emotions.
8. You get in my bed, you twist up my head
I’m changing for you, changing for you
You die with the lie
You lie and a piece of me dies (“Liability”)
Dark and somber beats engulf Drake’s Auto-Tuned rasp, as he admits that lies are killing him. It all sounds like an open wound that refuses to heal. Yet, its message is all too relatable, and perhaps the realest on this whole album.
9. I see us fadin’ away
I’m still holdin’ my breath for the day that you will
See that the effort I make is too real (“Falling Back”)
Like most Drake songs, this small vignette would make for excellent Instagram captions and/or tweets. This is where we put so much effort into someone who doesn’t appreciate or recognize it. It’s hard to admit because it hurts, yet the pain becomes the truest thing about the experience.
10. I used to wonder how you could swear it’s for life
Constant confusion, nearing conclusion, going downhill
We spent last summer, we spent last summer so differently (“Down Hill”)
The anticipation of a breakup is probably more heartbreaking than the actual split: even more so when one partner realizes it’s over before the other. Sure, we can try, yet when it’s all said and done it’s destined to be over — and Drake recognizes that.