"What a Time To Be Alive" blends Drake and Future's unique styleBy Christian Elliott | 09/27/2015 8:06pm
Atlanta and Toronto might be the furthest thing from each other in terms of music and appeal, but the two schools of hip-hop were able to come together in order to give the fans what they wanted. On Sept. 20, artists Drake and Future unleashed their collaborative work, "What a Time To Be Alive."
With rumors having had circulated around the hip-hop community and on social medias for weeks, each party separately revealed the imminent launch of the album the morning of. From drifting heresy to the No. 1 album on iTunes in a matter of 20 hours, the duo of Drake and Future delivered a quality product.
With each artist separately releasing their own masterpieces earlier in the year, it would be hard for the much-anticipated collaboration to come anywhere near the heights of pair’s individual albums. However, that is not what either of the artists was striving for in this task. The quickly assembled album exemplified the willingness each artist has to try new things without ever having to step out of their comfort zones. It also shows that they are willing to give the fans what they want.
The true beauty of this album comes from each artists insistence of getting the project done even though each belongs to different upbringings, social scenes and possesses different styles in terms of music. They made the difficult task of mastering a collaboration possible. While Future brought his hard-hitting street persona and Drake did not stray away from his distinctive OVO identity, the two were able to cohesively integrate two different styles of hip-hop.
There seems to me more a Future presence within the album. With fellow Atlanta-native, Metro Boomin, being the mastermind in terms of beats, "What a Time To Be Alive" carries an aura that places the focus more on Future than the King of Toronto. Even though the song, “Jumpman,” screams out Drake more than anything, the majority of the album’s tunes have more of a Future feel to them.
“It is a little soundtrack for people that need it right now,” said Drake according to Rolling Stones, “I went to Atlanta for six days a couple weeks with the hopes of doing some songs with future, and when you get around Future, it’s like a vortex, that guy can out work anybody right now. It’s tough to see someone do four, five songs in one night and not try to match it.”
The album may never reach the popularity that Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaboration "Watch the Throne" had, but "What a Time To Be Alive" stands for something different in the hip-hop world. It symbolizes two great minds that are without a doubt at the top of the current game, that are willing to step into new boundaries but really just came together because they can. Billboard.com referred to the album as being a “perfectly timed victory lap,” in which the work was never really a necessity for either of them to get back on track. Instead, it bolsters their allure to the fans, delivering to the listener’s quality tracks while sticking to their roots and unique styles.