You know the drill by now, whenever a big record drops, we do a Heat Check to get the pulse of the (online) hip-hop community and see how we everyone is feeling about said release.
Of course Drake being Drake, we've been gifted the 6 God EP three pack of songs, a three track platter, on this casual Saturday evening. It might be three songs, but the Heat Check formula still works, so let's break it down track by track shall we?
We will rate each record as "Hotter Than Rick Ross In A Volcano," "Lukewarm," or "Colder Than Amber Rose's Head In Winter." Lets go!
My Lord! People still don't think Drake can rap?! If you listen to the other two, more R&B-driven records before the title track, you'd assume the entire EP was a soulful, soft session, but then the beat from Boi-1da and Syk Sense kicks in and...
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Fuck me sideways! This shit right here? I missed my Saturday workout to recap this new Drake, but this record is all the cardio I need today. It's amazing to me how Drake can switch up his style so drastically and have the end result be just as powerful. Going from "Heat of The Moment" (see below) to "6 God" is a huge leap, but Drake does both records so well that it's not difficult as a listener to make the transition. Of all the "look I can rap too" songs (see "Draft Day" and "0 to 100") that he has released to-date, "6 God" is by far the most convincing offering. I was hoping to take some shots at Tyga to see if this new "beef" was real, but I didn't hear anything outright (maybe that "Nobody really likes us but us" line?). There is plenty here to enjoy with out having to resort to over-analyzing lyrics to find digs at Tyga. I'd rather do my turn-up dance instead. FIRE!!
If my memory serves me correctly, this is the first, pure R&B, sing-songy Drake cut we have had in a while; he's been rapping his ass of lately, but hasn't been singing that much. He isn't Usher, but you forgot how good he really is on that side of the ledger; this cut is exceptional. Where on "How Bout Now" (see below) Drake's vibe is quite lackluster, on "Heat" his energy feels just right. Say what you want about his rapping, but there is no question that the man can croon the undies off a nun. I don't normally go for these pure, R&B tunes, but there is a lot of foundational flavor here. From Drake's engaging lyrics to the presentation, and the creamy, under-water-synth beat from 40, it's quality through and through. Also, I love the window dressing with that girl and the phone call at the end; it's a really great addition and makes the song feel less recorded and more performed. Still, unlike "How Bout Now", Drake is the star here; he absolsoutely takes over.
I already presented my thoughts on this record when it leaked last weekend, but now that it's officially out I'll officially say I'm lukewarm. Honestly, it sounds like Drake mailed this one in. He's not really singing nor his he rapping; he's just kind of talking. I like the change up in terms of content - normally it's Drake being all hung up about a break up but here he's rubbing his millions of dollars in her face - but the presentation is Häagen-Dazs vanilla. The only thing that saves this record is its production. The Jodeci flip by Boi-1da and Jordan Evans is the lasting take away from the whole song. I'd rather just have that instrumental.
Overall, for a three-pack of free records, this selection is pretty dope. Needless to say, there are not very many artists who have the ability to casually release a handful of records on a late Saturday afternoon and move the needle. At all. I mean, all of these records could have (and still might be) on upcoming album Views From the 6 and nobody would bat an eye, but for Drake they're throwaways. Hate him or love him, you have to admire that.
Now, let the Drake hating commence...
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is “College Dropout,” but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth.]