A lot of new Drake songs have been leaking lately, but he has released two big ones officially. The headliner is “Pop Style,” a ceremonious rap-driven collaboration with Kanye West and Jay Z (billed here as the Throne). The other is a light singsong called “One Dance” that features Wizkid and Kyla. (STEREO GUM)
Lately Drake has been flirting with dancehall and afrobeat even more than usual. Outside of his appearance on Rihanna’s smash hit “Work” and the recently-leaked “Controlla,” he has aligned himself with some of the genre’s emerging stars. Drake has become increasingly chummy with Jamaican sensation Popcaan—the OVO team popped up in 2013’s “Unruly Prayer”video, and Drake let the dancehall singer ad-lib some of “Ghetto (Tired of Crying)” on the tail-end of “Know Yourself” (Popcaan also features on “Controlla”). Last year, Drake remixed the Nigerian singer Wizkid’s “Ojuelegba” with Skepta (who is himself a byproduct of the West Indies via grime’s dancehall influence). Drake’s new fusion jam, “One Dance,” is the natural next step—a buoyant tune that reunites Drake with Wizkid and samples Crazy Cousinz’s UK funky mix of Paleface and Kyla’s “Do You Mind.” It’s a cultural Inception: an afrobeat pulse inside a UK funky sample inside a dancehall gyrator.
UK funky itself is a natural descendant of both dancehall and afrobeat, and the sample stands at the core of “One Dance.” Kyla’s voice and that resonant piano mash are the first things heard before they cave into a throbbing, wine-worthy tropical thumper. The message is as simple as the beat is mesmerizing: “One Dance” is about the spiritual connection two people can have in a club, when vibrations charge the air and they lose themselves. Drake’s verses drift while Wizkid’s echoing chirps melt into the fabric of the rhythm. In the closing seconds, a series of tones and polyrhythms collapse in on one another as Kyla’s croons give way the Drake’s once more. It feels symbolic of the full-fledged multiculturalism on display. (Courtesy PITCHFORK REVIEW)
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Both of these songs are on Views From The 6, due out sometime this month. Get both “Pop Style” and “One Dance” at iTunes, or listen at Apple Music. “Pop Style” is also available on Tidal, which makes sense given Jay and Kanye’s involvement with the track.