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In the past, Drake has been focused on rewiring hip-hop with melody. But his seventh solo studio album, “Honestly, Nevermind” — which arrived as a surprise, with an elaborate nine-and-a-half-minute video for the track “Falling Back” — is an unanticipated pivot toward the dance floor. Drake has long included moments like this on his albums, but they rarely shaped the narrative. But now, for the first time, production that is hard-knocking and up-tempo is reshaping his sound.
Is this just a logical turn for a pop star who has typically made pop from different component parts? Is it a reaction to the growth of drill music, the prevailing gritty hip-hop subculture? Or is it an acceptance of the exuberant freedoms of midcareer middle age?
On this week’s Popcast, a conversation about Drake’s evolution and production choices, the ways in which he toys with the expectations of his listeners and the dance music subcultures he’s experimenting with.
Joe Coscarelli, The New York Times’s pop music reporter
Lawrence Burney, arts and culture editor at The Baltimore Banner and the founder of True Laurels
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