October 19, 2023

Read the full review on TheSource.com!

When you’re the biggest artist in the world, aka Drake, it’s a huge deal anytime you drop music. Not only are you one of the biggest streaming artists in the world, but your fanbase is accustomed to timeless hits — which means the bar is set high. But For All The Dogs is less about the homies and either about dog men or Drake’s new favorite word for women he comes across.

For All The Dogs serves as Drake’s eighth studio album. The hype escalated when Drizzy pushed the release date back a few weeks, from September 22nd to October 6th. Not to mention the 6 God promised fans he’d be returning to the “old Drake,” which we’re having difficulty pinpointing exactly where. This album feels like Drake has hit a level of either stagnation due to immediate success by whatever he drops, or there is no more challengers in the arena to force him to find an internal fire.

With the standout features on the project — 21 Savage, J. Cole, Yeat, SZA, PartyNextDoor, Chief Keef, Bad Bunny, Sexyy Red, and Lil Yachty — FATD should be a sure contender for success. But after the first few spins… you’re wondering where the substance is. When you’re Drake, you can have whatever you want at your fingertips. But Drake’s ascent to the top of the rap game used to inspire, motivate, and empower others to go out there and get after their wildest dreams.

For All The Dogs is certainly not that. The opening song, “Virginia Beach,” seems to be yet another emo Drake serenading his woes about a past relationship. Let’s be real: Drake can get any woman he wants, and his bars about drugs are getting played out.

Of course, we all love the camaraderie between Drake and 21 Savage. Case in point: “Rich Flex,” “Jimmy Cooks,” “Mr. Right Now” by Metro Boomin. But the skit at the end of “Calling For You” was particularly off-putting. A girl complaining about sitting in the economy instead of first class. NEXT!

By now, you have seen the calls against misogyny across the album, and it’s within reason. The toxic masculinity throughout For All The Dogs laps Future on his most sick days. Ironically, “What Would Pluto Do” is a prime example where Drake evokes the spirit of his What A Time To Be Alive friend, but it’s cringe as he attempts to tell the story of popping some Cialis in the drink of his lady for the night. In case you got lost in the single, the bars are pulled below:

Wigglin’ back into my old ways, ayy
Bunch of sedatives, hypnotics in my system, okay
Life is goin’ just how I predicted, okay
Droppin’ two Cialis in her liquid, okay

– Drake “What Would Pluto Do”

If that isn’t cringing enough, the countless runs of calling women a “bitch” throughout the album echo an inner issue that may need to be addressed.

That was song #3, which means there are 20 more tracks to go. One look at the tracklist, and you might be excited for that Sexyy Red and SZA feature on “Rich Baby Daddy.” Even this record was tough to get through. There’s only so many times you can hear the words “ass” and “coochie,” and Drake rapping about being rich isn’t impressive.

Not to mention the lead single to the project, “Slime You Out” with SZA, could have been a beautiful record — had it only been SZA’s vocals. There’s also an interlude called “BBL Love.” We’d appreciate something a little more meaningful for an artist with Drake’s platform. Even if it was “for all the dogs,” can we bring back a certain level of classiness and respect?

And when all is fails, we lean on one of Hip-Hop’s greats: J. Cole. “First Person Shooter” might be the best song of the project. J. Cole rapped his ass off… only for Drake to come in after him to weep about girls.

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