In the era of NBA super teams and TV shows that play like really long movies, Drake and Future just drew a line in the sand for hip hop's current generation. Love it or like it (really, if you hate it you just haven't heard it in the right setting) What a Time to Be Alive sets a new standard for staying true while exploring the possibilities of the digital age.
Kendrick Lamar's "Control" verse rewrote the rules of friendly competition. Meek Mill's Twitter fingers pushed the boundaries of modern beef. But WATTBA is more substance than drama. Two elite MCs formed like Voltron for a surprise project that instantly united both the streets and the tweets in pandemonium.
WATTBA's 11 tracks aren't the best in either artist's respective catalog. But the project's hype and delivery could prove to be the most memorable moment in either's career when its all said and done. Timing is everything. And by uniting instead of fighting, Drake and Future put the icing on equally impressive career years, willingly sharing MVP honors and then teaming up to chase their rings.
The rings are big (like their teams), and topped with "Diamonds Dancing" to MetroBoomin's finely tuned trap sonics. The artists will go down in history for this late third quarter surprise, but the fans are the real winners.
Drake and Future aren't the first artists to release a joint project, but it is rare to see superstars share the spotlight in their primes. Best of Both Worlds was like the Celtics Big Three. This is The Heat, with St. Louis product Metro Boomin' playing Chris Bosh on the boards.
Pause the hype for Drake's Views From the 6 and forget the incredible run Future just went on — this is just great music. No competition for best verse or writing credits. WATTBA proves that you can do anything as long as you don't try to do everything. The entire project stays in its collective lane, with Drake's emo outro serving as the only deviation.
Concise and consistent, WATTBA doesn't stray much from the formula that made their 2011 collab "Tony Montana" a Billboard hit. Frantic drums and lavish melodies that will make you feel like you're playing for the Mavericks. The fourth quarter is coming and this is the theme music for a championship run.
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