It feels like years since he promised to have "spring 2015 poppin" and actually over six months since he left us with the words: “It’ll be January in no time.” After much waiting, anticipation, and relentless If You're Reading This It's Too Late playbacks, Drake’s hugely-awaited fourth studio album, Views From the 6 is finally near.
To think, the starpower he possessed three years ago on Nothing Was the Same, falls short in comparison to where the OVO Sound captain is at in this moment of his career. He's inked a multi-million dollar deal with Apple Music. He's the Global Ambassador for the Toronto Raptors. He's the man who shattered The Beatles for most Hot 100 singles. Really, the guy is a walking phenomenon at this point. In 2014, he dominated the year without an album. In 2015, he did it all again, but with two hit albums. Now, the world and rap pundits await what Drake can pull off with Views, which comes at a time where he has all the momentum in the world — and that's no exaggeration.
So as the wait ensues, we put a timeline together of everything leading up to Drizzy's hotly-anticipated deliverable.
October 28, 2013: Drake teases vault of unreleased material. “I’m ready to go again,” Drake told REVOLT back in October 2013. The “Started From the Bottom” rapper had just released Nothing Was the Same the month prior, but in the noted chat, he expressed interest in dropping more music. “I got a lot of records that aren’t out yet. We got crazy joints.” Two months later, he would release an end-of-December hard drive dump of “We Made It,” “Trophies” and YG’s “Who Do You Love.”
April 1, 2014: Just days after unofficial October's Very Own member Johnny Manziel's NFL Pro Day, Drizzy dropped a new song seemingly dedicated to the young star, titled "Draft Day." This would be one of several releases from the OVO captain, who asks on the same track, “How the game turned into Drake show?”
April 3, 2014: Following up his buzz-getting and controversy-starting "Draft Day," Drake returns with another new track (in just two days) with "Days In The East," which he threw up on his Soundcloud page around his normal owl hours. Revisiting the vibes of his Take Care album, Drizzy coos about a mysterious love (#HiRihanna).
June 1, 2014: Drake teases Spring 2015 release for new album on another new song, “0 to 100 / The Catch Up.” While announcing the OVO 2015 release schedule, he hints, “We already have Spring 2015 popping / PND dropping … not to mention, me dropping.”
July 15, 2014: After warming up the spring with new material, Drake’s new album is revealed by Billboard as Views From the 6. The publication also makes mention that Drake "hasn't even begun recording his fourth album in earnest."
August 6, 2014: Following rumors about “The 6” symbolizing Rihanna as the devil, Drake hops on Twitter to shoot down the speculation and also formally announce the new album title.
My album title is VIEWS FROM THE 6. The 6 is Toronto. Rih is a great girl who I know is about to kill this tour with Eminem. It's all love!!— Drizzy (@Drake) August 6, 2014
October 25, 2014: After springing a few leaks, Drake gifted fans with a three-song splurge of new music during his birthday weekend. Kicking off the campaign for Views From the 6 was the release of "6 God," "How Bout Now" and "Heat of the Moment.”
February 13, 2015: Falling six years (emphasis on the number “6”) on the anniversary of So Far Gone, Drake drops the online surprise If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late. The retail mixtape quickly charts on the Billboard Hot 100 and pulls a stunning 535,000 copies in first week sales. Six months later, it would earn a platinum certification for sales over a million units.
April 2015: In a Four Pins (now defunct) profile written by Ernest Baker, Drake discloses a few details about the new album. There is word about a collaboration with Beyoncé that was recorded “a while ago” and a song “he expects to inspire a paradigm shift.”
May 21, 2015: A few Drake songs leak, including the Beyoncé collaboration “Can I” and a Tinashe-featured number titled “On A Wave.”
July 5, 2015: Drake teases Willow Smith cooperation on the new album.
July 25, 2015: Responding to taunting from Meek Mill regarding ghostwriting allegations, Drake releases “Charged Up.” In addition to the response, he drops “Hotline Bling” and “Right Hand.”
July 29, 2015: Drake follows up “Charged Up” with “Back to Back,” a song that would go on to shoot to the top of the iTunes charts and later earn a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance. In the song’s closer, he famously raps, “I just took a break from Views, now it’s back to that.”
September 20, 2015: After several rumors, Drake and Future surprise the world with their straight-to-iTunes collaborative album, What A Time To Be Alive.
September 25, 2015: In a rare interview with The Fader, Drake speaks on Views and his chemistry with longtime collaborator, producer, and friend Noah “40” Shebib. "We’ve grown a lot over the years,” Drake said of 40. "He used to be the guy that would track me in hotel rooms at 4 a.m. And now he is not that guy — I have another guy that does that... If I want to make the album I want to make, I have to go find him. I have to go sit with him, and we have to really put in effort."
October 3, 2015: Drake officially releases “Can I” featuring Beyoncé on his OVO Sound Beats 1 show on Apple Music.
October 15, 2015: Drake talks to W Magazine and gives a hint about his goals moving forward. “I love pressure! I’m always thinking, How do I top what I’ve done? How do I make this thing stronger? I ask myself, “Why does Adele’s album go diamond, and how do I do that? How do I create art that makes minds stretch further?” I want to give many, many people many, many moments before I’m gone. That’s truly the art of what I do. It’s the only goal.”
November 19, 2015: As the wait ensues, Drake teases an unreleased song on Vine.
November 23, 2015: In an interview with NYMag’s culture site Vulture, Timbaland was asked about his involvement in Views and to that, he replied “I could be.”
January 8, 2016: Noah “40” Shebib hints at the existence of Views via an Instagram clip that features a folder named “VIEWS.”
January 14, 2016: Boi-1da hints at involvement on Views in an interview with Noisey. “Just bringing that same energy that I always bring,” he says. “Those moments that everyone loves. The huge 100 bar “6PM in Toronto” moments, “Energy,” “10 Bands,” “Up All Night.” Those are the moments that I always come with and that's basically what I’m trying to bring to the table.”
January 30, 2016: Drake premieres “Summer Sixteen” on his OVO Sound Radio Show on Beats 1. He announces an April release for Views.
February 10, 2016: With NBA All-Star Weekend underway in Toronto, Drizzy takes some time to release a short teaser for his album - this time soundtracked by his infamous “R.I.C.O.” collaboration with Meek Mill.
February 16, 2016: Drake sends the following cryptic tweet:
And on the off chance that Metro Boomin doesn't trust you...well...— Drizzy (@Drake) February 16, 2016
February 21, 2016: Drake’s right hand Noah “40” Shebib talks to New York Times about the new album and describes the direction with giving out too much information. “After ‘Nothing Was the Same,’ Drake was like, ‘I want to do a rap project,’” 40 reveals. “He wanted to do what all the other rappers get to do.” But that approach is “a thing we can’t do that much on a Drake album… We have other fans we need to satisfy.”
Later he notes, “It’s going to be what everybody expects and wants from Drake and from us.”
March 16, 2016: As several billboards pop up throughout Toronto, Drake confirms _Views From the 6 _will arrive in April.
March 20, 2016: Drake headlines surprise concert at Fader Fort for SXSW. Before leaving the stage, he confirmed Views would arrive in April. After the show, he would appear on PartyNextDoor’s latest single “Come and See Me.”
March 29, 2016: The album Views experiences more leaks as records like “Controlla” (ft. Popcaan), “These Days,” and later “Faithful” (ft. Pimp C) arrive online.
April 5, 2016: With April in full swing, Drake releases two new singles for the album: “Pop Style” featuring Kanye West and Jay Z and “One Dance” with Wizkid and Kyla. Both singles have since reached the Top 25 mark on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No. 16 and 21 respectively.
April 9, 2016: After much anticipation, Drake announces an April 29 release for Views From the 6. "I'm happy to let you know that Views is dropping April 29," the “Pop Style” rapper announced on OVO Sound Radio. "It's something that I've been working really, really hard on." Later he goes, "I promise you that you'll have your full share of Drake music for the summer and for the year and forever."