Aubrey Graham, aka Drake, posted two new songs on his personal blog this week, the latest coming in the wee hours of Thursday morning. Which you like better – "Draft Day" or "Days In The East" – depends on which of the two distinct versions of the Drake we know and love you prefer: classic rapper Drake, or soulful Drake?
"Draft Day" went up on Tuesday and is standard Drake, in the ilk of "HYFR" and "Started From the Bottom." He raps like we know he can; referencing his contemporaries (Chance the Rapper) and pulling from the pop culture milieu (On some Hunger Games shit/I would die for my district). It is serviceable Drake – good, but nothing special.
But on "Days In The East" we get Drake at his Drakiest, oozing with feeling. As Vulture points out, the song is probably about his brewing relationship with Rihanna, so of course it is fraught with emotion.
Drake on "Days In The East" is the same Drake from "Hold On, We're Going Home," which means it is the best Drake. Drake himself makes the distinction between his two selves. When talking about "Hold On", he said "'It's not 'Versace,' it's not 'Started From the Bottom.'" "Hold On" – which Drake adamantly calls "not a rap record" and something to be "played at weddings in 10 years" – was the standout on Nothing Was The Same. In its review of the album, Rolling Stone said "He's most charming of all when he breaks into a full-on croon for 'Hold On, We're Going Home'" and Pitchfork named it the best song of 2013. There's a reason "Hold On" is the most played Drake song on Spotify (and it's not close). Everyone loves Drake when he cops to having feelings. It feels more honest, almost relatable, as if we're seeing the real Drake. God forbid someone get emotional.
Sure, you can enjoy "Draft Day" Drake, and we do. There's nothing wrong with it. But Drake on "Days In The East" is Drake, slowing life down and baring his soul. How can you not love it?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.