Honestly, Nevermind basically stretches those last two tracks into an entire 50-minute LP. Though Drake has often stewed in his emotions on wax, this is his clearest entry in the crying-in-the-club canon. On “Massive” he reflects on mortality and loneliness over plunks of house piano and vocal stabs. The lustful “Calling My Name” briefly sounds like a very heterosexual response to Teyana Taylor’s ballroom homage “WTP.” Even the broody breakup songs like “Texts Go Green” and “A Keeper” come over four-on-the-floor percussion, giving the waterlogged synths some much needed structure.
With a handful of exceptions, CLB felt dour and muted, a stark contrast to its colorful and provocative cover art. The fact that he made a meaningful artistic pivot in less than a year is commendable, and while there isn’t a song here as dementedly brilliant as “Way 2 Sexy,” standouts like “Sticky” and “Massive” figure to be summer rotation staples.
Drake finally cashes in on his long-standing love for Black Coffee.
Of course, the More Life track that is, in retrospect, the biggest preview of what Drake does on his seventh album is “Get It Together.” The Jorja Smith-assisted song is essentially just a cover of South African DJ/producer Black Coffee’s seminal track “Superman,” which Drake’s long been a fan of. “Superman” was one of the first songs he opened his very first OVO Sound Radio show with way back in 2015, which he always used to show off his eclectic musical tastes. The house music Honestly, Nevermind draws inspiration from was frequently showcased in Drake’s playlists, especially Black Coffee, so it only makes sense that he’s credited as an executive producer. Additionally, Black Coffee is listed as a co-writer and co-producer on three songs, including “Currents.”
The Young Thug-YSL RICO case is clearly on Drake’s mind.
Drake has been close with Young Thug for years–they’ve released a slew of collaborative songs and toured together–so it makes sense that the massive RICO case the Atlanta rapper and his YSL collective are facing would be weighing on him.
In the video for lead single “Falling Back,” Drake even does the YSL handshake with several of his 20-plus brides, and flashes a “Free YSL” on the screen in an oozing slime font.
The specter of Thug’s incarceration looms all over Honestly, Nevermind, even though the album is geared towards the dancefloor. On “Jimmy Cooks,” Drake raps, “Hoes say I’m suave, but I can’t get RICO’d,” while also offering an R.I.P. message for YSL’s Lil Keed, who passed suddenly in May. On “Sticky” he proclaims, “Free Big Slime out the cage.”
These lyrics also provide a timestamp for when Drake’s vocals were written, and indicate that a significant portion of Honestly, Nevermind came together in the last few weeks.
Drake finally cemented his bromance with Carnage on wax.
“Gordo got me on the wave,” Drake announces on “Sticky.” Casual fans would be forgiven for not knowing who Gordo is, and even OVO obsessives might not recognize the name. Gordo is the new moniker of star producer Carnage, who retired his previous alias to move into the house music world, telling Billboard he’d grown “miserable.”