The 6 God goes for seven. Nine months after Certified Lover Boy‘s momentous arrival, Drake delivered another album with Honestly, Nevermind on Friday (June 17). His seventh LP, Drizzy went against his usually well-calculated ways to announce the surprise album just mere hours before it landed on streaming services.
The last time he pulled the surprise release was the critically acclaimed If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late in 2015. For once, Drake elected to keep his album shorter than his typically overstuffed albums with a modest 14 songs.
Those expecting a rap album were sadly mistaken, as Drizzy leans on the house music scene and bars are a rarity outside of a few tracks. An expert collaborator, Drake enlists only one credited guest with 21 Savage joining the party for album closer “Jimmy Cooks.”
After sifting through the 52-minute marathon, Billboard attempts to rank every song — minus the 36-second “Intro” track instrumental — from the album he’s dedicated to the late Louis Vuitton designer and fashion trailblazer Virgil Abloh.
Grab some dancing shoes and run through the project below.
An ethereal beat meshed with Trillville’s “Some Cut.” 30 seconds in, it’s tough to believe this is a Drake record in 2022, but we are here. Can’t say this one will be on repeat for the summer ’22 playlist at pool parties across the globe.
12. “Calling My Name”
Carnage supplies Drake’s seductive soundboard here. Drizzy takes a backseat and lets the beat do the talking, which feels more like one long house DJ set. “Calling My Name” will be another forgotten track gracing the album.
11. “Texts Go Green”
Streaming services are classifying HONESTLY, NEVERMIND as a dance album and that’s very telling through the first two tracks. While not everyone can relate to Drake’s lavish lifestyle, they can drown in the pool of sorrows he’s created when that iPhone text message goes through to a lover in green.
Either way, the house-leaning tunes are a huge pivot from what fans were probably expecting and “Texts Go Green” is sure to have listeners’ hips gyrating while thinking about an ex. The track could’ve probably been cut after three minutes, though.
10. “Falling Back”
Smooth synths after an instrumental “Intro,” which Drake’s made a habit of executing at a high level to introduce listeners to his body of work. “Falling Back” is oozing with vibes similar to that of More Life‘s “Passionfruit.”
Drake looks inward and examines the impact of a failed relationship fading away while putting his aching croon to use, “Falling back on mе, falling back on me,” he repeatedly sings to close out the poignant opener.
9. “Flight’s Booked”
The OVO honcho isn’t afraid to experiment in different genres and when doing that, he shines a light on areas of music that might get overlooked and now have millions of new listeners indulging in the genre.
“Flights Booked” uses a Floetry “Getting Late” sample, but doesn’t have the replay value of its tech-house competitors, even though it’s sonically reminiscent of More Life‘s “Madiba Riddim.”
8. “Down Hill”
Snap your fingers and do the step to “Down Hill.” Drizzy laments an ex-lover while passing the baton to Tresor with tears in his eyes. “Down Hill” is undoubtedly a sad-boy anthem where Drake’s vocals shine through.
7. “Tie That Binds”
Drake lets another house instrumental do the heavy lifting throughout the near-six-minute expedition. The guitar strings are a tuneful addition to the mix as well. It’s like Drake was looking to make tunes to soundtrack his next tropical getaway.
Being a trendsetter for much of his career, will Drake do it again and have the rest of mainstream music follow his dance-heavy lead for the rest of 2022?
6. “A Keeper”
Drake gushes over his new muse and lets his former ting know that her services aren’t needed any longer. A constant heartbeat paces the tune until reaching a crescendo with about 30 seconds left. “A Keeper” will serve as a hidden gem on the album — book it.
This could’ve been a Drizzy classic, but “Liability” gets docked a few notches with Drake’s vocals being heavily chopped-and-screwed. The 35-year-old makes up for it by connecting James Harden’s signature step-back jumper move to a woman keeping her distance from him.
P.S. – Could this be Drake’s Last Train to Paris (Diddy)?
Jersey Club clearly played a major role in influencing Drake on this project. The bounce in the early portion of the song is reminiscent of Kanye West‘s “Paranoid.” “Overdrive” boasts some pop appeal, whether that’s the hip-hop stations or SiriusXM’s BPM Radio channel. But that’s the beautiful thing about Drake’s art, he can ball in any arena.
Drake does a ton of experimenting on this album and “Massive” is when all parts of the dance world he’s implementing and his hitmaking ability combine to make a great song.
The 6 God swerves in and out of pockets throughout the five-minute sprint, which should find its way to nightclub DJs’ rotations ASAP. Fans on Twitter have already joked about “Massive” being played on a loop in clothing stores like Zara and H&M as well.
Finally, some raps from The Boy — a welcomed sight. Drake is known for sprinkling in other cultures when he can and here he shows off his Paris travels while incorporating a French bar in the midst of his pugnacious rhymes. He’s clearly going at an unidentified enemy here and in Drake fashion, he subliminally gets his point across on the LP’s first standout.
1. “Jimmy Cooks” featuring 21 Savage
Simply put, Drake and 21 Savage are a menacing yet winning combination. Fans are going to ask why couldn’t there be 14 “Jimmy Cooks” making up the album, but that wouldn’t be Drake being Drake.
He still had to remind listeners he’s at the top of the food chain in the rap game by saving the best for last. Paying homage to the late Lil Keed and “Drama King” DJ Kay Slay is a fitting salute as well.