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Views is the fourth studio album by Canadian rapper Drake. It was released on April 29, 2016,[6] by Cash Money Records, Republic Records and Young Money Entertainment. Recording sessions took place from 2015 to 2016, with both Drake and his longtime collaborator and record producer 40 serving as the record's executive producers. 40 also primarily handled the production on the album alongside each of these several other record producers such as Nineteen85, Maneesh Bidaye, Kanye West, and Jordan Ullman, among others. The album contains the elements of genres such as R&B, dancehall, hip hop and pop, among others.

Views
Drake - Views cover.jpg
Studio album by Drake
ReleasedApril 29, 2016 (2016-04-29)
Recorded2015–2016[1]
Studio
  • The Connaught Hotel, London, UK[2]
  • CR3, Toronto, ON
  • S.O.T.A., Toronto, ON
  • Sandra Gale Studio, Yolo Estate, CA
  • Triangle, Atlanta, GA
Genre
Length81:14
Label
Producer
Drake chronology
What a Time to Be Alive
(2015)
Views
(2016)
More Life
(2017)
Singles from Views
  1. "Hotline Bling"
    Released: July 31, 2015
  2. "One Dance"
    Released: April 5, 2016
  3. "Pop Style"
    Released: April 5, 2016
  4. "Controlla"
    Released: June 7, 2016
  5. "Too Good"
    Released: July 26, 2016

The album was supported by five singles: "Hotline Bling", "One Dance", "Pop Style",[7] "Controlla", and "Too Good". Views was met with lukewarm reviews from critics, many of whom found it to be an overlong retread of Drake's previous work. Despite this, it spent 13 non-consecutive weeks at number one on the US Billboard 200. Views became the first album to accumulate one-billion streams on Apple Music.[8] The album was certified quadruple Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Views was nominated for Album of the Year and Best Rap Album at the 59th Grammy Awards. As of April 2018, Views sold 1.73 million copies and a total of 5.41 million album-equivalent units in the United States.

Contents

BackgroundEdit

The album's title was first announced as Views from the 6, as it first appeared from a report in a July 2014 article from Billboard.[9] According to Drake on Twitter, "the 6" is a reference to his hometown of Toronto, Ontario. On April 29, 2016, it was revealed that the title had been shortened to Views.[10] The cover artwork for Views was released via Drake's Twitter account on April 24, 2016, which features Drake sitting atop the CN Tower in Toronto. The fact that Drake was significantly larger than life-size on the cover was widely discussed,[11][12] and CN Tower's Twitter account later confirmed it to be photoshopped.[13] The album cover and booklet were shot by Toronto-based photographer Caitlin Cronenberg.[14]

PromotionEdit

Drake premiered a single, titled "Summer Sixteen" through OVO Sound Radio on January 30, 2016. The track was produced by 40, Boi-1da and Cubeatz. The song contains a slowed-down sample of "Glass Tubes" performed by Brian Bennett.[15] The cover art was designed by Filip Pągowski, who was a creator of the Comme des Garçons logo.[16] The song peaked at number six on the US Billboard Hot 100, selling 215,000 copies in its first week, making it the highest debut sales of Drake's career.[17] As of March 27, 2016, the single sold 358,000 copies in the United States.[18]

On April 4, 2016, the album was initially teased in London.[19][20] On April 9, Drake released a trailer for Views on Twitter.[10] Drake opened the "pop-up" stores, giving away free black and white T-shirts with "Views" written on the front. According to 40, mixes for the clean versions were finished, as well as having all sample clearances and credits finalized.[21] On April 26, Drake revealed that Views would include 20 or more songs than any of his previous albums, excluding the bonus tracks.[22] After his last "pop-up" store stop in his home city of Toronto, Drake released the album's cover artwork on social media. On April 29, the album premiered on Apple Music's OVO Sound Radio, following his interview with Beats 1's radio host Zane Lowe, and then released on both Apple Music and iTunes exclusively,[23] followed by a release on to other digital retailers and a physical release a week later, and a release on to other streaming services a week after that. On May 14, Drake was the host and musical guest on an episode of Saturday Night Live, where he sang "One Dance" and "Hype".[24] On September 26, Drake released a short film on Apple Music, titled "Please Forgive Me", which features several songs from Views.[25]

CompositionEdit

The album marks Drake's first full foray into Jamaican dancehall music,[26][27] after having previously explored the genre in his 2015 mixtape, If You're Reading This It's Too Late.[28] Of the five singles released from Views, three were primarily dancehall songs ("One Dance", "Controlla" and "Too Good"),[29] while elements of dancehall were seen throughout the rest of the album, as in "9" which sampled "Dying" by Jamaican singer Mavado.

SinglesEdit

"Hotline Bling" was released as the album's lead single on July 31, 2015, the track was produced by Nineteen85.[30] Despite the song being released as the official lead single for Views, "Hotline Bling" was included as the bonus track on the album.[31]

 
Nigerian Afrobeat artist Wizkid was involved in the writing and production of "One Dance"

"One Dance" was released as the album's second single on April 5, 2016.[32] The song features guest appearances from Nigerian singer Wizkid and British singer Kyla. Wizkid also co-wrote and co-produced the track. Nineteen85 also produced the song, with co-production by DJ Maphorisa and Drake's longtime collaborator 40.[33]

"Pop Style" was released as the album's third single on April 5, 2016.[34] The song features guest appearances from American hip hop duo The Throne (composed of rappers Kanye West and Jay-Z), while the production was handed by Sevn Thomas and Frank Dukes, with additional production by Drake's longtime collaborator Boi-1da, alongside 40. Upon the release, Drake removed The Throne's verses, and then re-recorded his own verses as a part of their replacement verses to this track.[35]

"Controlla" was released as the album's fourth single in the United States on June 7, 2016.[36] The song was produced by Boi-1da, with co-production by Supa Dups and Allen Ritter, with additional production by Di Genius. The leaked version features a guest appearance from Jamaican dancehall artist Popcaan.[37]

"Too Good" was released as the album's fifth single on July 26, 2016.[38] The song features a guest appearance from Barbadian singer Rihanna, while the production was handled by Nineteen85, with additional production by Supa Dups.

Other songsEdit

In August 2014, a one-minute-long snippet, titled "Views from the Six" was leaked online.[39] The snippet features a verse by Drake over the instrumental, which was later used for the second half of the track, titled "U With Me?". However, the lyrics rapped were changed completely. In few weeks before the album's release, two other tracks were also leaked online: "Faithful" featuring Pimp C, and "Controlla" featuring Popcaan. Both of these tracks were included on the album, however, with these changes with additional verse by Dvsn was added to "Faithful" and Popcaan's verse was removed from "Controlla". On September 24, 2016, an extended version of "Faithful" with two additional verses from Dvsn was premiered on OVO Sound Radio.[40] After the release of Views, it was revealed that American rapper Lil Wayne was initially featured on the song, called "Hype".[41] On May 21, 2016, the version featuring Lil Wayne, premiered on OVO Sound Radio.[42] On February 17, 2017, Future premiered an extended cut of the song "Grammys" with additional verse from himself on his radio show, Freebandz Radio.[43]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AnyDecentMusic?6.7/10[44]
Metacritic69/100[45]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [46]
The A.V. ClubB−[47]
The Daily Telegraph     [48]
Entertainment WeeklyB[49]
The Guardian     [50]
NME4/5[51]
The Observer     [52]
Pitchfork6.8/10[53]
Rolling Stone     [54]
Spin7/10[55]

Views received lukewarm reviews from critics.[56] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 69, based on 31 reviews.[45] Many reviewers found it overlong and lacking in a cohesive theme, while claiming Drake was not challenging himself artistically;[57] according to MTV's Meghan Garvey, the unenthusiastic response to the record may have been attributed to Drake's "unwillingness (or inability) to significantly evolve beyond his time-tested signature sound, clinging to the comfort of the same frosty 40 beats, zingy aphorisms, and perennial trust issues".[56] Reviewing Views in The New York Times, Jon Caramanica said Drake's "emotional excavations aren't as striking as they were a few years ago, when they had the sting of the new to them."[58] In The A.V. Club, Evan Rytlewski argued that he had "done this before and done it better", describing the album as "too long and stubbornly low energy".[47] Neil McCormick wrote in The Daily Telegraph that in spite of some evocative production and Drake's impressive rapping skills, his continued "navel gazing" demonstrated a lack of emotional maturity and insight.[48] Andy Gill of The Independent was more critical, panning the album as "utterly wearying and unpersuasive" while declaring that "rarely has one man moaned quite so much about so little."[59]

Alexis Petridis wrote a largely positive review in The Guardian, arguing that Views "offers a lengthy inventory of miseries, cleverly offset by a sly sense of humour and eclectic sound". He deemed it "compelling evidence that this is the defining pop artist of the moment".[50] In The Observer, Kitty Empire found the lyrical and production detail "pin-sharp",[52] and Mojo wrote that the overly introspective themes were redeemed by Drake's nimble flow and clever sense of humor.[60] NME journalist Nick Levine said his "signature brand of downbeat introspection remains gripping".[51] Los Angeles Times critic Mikael Wood wrote that the record "sets his harshest thoughts about women against the prettiest, most sensual music he's ever made", featuring a number of "deeply beautiful tracks" that "further dismantles whatever barrier was left between rap and R&B following Drake's earlier albums".[61]

AccoladesEdit

Publication List Rank Ref.
Billboard Best Albums of 2016
17
The Guardian The best albums of 2016
20
The New York Times The Best Albums of 2016 (Jon Caramanica)
10
NME NME's Albums of the Year 2016
17
HotNewHipHop Hottest 20 Albums of 2016
20
People Top 10 Albums of 2016
5
Rolling Stone 50 Best Albums of 2016
42
Vibe The 25 Best Albums of 2016
9

AwardsEdit

Commercial performanceEdit

In Drake's home country of Canada, Views sold 110,000 album-equivalent units, and sold 92,000 .[72] In the United States, Views debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, with 1.04 million album-equivalent units, selling 852,000 copies in its first week of release, and achieving over 245 million streams (despite the album, with the exclusion of its singles released at the time, only available to stream on Apple Music for the first two weeks), more than previous record 115.2 million by Beyoncé's Lemonade (despite that album only available to stream on Tidal).[73] It is the biggest debut since Adele's 25 collected 1.19 million units in its fifth week of release (week ending December 24, 2015).[74] The last album by a male artist to post a bigger pure album sales week was Justin Timberlake's The 20/20 Experience when it debuted with 968,000 copies sold in the week ending March 24, 2013.[74] Views became Drake's sixth consecutive number-one album (fifth as solo artist) on the Billboard 200 and largest sales week.[75] In the year of 2016, it accumulated 4.14 million equivalent album units, of which 1.6 million were pure sales, ranking as the second best-selling album of the year in pure sales and best-selling including equivalent albums, and his best-selling album to date.[76]

In the United Kingdom, the album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, with 78,000 sales, becoming Drake's first number-one on that chart.[77] With Views, Drake also joined Adele, Michael Bublé and Taylor Swift as the only artists in the 2010s decade to have an album remain at number one on the Billboard 200 for six consecutive weeks.[78] Overall, Views has attained one billion streams in the United States, according to his record label.[79] As of April 2018, Views has sold 1.73 million recognized copies and a total of 5.41 million album-equivalent units in the United States.[80]

Every single song from Views charted in the Billboard 100 during its debut week, meaning Drake held 20 songs on the chart.[81] As a result, he broke the record for most songs on the Billboard 100 simultaneously.[82] He would later go on to break his own record twice, once through More Life in 2017, and again through Scorpion in 2018.[83] Several of its songs on the album also went Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).[84]

Track listingEdit

Credits were adapted from the album's liner notes.[85][2]

Digital download / streaming[6]
No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Keep the Family Close"
Bidaye5:28
2."9"4:15
3."U with Me?"
4:57
4."Feel No Ways"
4:00
5."Hype"
3:29
6."Weston Road Flows"
4:13
7."Redemption"405:33
8."With You" (featuring PartyNextDoor)
3:15
9."Faithful" (featuring Pimp C and Dvsn)
4:50
10."Still Here"
  • Graham
  • Shebib
  • Dwayne Carter
3:09
11."Controlla"
4:05
12."One Dance" (featuring Wizkid and Kyla)
2:54
13."Grammys" (featuring Future)
3:40
14."Childs Play"
  • Graham
  • Shebib
  • Leland Wayne
  • Mark Morales
  • Darren Robinson
  • Damon Wimbley
4:01
15."Pop Style"
3:32
16."Too Good" (featuring Rihanna)
  • Nineteen85
  • Supa Dups[b]
4:23
17."Summers Over Interlude"Bidaye1:46
18."Fire & Desire"
3:58
19."Views"
  • Graham
  • Bidaye
  • Samuels
  • Aion Clarke
5:11
20."Hotline Bling" (bonus track)
Nineteen854:27
Total length:81:14

Track notes

  • ^[a] signifies a co-producer
  • ^[b] signifies an additional producer
  • ^[c] signifies an uncredited co-producer
  • "Keep the Family Close" features background vocals by Filbert Assibo-Dadzie, Sabrina Galmo and Aion "Voyce" Clarke
  • "9" features additional background vocals by Jelleestone
  • "U with Me?" features additional background vocals by Divine Brown and PartyNextDoor
  • "Feel No Ways" features background vocals by Daniel Daley
  • "Hype" features background vocals by James McMorrow and additional background vocals by Baka
  • "Redemption" features background vocals by Darhyl " Hey DJ" Camper, Jr.
  • "With You" features background vocals by Jeremih
  • "Faithful" features background vocals by Darhyl "Hey DJ" Camper, Jr.
  • "Controlla" features background vocals by Beenie Man
  • "Too Good" features background vocals by Beverly Crandon
  • "Summers Over Interlude" features vocals by Majid Al Maskati
  • "Views" features background vocals by Aion "Voyce" Clarke
  • The bonus track "Hotline Bling" appears on all versions of the album.

Sample credits

  • "9" contains a sample of "Dying", performed by Mavado featuring Serani.
  • "U with Me?" contains a sample of "What These Bitches Want"; and contains an interpolation of "How's It Goin' Down", performed by DMX; and an interpolation of "Views from the 6", performed by Drake.
  • "Weston Road Flows" contains a sample of "Mary's Joint", performed by Mary J. Blige.
  • "One Dance" contains a sample of "Do You Mind (Crazy Cousins Remix)", performed by Paleface featuring Kyla.
  • "Feel No Ways" contains a sample of "World's Famous", performed by Malcolm McLaren.
  • "Redemption" contains a sample of "One Wish", performed by Ray J.
  • "Faithful" contains samples of "Get Gone", performed by Ideal; and "Tom Ford (Remix)", performed by Jay-Z featuring Pimp C.
  • "Controlla" contains a sample of "Tear Off Mi Garment", performed by Beenie Man.
  • "Childs Play" contains a sample of "Rode That Dick Like a Soldier", performed by Ha-Sizzle.
  • "Too Good" contains a sample of "Love Yuh Bad", performed by Popcaan.
  • "Fire & Desire" contains a sample of "I Dedicate (Part I, II, & III)", performed by Brandy.
  • "Views" contains a sample of "The Question Is", performed by The Winans.
  • "Hotline Bling" contains a sample of "Why Can't We Live Together", performed by Timmy Thomas.

PersonnelEdit

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes.[85]

Production

  • 40 – production (2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19)
  • Axlfolie – production (3)
  • The Beat Bully – production (5)
  • Murda Beatz – production (8)
  • Maneesh Bidaye – production (1, 10, 17, 19)
  • Boi-1da – production (2, 5, 9, 11, 19)
  • Metro Boomin – production (14)
  • Cardo – production (13)
  • Cubeatz – production (5)
  • Daxz – production (10)
  • DJ Dahi – production (3)
  • Frank Dukes – production (15)
  • Supa Dups – production (11, 16)
  • Yung Exclusive – production (13)
  • Di Genius – production (11)
  • Hagler – production (18)
  • Jordan Lewis – production (18)
  • DJ Maphorisa – production (12)
  • Martin Mason – production (18)
  • Brian Morgan – production (2)
  • Nineteen85 – production (5, 9, 12, 16, 20)
  • OZ – production (3)
  • Ricci Riera – production (3)
  • Allen Ritter – production (11)
  • Southside – production (13)
  • Stwo – production (6)
  • Jordan Ullman – production (4, 14)
  • Vinylz – production (3)
  • Kanye West – production (3, 4)
  • Wizkid – production (12)

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[136] Gold 35,000^
Austria (IFPI Austria)[137] Gold 7,500*
Canada (Music Canada)[138] 6× Platinum 480,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[139] 3× Platinum 60,000^
France (SNEP)[140] Platinum 100,000*
Germany (BVMI)[141] Gold 100,000^
Mexico (AMPROFON)[142] Platinum+Gold 90,000^
Poland (ZPAV)[143] Gold 10,000*
Sweden (GLF)[144] 2× Platinum 80,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[145] Platinum 410,000[146]
United States (RIAA)[147] 4× Platinum 4,000,000 

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
 sales+streaming figures based on certification alone

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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