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What a Time to Be Alive

What a Time to Be Alive is a collaborative commercial mixtape by Canadian rapper Drake and American rapper Future. It was released on September 20, 2015, by Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records, Republic Records, OVO Sound, Epic Records, A1 Records and Freebandz. What a Time to Be Alive was supported by Drake and Future's previous collaboration on the single "Where Ya At". As friends, they originally planned to record a mixtape together earlier in the year; the project never fully materialized. However, during recording sessions for "Where Ya At", the duo began working on the project, beginning in July. The mixtape was extensively produced by Metro Boomin, as well as also being produced by Southside, Boi-1da and 40, among others.[2] It was released on the iTunes Store and Apple Music, and debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200.[3]

What a Time to Be Alive
Drake and Future - What a Time to Be Alive cover.jpg
Mixtape by Drake and Future
ReleasedSeptember 20, 2015
Recorded2015
Studio
  • Chalice, Los Angeles, CA
  • Tree Sound, Atlanta, GA
Genre
Length40:30
Label
Producer
Drake chronology
If You're Reading This It's Too Late
(2015)
What a Time to Be Alive
(2015)
Views
(2016)
Future chronology
DS2
(2015)
What a Time to Be Alive
(2015)
Purple Reign
(2016)
Singles from What a Time to Be Alive
  1. "Jumpman"
    Released: November 10, 2015

Contents

Release, packaging and promotionEdit

The mixtape was first teased by a range of sources; including DJ Skee, Angela Yee and Ernest Baker, and this project was officially announced on Drake's Instagram on September 19, 2015, when he revealed the mixtape's release date and cover art.[4][5][6]

The artwork is a stock image that was purchased from Shutterstock.[7]

Drake and Future premiered the album on Beats 1 on OVO Sound's "OVO Sound Radio" show on September 20, 2015, and weeks after it was released on the iTunes Store and Apple Music.[8][9]

The Summer Sixteen Tour by Drake was made to support this mixtape.[10]

Critical receptionEdit

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
Metacritic70/100[11]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic     [12]
Billboard     [13]
Entertainment WeeklyC−[14]
NME4/5[15]
The Observer     [16]
Pitchfork7.0/10[17]
Q     [18]
Rolling Stone     [19]
Spin7/10[20]
XXL4/5[21]

What a Time to Be Alive received generally positive reviews from music critics. The album received a normalized metascore of 70 out of 100 on the review aggregate website Metacritic based on 24 critics.[11] Billboard described Drake and Future's chemistry as expected and said "Future deals with personal demons that he tries, and fails, to drown in drugs; Drake is mostly about insecurities and lesser gravity".[13] Rolling Stone gave the album 3.5 out of 5 stars, attributing the "fresh and spontaneous" feel to the quick production of the album, where "both artists [are] playing off their louder-than-life personalities without overthinking the details."[19] However, Sheldon Pearce in a Pitchfork review suggests that this limited time-frame for making the album is the sonic downfall of the mixtape arguing that the album "wasn't created with the care or the dutiful curation we've come to expect from both artists when solo."[17]

In a mixed review, Sheldon Pearce of Pitchfork criticizes the "decided lack of chemistry between these two," because "they have difficulty sharing the same space" when on the same song.[17] Pearce goes on to highlight how Future's presence, both in content and persona, is much more prevalent than Drake's, where the latter appears to be a "bystander" and "out of his element."[17] Yet, he highlights moments where the collaboration works most effectively. In "Scholarships", Drake "throws Future the perfect alley-oop," "Jumpman" is a banger, and "Diamonds Dancing" is the first track between the two artists that "clicks on all cylinders."[17] Additionally, Pearce lauds the production by Metro Boomin as "glimmering" and hails both rappers when they are able to work on their own and make music in their respective comfort zones in songs like Future's "Jersey" and Drake's "30 for 30 Freestyle".[17]

Complex said about Drake verses; "despite a corny bar here or there, Drake sounds way more energized with much better flows."[22] Entertainment Weekly was disappointed with Drake on the album, quoting "despite a beat by Drake whisperer Noah "40" Shebib, the album-closing "30 For 30 Freestyle" doesn't come near clearing the admittedly high bar Drake has set for himself in 2015."[14]

Commercial performanceEdit

What a Time to Be Alive debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200, with 375,000 album-equivalent units; it sold 334,000 copies in its first week, with the remainder of its unit count representing the album's streaming activity and track sales during the tracking week.[3] It became both Drake and Future's second albums to chart at number one on the Billboard 200 in 2015 (If You're Reading This It's Too Late and DS2, respectively).[3] In its second week it sold 65,000 copies.[23] As of January 27, 2016, What a Time to Be Alive has sold 519,000 copies in the United States.[24] The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for combined sales and album-equivalent units of over a million units.[citation needed]

Track listingEdit

Credits adapted from the album's liner notes and Tidal.[25][26]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Digital Dash"3:51
2."Big Rings"
  • Graham
  • Wilburn
  • Wayne
Metro Boomin3:37
3."Live from the Gutter"
3:31
4."Diamonds Dancing"
5:14
5."Scholarships"
  • Graham
  • Wilburn
  • Wayne
Metro Boomin3:29
6."Plastic Bag"
Neenyo3:22
7."I'm the Plug"
  • Graham
  • Wilburn
  • Luellen
  • Southside
3:00
8."Change Locations"
  • Graham
  • Wilburn
  • Noël
  • Noël
3:40
9."Jumpman"
  • Wilburn
  • Wayne
  • Graham
Metro Boomin3:25
10."Jersey" (performed by Future)
  • Wilburn
  • Wayne
  • Luellen
  • Metro Boomin
  • Southside
3:08
11."30 for 30 Freestyle" (performed by Drake)4:13
Total length:40:30

Notes

  • "30 for 30 Freestyle" features background vocals by Kyle Machado

PersonnelEdit

Credits adapted from album's liner notes and Tidal.[25][26]

Musicians

  • Maneesh – piano, keyboards (tracks 3, 6)

Technical

  • Eric Manco – recording (tracks 1–5, 7–9)
  • Seth Firkins – recording (track 6)
  • James Kang – recording (track 10)
  • Miguel Scott – recording assistance (tracks 1–9, 11)
  • Noel "Gadget" Campbell – mixing (tracks 1–9, 11)
  • Noah "40" Shebib – mixing (tracks 1–9, 11)
  • Metro Boomin – mixing (track 10)
  • Les Bateman – mixing assistance (tracks 1–9, 11)
  • Greg Moffett – mixing assistance (tracks 1–9, 11)
  • Harley Arsenault – mixing assistance (tracks 1–9, 11)
  • Noel Cadastre – engineering (tracks 1–9, 11)
  • Chris Athens – mastering (all tracks)
  • Dave Huffman – mastering assistance (all tracks)

ChartsEdit

CertificationsEdit

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Canada (Music Canada)[49] Platinum 80,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[50] Gold 10,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[51] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[52] Platinum 1,000,000 

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

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Drake & Future's 'What A Time To Be Alive' Mixtape Is a Perfectly Timed Victory Lap: Album Review". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  2. ^ "Metro Boomin Explains How 'What A Time To Be Alive' Came Together". Complex.
  3. ^ a b c "Drake and Future's Surprise Album Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard.
  4. ^ HipHopDX (September 19, 2015). "Drake Confirms "What A Time To Be Alive" Project With Future & Sets Release Date". HipHopDX.
  5. ^ "DJ Skee on Twitter". Twitter.
  6. ^ "ernest baker on Twitter". Twitter.
  7. ^ Karizza Sanchez. "Drake And Future Used A Stock Image For Their 'It Never Happened' Album Cover". Complex UK.
  8. ^ Brodsky, Rachel (September 20, 2015). "Download Drake and Future's 'What a Time to Be Alive' Right Now". Spin. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  9. ^ "What a Time To Be Alive". iTunes. September 20, 2015. Retrieved September 20, 2015.
  10. ^ "Drake and Future Announce Summer Sixteen Tour - Pitchfork". pitchfork.com.
  11. ^ a b "Reviews for What a Time to Be Alive [Mixtape] by Drake & Future". Metacritic. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  12. ^ Jeffries, David. "What a Time to Be Alive – Drake / Future". AllMusic. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  13. ^ a b Ex, Kris (September 21, 2015). "Drake & Future's 'What a Time to Be Alive' Mixtape is a Perfectly Timed Victory Lap: Album Review". Billboard. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  14. ^ a b Anderson, Kyle (September 22, 2015). "What a Time To Be Alive by Drake & Future: EW review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  15. ^ Bassett, Jordan (September 22, 2015). "Drake and Future – 'What A Time To Be Alive'". NME. Archived from the original on September 23, 2015. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  16. ^ Thompson, Ben (October 11, 2015). "Drake and Future: What a Time to Be Alive review – a dynamic pairing". The Observer. Retrieved December 18, 2016.
  17. ^ a b c d e f Pearce, Sheldon (September 23, 2015). "Drake / Future: What a Time to Be Alive". Pitchfork. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  18. ^ Yates, Steve (December 2015). "Mix and Match". Q (353): 107.
  19. ^ a b Sheffield, Rob (September 24, 2015). "What a Time to Be Alive". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  20. ^ Ramirez, Matthew (September 22, 2015). "Review: Drake and Future Define 2015 Rap for Better and Worse on 'What a Time to Be Alive'". Spin. Retrieved September 24, 2015.
  21. ^ Rys, Dan (September 22, 2015). "Drake and Future Shine Bright on 'What A Time To Be Alive'". XXL. Retrieved October 3, 2015.
  22. ^ Frazier Tharpe. "Drake and Future 'What a Time to Be Alive' Review - Complex". Complex.
  23. ^ Kyles, Yohance (October 5, 2015). "Drake & Future's 'WATTBA' Suffers One Of The Worst Sales Drops In Hip Hop History". AllHipHop. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  24. ^ Smith, Trevor (January 27, 2016). "Charts Don't Lie: January 27". hotnewhiphop. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  25. ^ a b What a Time to Be Alive (CD liner notes). Drake and Future. Epic Records, A1, Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records, Republic Records. 2015. 97347-4.
  26. ^ a b "What A Time To Be Alive / Drake". Tidal. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
  27. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  28. ^ "Ultratop.be – Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  29. ^ "Ultratop.be – Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  30. ^ "Drake Chart History (Canadian Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  31. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 8, 2015.
  32. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  33. ^ "Lescharts.com – Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 1, 2015.
  34. ^ "GFK Chart-Track Albums: Week 39, 2015". Chart-Track. IRMA. Retrieved September 25, 2015.
  35. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive". Hung Medien. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  36. ^ "VG-lista - Drake / What A Time To Be Alive". Retrieved 1 July 2016.
  37. ^ "Spanishcharts.com – Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 5, 2015.
  38. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive". Hung Medien. Retrieved October 10, 2015.
  39. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 26, 2015.
  40. ^ "Official R&B Albums Chart Top 40". Official Charts Company. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  41. ^ "Drake Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  42. ^ "Drake Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  43. ^ "Billboard Top Canadian Albums - Year-end Chart". Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  44. ^ "Billboard 200 - Year-end Chart". Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  45. ^ "Billboard Digital Albums- Year-end Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  46. ^ "Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums- Year-end Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  47. ^ "Billboard Rap Albums- Year-end Chart". Billboard. Retrieved December 9, 2015.
  48. ^ "Top Billboard 200 Albums – Year-End 2016". Billboard. Retrieved December 9, 2016.
  49. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive". Music Canada.
  50. ^ "Danish album certifications – Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive". IFPI Denmark.
  51. ^ "British album certifications – Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive". British Phonographic Industry. Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type What a Time to Be Alive in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  52. ^ "American album certifications – Drake & Future – What a Time to Be Alive". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.