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Features Outperform Drake in “For All The Dogs”

Drake announced “For All the Dogs” at the Billboard Music Awards in 2021. The album was released on Oct. 6. Courtesy of AP News Photos

On October 6, 2023, the five-time GRAMMY award winning artist Drake released his thirteenth album “For All the Dogs”. 

This album really stands out from other Drake albums in terms of sound. It contains a unique blend of multiple genres and sub-genres that Drake tends to stay in like rap and R&B. In contrast to Drake’s past three albums, “For All The Dogs” provides the most variety of sound, exploring many sub-genres that tend to be popular with younger audiences these days. 

The Good 

After Drake’s last album “Her Loss”, which was a basic rap album, we see him expand his variety of sound on the new album. “Amen” leans more toward a gospel track and “IDGAF” sees Drake step into the rap sub-genre, trap rage, which we’ve never seen from him. Both “Amen” and “IDGAF” feature young artists such as Teezo Touchdown and Yeat, who both shine in their respective tracks.

One high point in this album comes from SZA, who is featured in two songs, the lead single “Slime You Out” and “Rich Baby Daddy”. SZA’s angelic vocals, in both songs, provide a pleasurable listening experience like listening to birds singing in the morning. 

The stand-out track from this album is “First Person Shooter” with J. Cole. “First Person Shooter” brings all the energy and life to the album. Both J. Cole and Drake shine lyrically in this track and maintain great flows throughout. J. Cole provides an excellent feature verse and provides tremendous lines like “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.” or “Rhymin’ with me is the biggest mistake, the Spider-Man meme is me looking at Drake.” Meanwhile Drake provides some solid lines from his part like “Will they ever give me flowers? Well of course not, they don’t wanna have that talk, ‘cause it’s a sore spot, they know The Boy, the one they gotta boycott.”

The Bad

An issue Drake runs into on this long album are some songs sounding boring, not having that “playback” ability. Songs like “Drew A Picasso”, “Away From Home” and “Polar Opposites” are all fine. These songs are extremely forgettable and it doesn’t help that the album is jam packed with songs. 

Other songs on the album suffer from issues like being corny. The track “Members Only” can be decent at times but listening to it more makes me feel like a cornball. Even though there is a highpoint in the track with PARTYNEXTDOOR’s verse, it’s mostly Drake making the song sound cringey with a line like “Feel like I’m bi ‘cause you’re one of the guys, girl.” Moments like this disappoint me because Drake has created more mature lyrics on past albums. 

The Ugly

The album is way too long. Drake was absolutely crazy for making “For All The Dogs” 86 minutes. 23 songs is too much and makes listening to this album a chore rather than something to enjoy. The song placement struggles to move the album along, most of the faster pace tracks are in the beginning of the album, while the slower tracks are towards the end.

With a huge track list, you’re guaranteed to have some great songs but also some awful songs. For example, “Calling For You”, on paper, should’ve been a great track. It features 21 Savage, someone Drake has really great chemistry with, but the song falls flat. It feels like it was randomly put together, just like the album. The track starts off with questionable use of autotune, then around the two minute-mark, it cuts into an interlude of a woman talking about travel drama. The beat then switches and introduces 21 Savage’s verse that feels repetitive since this is 21’s fourth straight album appearance. 

Since my first listen, the track “Gently” has soured. In “Gently”, Drake’s portrayal of a Spanish accent is inauthentic and sounds like he’s mocking a real Spanish accent. Bad Bunny is on the same track and his verse really shows how bad the accent is in comparison. 

The features in the album exceed Drake’s abilities, providing more consistency, painting more of a story than Drake’s own verses. J. Cole, SZA, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Bad Bunny, 21 Savage, Yeat and Teezo Touchdown leave me wanting more from them rather than Drake. That for me diminishes Drake’s credibility as an artist and lowers the quality of the album. 

Overall Opinion

After weighing all the good, bad and ugly from “For All The Dogs,” the album was a six out of ten. In my opinion, the album did not live up to expectations Drake fans hyped it up to be, myself included. Coming into this album, I didn’t know what to expect, and after listening, I’m still confused because I am still struggling to determine who this album was made for. So, if you haven’t listened to “For All The Dogs”, I’d recommend only listening to it if you want to waste some time. 

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About the Contributor
Christopher Alvarez
Hi! I’m Christopher, this is my first year on the staff and I am a sophomore. My hobbies and interests include playing my trombone and talking about pineapples. I love listening to music in my free time and my favorite artists are Tyler, The Creator, 21 Savage, and Daft Punk. I really enjoy discussing sports with others and one day hope to argue with Stephen A. Smith about random basketball players on national television.

Comments (4)

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  • F

    FranciscoNov 29, 2023 at 12:29 pm

    cool cool

  • M

    Mi'Angel McCallNov 29, 2023 at 11:41 am

    In my opinion I love the “For All The Dogs” album, Drake did a good job. The songs are all good I could play the album back to back. All his features were good as well!

  • J

    Joseph MartinezNov 29, 2023 at 11:38 am

    I love it. It talks about Yeat, 21 Savage, and SZA who are all good artists. Yeat is my favorite. I truly think that the album was decent. Not the best album Drake has dropped for sure but still, I think worth listening to. Now, to sum it all up, the album is a 7 out of 10. I’m being generous because I’m like that but I would listen to it again.

  • J

    joanneNov 28, 2023 at 6:37 pm

    fire fire fire