Some things in life are meant to go together: Chinese food and chocolate pudding, cocaine and waffles, peanut butter and ladies. After last night, we can confirm that the Six God and Future Hendrix belong on that list.
After a run of classic mixtapes on par with Lil’ Wayne in his prime or Gucci Mane fresh out of jail combined with the release of the internet sensation DS2, the codeine crooner Future had the creative freedom to do almost whatever he wanted; Drake‘s year has been similarly successful, with the release of his surprise album If You’re Reading This It’s Too L
ate breaking Spotify’s one-week streaming record previously held by… Drake, for Nothing Was The Same.
The relationship between these two goes back to Drake’s last three tours where Future served as an opener; notably, Drizzy was also the only voice aside from Future himself to appear on the Actavis aficionado’s DS2 earlier this year for “Where Ya At“. It wasn’t exactly out of the blue to see these two join forces for a collab album.
— Brian Henle (@Bri_Hen) September 21, 2015
The audacity of the project itself is admirable, from the use of stock photo cover art to acknowledging the obvious parallels that were going to be drawn between Watch The Throne and What A Time To Be Alive. Production on the tape, which is exclusively available on Apple Music for now, is handled almost exclusively by the city of Atlanta; Metro Boomin and Southside produced or co-produced eight of the eleven tracks, with only one closing freestyle beat delegated to Drake’s not-so-secret weapon Noah “40” Shebib. This sound is the exact “trap” music that Future has built his signature style around so it’s not a shock that for the most part the “OVO Sound” takes a back seat to the influence of the bando no matter how many times the “OVO Sound Radio” tag drops. “Diamonds Dancing” simultaneously manages to sound like a track title on the mixtape that your high school drug dealer put out while also giving fans a wet dream fusion of the sounds of the Six and ATL (it’s worth noting that Frank Dukes and Allan Ritter, both of whom worked on NWTS, co-produced this with Young Metro).
” src=”http://s.w.org/images/core/emoji/72×72/1f48e.png”> A photo posted by Leland Spielberg (@metroboomin) on
“Plastic Bag” is another example of what a perfect marriage of the headlining artists’ sounds could have been throughout the tape, with Drizzy telling his latest woman to “get a plastic bag/go ahead and pick up all the cash/ you danced all night/ you deserve it”. For the most part though, this mixtape/album is dominated by the sounds of Magic City and Zone 6 with song titles like “I’m The Plug” and “Live From The Gutter”.
This is not to say that this is by any means a bad mixtape; if you go in with the expectation that you’re going to get two kings of the rap game blowing off steam together, you’re undoubtedly going to enjoy this tape. “Change Locations” to “Jumpman” to “Jersey” into Drake’s “30 for 30 Freestyle” might be the strongest four track lineup to drop so far this year.
You can listen to What A Time To Be Alive on Apple Music here.