Drake and Future
What a Time to Be Alive


3.5
great

Review

by GnarlyShillelagh EMERITUS
September 24th, 2015 | 199 replies


Release Date: 09/20/2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The victory lap.

Even despite monumental releases like To Pimp a Butterfly and Compton, it'd be difficult to formulate a cogent argument against 2015 belonging to Future or Drake. Post-Ciara Future has been a veritable workhorse, having released 4 projects thusfar in 2015, with a potential fifth on the way (not to mention, his mixtape Monster dropped fourth quarter of last year), and if Drake's forthcoming Views From the 6 drops before the year's end, he'll likely be the first artist in history to have three platinum projects from one year - oh, and he still had time to end a career on the road to the 3peat. Furthermore, social media has been a minefield of Drizzy and Fewtch quotes all year long, its memeverse dominated by their clever earworms whose gravitas may even outlast the tracks from which they're gleaned. So it only makes sense that hip-hop's current dual-imperium share the spoils of a year well earned by indulging in the only power move they've yet to make this year: a collab project.

What a Time to Be Alive isn't the second coming of Watch the Throne, however; where Ye and Jay's undertaking was an exhaustive exercise in extravagance, mammoth in both scope and ambition, What a Time is more a capitalization on the moment, a product of the recognition of its makers' dominance over popular culture. Reportedly made in just six days, it's rarely, if ever, sloppy, but it never achieves perfection either. It's merely a strong collection of songs made by two unstoppable forces in their primes. The hooks are instant and undeniable (see standouts "Diamonds Dancing" and "Jumpman"), and the beats, largely produced by frequent Future collaborator Metro Boomin', are colossal thumpers, giving the two a roughly foolproof framework for each song. The only issues that arise are that the chemistry between Future and Drake is only intermittently palpable; it's most conspicuous on the songs that really truly work ("Diamonds" being a great example) and is likely what pushes those tracks over the top, but tracks like "Digital Dash" and "Change Locations" sound more like patchwork songwriting efforts, e-mailed verses pasted to specific points on the beat rather than true collaboration. Furthermore, it's somewhat jarring to hear Future lament his broken relationship mere seconds before a braggadocious Drake pontificates on lavish living and boss shit. That isn't to say that concepts are entirely disjointed, but the two rappers' verses are somewhat incohesive on occasion.

The tape's other fault is that lyrically, Future and Drake seem concerned entirely with perpetuating their streak of memeworthy earworms to keep the year on lock than anything else. And though there's a bountiful profusion of successes in that regard ("60 naked bitches no exaggeration", "Metro gon' make it BOOM on these hoes", diamond, diamond, diamond, diamond emojis everywhere, shit, even the title itself), the quotables themselves are generally surrounded by filler bars and Seussian rhymes, further verification of the idea that the tape was completed in under a week. But ultimately, these minor flaws don't make anything about What a Time to Be Alive bad, per se, it's still a thoroughly entertaining ride without any truly bad songs ("I'm the Plug," with Future's irritating off-kilter flow being the only skippable jawn) that's sure to make a lasting impression on both internet-heads and radioheads alike. The point is to not look at What a Time to Be Alive as any sort of triumph of ambition and music, but rather as a solid assortment of irresistable bangers from two artists for whom that shit comes easy. It's not the accomplishment, it's the victory lap.




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Comments:Add a Comment 
GnarlyShillelagh
Emeritus
September 23rd 2015


6386 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

That's 40.



shoutout to 40 btw, didn't talk about it but that 30430 joint is insane, excellent teaser for views



embedded track is jumpman btw

ExplosiveOranges
Contributing Reviewer
September 23rd 2015


4408 Comments


knew this was gonna be an aziz review before i even clicked on it

Fieryfenderz
September 23rd 2015


1908 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

I've heard pretty much nothing positive about this so far.

Arcade
Staff Reviewer
September 23rd 2015


8453 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is not especially impressive which is disappointing considering If You're Reading this... and DS2 were especially impressive.



nice work gnarls/azif/w/e ur name really is

Digging: King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard - Polygondwanaland

LordePots
September 23rd 2015


38264 Comments


gnarley u have some real bad taste in hip hop my bud

Digging: Blondes - Warmth

LordePots
September 23rd 2015


38264 Comments


Even despite monumental releases like To Pimp a Butterfly and Compton, it'd be difficult to formulate a cogent argument against 2015 belonging to Future or Drake.


ROFLMAO

DrMaximus
September 23rd 2015


12411 Comments


Sure, if you're an ignorant bumpkin it would be difficult to form an argument against 2015 belonging to drake and future

Keyblade
September 23rd 2015


25017 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

2015 will belong to drake tho



this is just okay, coupla nice tracks here and there

Digging: Summoning - With Doom We Come

LordePots
September 23rd 2015


38264 Comments



Sure, if you're an ignorant bumpkin it would be difficult to form an argument against 2015 belonging to drake and future


seriously, holy shit. first off, just for starters, the new slum village, cannibal ox and little simz albs are all just as 'monumental' as TPAB and Compton except that they don't suck.

secondly, even if there weren't ~100 other hip hop albums released this year that were also way better than compton, or anything drake, future, or drake AND future had done this year it would still be a preeetttttyyyy easy argument to to make that 2015 does not belong to this shit pair of terrible artists, inside or outside of the genre.

js

Fort23
September 23rd 2015


2968 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

YOU BEAT ME FUCK



I don't think I should read yours until I'm done with mine but I'm tight but not suprised I C U

treeqt.
September 23rd 2015


16894 Comments


wew lad

treeqt.
September 23rd 2015


16894 Comments


it's almost like you're objectively wrong

treeqt.
September 23rd 2015


16894 Comments


actually it's exactly like you're objectively wrong

Fort23
September 23rd 2015


2968 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

@Lorde lol why you so dusty bro

LordePots
September 23rd 2015


38264 Comments


agreed, fort is objectively wrong.

Fort23
September 23rd 2015


2968 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

2015 belongs to my avatar, like it does every year

LordePots
September 23rd 2015


38264 Comments


@fort, cuz im like a record sucka im classic u mp3 lil nanby pamby

LotusFlower
September 23rd 2015


12002 Comments


I don't know what you call this style of hip hop from a production standpoint... but man it almost always sounds terrible

Fort23
September 23rd 2015


2968 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Subjectively, I appreciate your choice of words, even if I objectively do not agree with you

SharkTooth
September 23rd 2015


13780 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5 | Sound Off

@Cl0ver it's called trap



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