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“For All The Dogs” brings some heat, but relatively bores

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(Photo from Drake’s Instagram: @champagnepapi)

Drake’s highly anticipated album “For All The Dogs” has arrived. Below, I dive into it track by track, and share my thoughts and feelings (honest & unbiased). Let’s go. 

Virginia Beach: 

Drake comes out swinging, sampling Frank Ocean’s 2012 track, “Wiseman”. Full of confidence, Drake discusses an ex, and how she keeps asking if he could have treated her better. Drake makes sure to reiterate how he couldn’t have. “I don’t know, I think I did alright, you know.” This song can be interpreted also as a subtle diss to Pusha T, as he is from Virginia Beach, Virginia. She pretty but ghetto, pretty but rough, just like Virginia Beach.” Their longstanding beef has continued into 2023, and is showing no signs of stopping now. Personally, I loved the production on this, and I thought the Frank Ocean vocals really stole the show. 8.5/10 for the intro to this tape.

 

Amen (feat. Teezo Touchdown):

Drake takes a more calm route on this one, leaning a lot on a great church-type piano. Trying to bank on the Teezo Touchdown hype, Drake includes him on vocals. This song feels a little odd as it is a Teezo feature, but he took the entire chorus and a verse on this track. The constant repetitiveness of the line, “Prayin’, prayin’, Pray again, pray again” obviously connects to the gospel aspect of this tune. Overall, nice track, but not a lot was happening and kinda bored me towards the end. 5/10

 

Calling For You (feat. 21 Savage): 

This song starts with an odd gunshot-type beat, and weird lines. Although, I cannot deny that it’s working for me. The delivery from Drake makes this song bouncy. I could see this getting the crowd going at a party. After the first part is where in my opinion, this song goes downhill. We transition into a minute and a half time frame of a girl talking about her vacation and complaining about many aspects of it. This completely lost my interest in this song, and had me begging for it to stop. 21 Savage does finally show up in the last minute of the track. Bringing a nice beat switch and some cold bars, he attempts to bring some energy back into the song, but it’s too late to salvage anything. If Drake would’ve cut the middle part, this song would have been so much better. 6/10 for this one.  

 

Fear Of Heights:

Drizzy starts this one talking about a past girl, seemingly an ex. The confidence is back, as he makes it well known that he doesn’t need her anymore. An immediate transition brings us into a hard hitting BNYX beat, and Drake starts going off. He also subtly adds in another Pusha T diss. Virginia, I pull up and chill, You know you can’t come where I stay,” referring to Pusha’s Wife, Virginia Williams. Drake keeps flowing through this entire beat, coming with more self centered bars. “Don’t tell me you’re scared of Lil’ Drake, Don’t tell me you’re scared of Lil’ Aubrey.” Obviously high energy on this one, in which Drake delivered. 7.5/10 on this. 

 

Daylight:

Drake is still in this menacing mood on Daylight. It starts with a monologue from the movie “Scarface”, which shows that his confidence is here to stay. With the lines, “Free all the dogs and f*** all the witnesses” and, “They sittin’ down, we standin’ on business”, I can’t help but think this is a little reference to frequent collaborator Young Thug, and his 2023 album, “Business is Business”, which Drake was featured on twice. Also could be a diss towards the late XXXTentacion with the repetitive bar of, “Shot him in daylight, shot him in daylight”. In the past, Drake has been accused of being involved in the murder of XXXTentacion, so probably not a great look for Drizzy with this bar. X was killed in the middle of the day, and with the title “Daylight”, it’s very possible that it is a play on X’s hit song, “Moonlight”. Overall, I loved how Drake kept the high energy flowing through to this. Although this track is mysterious, there’s no doubt it hits. 7.5/10 again.

 

First Person Shooter (feat. J Cole):

The long awaited collab from Drake and J Cole has finally arrived. The boys are apparently, “Bigger than the Super Bowl”. The confidence never leaves. Subtle rhyming and bars from Drake once again keep this song fun and alive. “Love when they argue the hardest MC Is it K-Dot? Is it Aubrey? Or me? We the big three like we started a league, but right now, I feel like Muhammad Ali” Huge bar here from Cole. He feels like the greatest, even over Drake and Kendrick Lamar. Drake comes in later, and puts in a nice verse on a beat switch, but is definitely overshadowed by J Cole. Still, a huge song, and it comes to no surprise that this debuted #1 on the Billboard Hot 200. 8/10 for this banger.

 

IDGAF (feat. Yeat):

Definitely not a collab I was expecting in 2023. Yeat and Drake hop on another BNYX beat. After the first big beat drop, we see an energetic verse from Drake, which transitions into a monotonous verse and choruses from Yeat. Honestly, I don’t see the point of this being on the album. It “features” Yeat, but he has over ½ of the lyrics and the full chorus. Props to Drake for giving Yeat a spotlight on the biggest album of the year, but he probably just should’ve given this one completely to Yeat and let him use it on his album. Hard hitter, but lacking a little originality, as it kind of just sounds like any other Yeat track. 6/10 here. 

 

7969 Santa:

This is the part of the album where in my opinion, we start to slow down heavily, and see Drake lean on the sound he’s been so heavily pushing the past couple years. Drake bores with his lyrics and delivery, just quietly rhyming along with the tone of the beat. The sample of Chief Keef’s “I Don’t Like” adds a little flavor into a song where any type of switch-up is much appreciated. In the last minute and a half, this song transitions to a hidden Teezo Touchdown feature, over a slow piano beat. Then, we go into a short monologue from Snoop Dogg, because you can’t name an album “For All The Dogs” without some Snoop recognition. Still though, for the first two and half minutes, this track was quite boring. 5/10 on this. 

 

Slime You Out (feat. SZA):

Another unexpected collaboration here, on the lead single for this project. The beef with SZA and Drake is seemingly over, as they come together on two tracks for this album. Drake starts this song with continuous bars about “sliming you out” which is noticeably repetitive. SZA comes in and contributes with her always great vocals, which adds a nice, contradicting perspective from Drake. Drizzy comes back with some clever, but a tad gimmick-y bars about the 12 months of the year.  As the biggest song on the album, I still feel it lacks a big moment. It kind of just feels like a filler track when in perspective of the entire album. 6/10

 

Bahamas Promises:

Drake goes back to a lo-fi mood for this track. It starts with a fitting sound effect of dogs barking. Honestly, that’s the most exciting part of this song. I like the beat, but I feel like after some time, it needs a switch-up. The piano is nice, but drags a little as the song continues. Drake also isn’t helping with his bad singing and vulgar lines. The barking comes back towards the close of this song, which I guess is fine. Once again, this song just feels boring and unnecessary. Definitely the weakest so far. 3/10 on this snoozefest.

 

Tried Our Best:

Drake is back in his toxic self to start here. “I swear that there’s a list of places that I been with you, I wanna go without you” “Just so I can know what it’s like to be there without havin’ to argue”. Is he talking about the same ex from before? A new one? Who knows. This song has a higher tempo than the last, but Drake is falling back into this repetitive state. Ty Dolla $ign’s beautiful vocals on the chorus brings some much needed flavor into this song. We also see another Young Thug shoutout with the line, “You YSL like buy me some, I’m YSL like a snake bite”, referencing both the designer clothing brand YSL and Thug’s record label, Young Stoner Life. The chorus on this song is pretty solid, but once again, I find that this song drags on and the lyrics bore. 5/10

 

Screw The World – Interlude: 

This song is a cool shoutout to DJ Screw. DJ Screw is a Houston-born DJ who passed away in 2000. Travis Scott has credited inspiration to his works before with the song “R.I.P. Screw”. This song is just an old Screw freestyle over a grimy beat, also produced by Screw. Why did Drake use this for his album? Not sure, but it works as a good interlude, giving a break from Drizzy for the moment. 6/10 for this. 

 

Drew A Picasso: 

The theme of this song, to me, is very apparent: relationships are complex and very difficult. Drake makes sure to make this very known, with many lyrics about exes and arguments. There’s also a sense of frustration from Drake, as he discusses the on and off state of his relationship with this unknown girl. We also see the difficulty Drake faces in letting go from the relationship. This song is once again slow, but it feels different than the others. Drake raps with a little more energy and pep in his step, making it more enjoyable to me. This song serves as a good bounce back on this album. 7/10 here. 

 

Members Only (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR):

Drake links up with OVO signee and close friend, PARTYNEXTDOOR here. This song has a traditional, slow PND beat, with Drake and PARTYNEXTDOOR going back and forth, talking about a girl and how she’s not loyal to him. PARTYNEXTDOOR’s verse was short, but much needed in this lazy track. Drake keeps repeating the line, “You’re too down with the gangy, you’re one of my members”, which gets old very quickly. The last 2 minutes contain an even slower beat, which just lulls me to sleep. Drake’s voice fades as the song ends into silence, which is relieving. Once again, this song is too slow and is such a basic sounding Drake song. This is nothing like Drake and PARTYNEXTDOOR’s old collabs. 6/10, with a lot of lost potential. 

 

What Would Pluto Do:

This song reminds me a lot of “Jumbotron S*** Poppin” from Drake and 21 Savage’s 2022 collaborative album, “Her Loss”. The beat is very similar but Drake honestly sounds a tad worse on this. His lyrics and tone lack the energy that is needed for this fun beat, but Lil Yachty slightly saves Drake with his ad-libs in the background. Once again, I feel there is a lot of lost potential. How do you name a song “What Would Pluto Do”, and not add Future on this? Future and Drake have never missed together, so leaving him off of this definitely hurts. Nevertheless, this song is fun and brings some energy back. 6.5/10 on this.

 

All The Parties (feat. Chief Keef)

This song starts fun with a nice singing vocal behind the drums. Drake isn’t doing much lyrically, but it’s not bad to start. It then cuts to a very short Chief Keef verse, where he didn’t even sound right at all. I don’t see the point in the Keef feature here. It then goes to a distorted and chopped up beat, where Drake does not sound great at all. He does his rounds of usual rhyming and holding the words in his lines. Drake keeps this going till the end of the song. We end with another monologue from the fictional “BARK Radio”, which has been included on multiple songs during this album. As much as I don’t love this song, it’s not horrible either. I just think there’s not a lot going on, and this probably could’ve been scrapped. 6/10

 

8am in Charlotte:

The second single for this album is the sixth installment of Drake’s timestamp song series. We see a much more lyrical and rapping Drake here, which is a great breath of fresh air. Rapping over a great Conductor Williams piano beat, Drake discusses his great wealth and how he lives his lavish life. With lyrics like, “Diamonds do the silly dance, I raise up the wine glass”, and “The numbers goin’ up, someone pull up the line graph”, we get another glimpse of that confidence that I’ve been missing from the first half of this tape. This is one of the best lyrical performances we’ve seen from Drake in the past couple of years. As said before, this song brought back some energy and confidence that was much needed. 7/10 for this one. 

 

BBL Love – Interlude:

Right off the bat, Drake’s message for this song is very clear; he loves women and obviously, BBL’s. To be completely straight, this song is a tough listen. Anytime you have someone repeatedly saying, “Can I feel it? Can I feel it? Can I feel it? Can I feel one?” It gets hard to stay serious and invested. This song is the definition of unnecessary. 2/10 and why Drake?

 

Gently (feat. Bad Bunny):

Two of the biggest artists in the world come together for this one. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but man, this was not it. Drake starts it with singing in Spanish over this odd stringed-instrumental. It then sharply cuts to a weird, pounding, reggaeton beat. Drake is just talking gibberish until it goes to Bad Bunny. Bunny gets the tempo going. I don’t even know what he’s saying, but it’s much better than Drake’s part. Once again, Drake probably should’ve just stayed off this and gave Bunny the entire song. Luckily, this song is short and ends quickly, so it went in one ear and out the other. 4.5/10

 

Rich Baby Daddy (feat. Sexyy Red & SZA):

We see SZA here for the second time, and a Sexyy Red feature? As vulgar as Sexyy Red’s chorus is, you can’t deny it’s groovy. Drake comes in sliding on this fun beat and for the first time in a while, puts in a non-serious verse, which is fun. SZA’s verse is equally as energetic, as she talks about a potential future boyfriend and her feelings. Her short verse then goes to another explicit section from Sexyy Red. As much as people are saying this song is bad and that Sexyy Red shouldn’t have been on here, I actually disagree. I don’t think this was all that bad, and was a fun switch-up. I do think this song would work better on Drake’s 2021 album “Certified Lover Boy”, though. 7/10 here

 

Another Late Night (feat. Lil Yachty):

This song is very different from anything Drake has put out, but turned out to be my favorite song on this project. This beat kinda reminds me of an old arcade game, but it’s hitting. Drake’s voice is filled with energy again, which transitions easily into Lil Yachty’s verse. Yachty has been on fire this year, with his huge album “Let’s Start Here.”, many singles, and features. He stays on fire here and even ups the mood during his short verse. This is exactly what I wanted to hear Drake sound like on this album, leaving me very relieved. 9/10 on this bouncy track. 

 

Away From Home:

This song reminds me a lot of Drake’s sound on his 2016 album, “Views”. With the lyrics and beat, we get a little glimpse of old Drizzy. The constant use of the phrase, “I remember” serves as a reminder for Drake of where he came from, and how far he actually went. It also works as a reminder to not get too ahead of himself. The outro pays tribute to some of his closest friends, while he highlights the importance of them being in his life. This song didn’t feel as long as it actually is (4:18), which is a good thing because some songs earlier on this album dragged too long. Solid 7/10 on this reflective track 

 

Polar Opposites:

I guess Drake couldn’t help himself to poorly sing over a slow beat with nice vocals in the back. Although, as bad as it sounds at times, Drake is clearly very emotional on this. He talks about how he was treated by a past partner, and how he still often thinks about that treatment. As Drake and the beat fade at the end, it begins to become very thought provoking of past experiences. All in all, this song becomes quite beautiful and better as you listen to it more. I can see the replay value for this being top notch. This solid outro is a 6.5/10 for me

 

FINAL THOUGHTS: 

Overall, I think this album could’ve, and quite frankly would’ve been much better if it would’ve just been kept short. I loved the first half of the album and the energy it brought. By the end of the album though, I was slightly bored and feeling like it was just dragging along. It became sort of a job to keep listening through. If Drizzy could’ve cut a solid 8-9 tracks, For All The Dogs would be in classic territory. Instead, it feels like the definition of lost potential. Final rating: 6.5/10

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About the Contributor
Joe Peters, Sports Reporter
My name is Joe and I’m a sophomore here at Prospect. This is my first year working on the KnightMedia staff. I play baseball for both Prospect and a club team. I also play hockey too. Outside of school, I like hanging out with friends and working out.

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  • R

    RohanNov 1, 2023 at 2:53 pm

    Great review Joe!! I personally think FPS is the best song on the album but I almost felt disrespected on the hate while reading you review on BBL Love-Interlude. I personally thought that song was very good and although I agree that one bar was a little weird, I enjoy the song. Anyway good job and I can’t wait to read your reviews in the future! Are you excited for the possible release of ¥$?

    Reply