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“Heavy airplay all day with no chorus,” Drake brags on his third major label album. So big is he these days that his songs don’t have to be radio-friendly; instead radio is Drake-friendly.

Nothing Was the Same tests the boast with chorus-light jams over which the Toronto rapper explores his favourite subject: himself. No hooks are allowed to overshadow the solipsist’s verses, but inventive production keeps us listening.

“Tuscan Leather” weaves sped-up Whitney Houston samples into the mix while “Wu-Tang Forever” cheekily samples the Staten Island hardmen while Drake raps about wooing a lady: a nice provocation of the hardcore rap purists who decry him as soft.

Drake

Nothing Was the Same

(Universal/Island)

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