Drake and Future surprise with superb mixtape

Michael Benz

“What a Time to Be Alive,” a mixtape collaboration by Drake and Future, was unexpectedly released Sept. 20, and immediately climbed to number one on the iTunes Album chart.

This is not unfamiliar territory for artist Drake, as his last surprise m

Photo courtesy of Republic Records
Photo courtesy of Republic Records

ixtape, “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late,” also reached the top spot earlier this year.

This collaboration came almost out of nowhere, as the two are extremely popular, and are experiencing massive success as individuals in hip hop. “What a Time to Be Alive” is the best collaboration by an American and Canadian since pancakes and maple syrup.

“Jumpman,” the ninth track on the mixtape, peaked at number 8 on the iTunes song chart, the highest of any song on the album. Though lyrically this song is neither intelligent nor eloquent, it shines as a composition. Drake and Future brilliantly put together a masterpiece, including their own styles and flows while also using catchy tunes throughout each of their own verses.

When “Jumpman” first plays, the continuous repetition of the word “jumpman” throughout the song is almost annoying. However, the catchiness of the song eventually overcomes the repetitiveness, a reason why this song should be outselling the other 10 songs on the album.

The second song on the album is called “Big Rings,” and it peaked at #35 on the iTunes song chart. Although not as popular, this song is the best on the album, as it features another one of Drake’s memorable choruses. The lyrics are centered around the need and want for money and big rings, and also include a tinge of confidence that borders on cockiness. Although the lyrics are somewhat typical, Drake and Future use their contrasting styles to put together a unique song.

Although there are many bright spots and potential hit songs, “30 for 30 Freestyle” brings down the overall quality of the mixtape. Overall, Drake and Future break the usual idea that a mixtape is for songs that didn’t make the album or side projects, but “30 for 30 Freestyle” feels like a filler 11th song that doesn’t belong. The slow tempo, lack of chorus, and lack of Future, who makes the album, makes this song egregious. This song is an immediate skip.

According to Billboard, “What a Time to Be Alive” sold 375,000 copies in its first week of sales. This is the third largest first week for any album so far in 2015. “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”, Drake’s first album of the year, had the largest first week of 2015, totaling over half a million sales.

Overall, this collaborative masterpiece by Drake and Future is sitting atop good company as the potential best hip-hop album of the year.