Turn to your neighbor and say, “Neighbor, what a time to be alive!”
Last night (September 20), as Jeezy opened up Sunday Service for his congregation, Future and Drake graced the
rap world with something similar, only it was in the form of a deliverance from the rap heavens, What A Time To Be Alive.
Considering all the unreleased joint albums these two have been tied to in the past, from Drizzy’sY.O.L.O. with Rick Ross to Future’s Medusa with French Montana, Alive looked more like wishful thinking than reality —and rightfully so. After all, how often do we have power-duo projects manifest in this day in age? The last project that featured two high-profile stars colliding for one project on this kind of magnitude was Jay Z and Kanye West’s epic 2011 collision, Watch the Throne. Since then, many were announced, but so few came along. So truly, What a Time to Be Alive could not have been titled any better nor could it have arrived at a better time.
With Future Hendrix doing donuts around 2015 aboard a Rolls Royce sent from Heaven and Drizzy on his eight… nine… tenth flow, still “laughing with God about how you can’t stop me,” the duo’s inescapable hold on 2015 trickles onto this bass-trembling, Xan-leivating, wealth-happy, adversary stiff-arming project that will almost certainly live on for the remainder of the year.
Although much of the rollicking 11-track project sounds like Future featuring Drake, what shines the most besides the fluid chemistry is the fact that this actually happened. Drake. Future. Two stars in the prime, putting their egos to the wayside, to create an added chapter in their respective 2015 dominance. What’s better than… ahem… what a time to be alive.
It’s way too soon to spill a ridiculous amount of ink on a breakdown of Drizzy Hendrix’s streetsweeper, but we can lay out a few early favorites. And so, here they are…
It’s usually cheating to pick an intro as an album highlight, but when we’re talking about a banger like “Digital Dash,” so be it. Metro Boomin, who is by far winning in the production category this year (and shamefully omitted from the Best Producer nomination at the BET Hip-Hop Awards) sets the tone with his concrete rattling backdrop, which allows room for Fewtch and Drizzy to moonwalk respectively. Future snaps with piercing croon-ables like, “I sit in the trap with the gangsters, you don’t come around here, cause it’s dangerous” before advising with a Nino Brown-like charm, “I sell that dope to lil mama.” Drizzy meanwhile comes in and rounds things out properly with competitive lines like “I got my foot on their nect and my foot on the gas,” all before devilishly adding, “I might take Quentin to Follies.”
Them boys get to something here. More of Metro Boomin’s, for lack of a better word, booming production creates added room for these two to leap like the Air Jordan logo. “You don’t have to call, I hit my dance like I’m Usher,” Drizzy raps, while Future drizzles the record with his digi-crooning infectiousness.
“30 For 30 Freestyle”
Over stripped-down, airy production from the one and only Noah “40” Shebib, Drizzy makes way for his signature “I just hit my eighth flow” delivery. For what could have been titled, 11 PM In Atlanta, considering Alive was created in the span of six days in the A, Drake rides on cruise control while dishing off his perspective on life.
“I just came from dinner where I ate some well done seared scallops that were to die for, but I got bigger fish to fry / I’m talking bigger s* than you and I, kids’ll lose their lives, got me scared of losing mine / And if I hold my tongue about it, I get crucified,” he raps. There’s also a few bars about the whole ghostwriter-gate. “We just ghost ride, the pen is working if you niggas need some ghost lines.” And if that wasn’t enough, he also throws in a “30 for 30” reference too. “It’s like you went on vacation with no plan of returning, s#@% is purely for sport / I need it 30 for 30, banners are ready in case we need to retire your jersey.”