It's down to listeners at this point to individually decide exactly how much they want to buy into Drake's "playlist" rhetoric when discussing the intentions behind his More Life project. The thing does have light structural resemblance to a radio show, and its relative lack of actual Aubrey verses does give it a more communal feel, but it's hard to argue that approaching it as one would approach any other Drake album would result in a lesser understanding of its content.
However, calling it a playlist -- as if it was assembled in Spotify or Apple Music by a Drake fan -- does create an interesting, near-implicit challenge to the listener: If you don't like how I did it, go ahead and make your own.
Well, challenge accepted. Considering that More Life seems most itself when it was hitting the high seas, ingesting the best that European, African and Caribbean pop music had to offer and spitting it back out as yacht rap -- and considering how the set's largely draggy predecessor Views did had a number of pop songs that could have played alongside these -- it seemed logical to make a set consisting of nothing but those songs, for your uninterrupted summer-breeze enjoyment.
So, we present More Views: A playlist combining the best globetrotting pop of Views and More Life into one 17-track cruise. Read on below, listen to the whole thing at the bottom, and be sure to apply the appropriate amount of sunscreen before playing.
1. "Hotline Bling" (non-album single, Views bonus track)
Seems to make sense to start the playlist with the smash that essentially kicked off this period in Drake's career, the irresistibly skanking, Timmy Thomas-sampling megapop of "Hotline Bling." It felt out of place as a bonus cut tacked on to the end of Views, but it seems more logical as an opening salvo, if for nothing else than to get it out of the way early.
2. "Controlla" (Views)
Certainly a definitive single in Drake's recent discography, with its dancehall-derived beat and borrowed-slang hook. It's a good way to ramp up into the peak run of both More Life and More Views. And if you're assembling your own version at home, to try to locate the version with Popcaan's verse still in tact, rather than the slightly neutered solo version from iViews.
4. "Jorja Interlude"
5. "Get It Together" (feat. Black Coffee & Jorja Smith)
6. "Madiba Riddim"
7. "Blem" (all More Life)
Can't interrupt or relocate the early-album stride of More Life, certainly one of the most dazzling sequences of worldly pop music assembled on record this decade. It's basically Drake's Side Two of Abbey Road, a blissful, majestic five-song medley whose fragments are virtually inseparable -- though radio may certainly try its hand at isolating "Passionfruit," arguably the most sublime pop song of Drizzy's career to date.
8. "Sacrifices" (feat. Young Thug and 2 Chainz) (More Life)
The closest thing that our More Views has to a downbeat track, "Sacrifices" is certainly more obviously landlocked than most of the tracks on this playlist -- though it does mention 40 having a house on the lake, at least. But it's still relatively frisky for Mixtape Drake, with a skittering beat, prancing synth hook, and and always-lively guest verses from Thugger and 2 Chainz. It's a logical choice for a Side One closer.
9. "Summers Over Interlude" (Views)
An underrated interlude buried towards the end of Views, the Majid (of Majid Jordan)-sung, guitar-soaked Isleys soul of the 1:46-long "Summers Over" makes for a perfect palate cleanser in between our two halves of our playlist. Consider it the song where you should turn over on your lounge chair.
10. "For Free" (DJ Khaled's Major Key)
Cheating a little bit here to pull in a song not from either album, technically belonging to famed musical curator DJ Khaled. But of course, this was a Drake song in all but name, and it was one of his most unavoidable hits of the period on hip-hop radio -- enough to get Kanye grousing about payola, anyway -- with the perfect lightly tropical hook to take over the whole summer. (Khaled's own "SUMMER'S OURS!" ad-libs also put to bed any undue worries caused by taking the title of "Summers Over Interlude" too literally.)
11. "Fake Love" (More Life)
A good place for "Fake Love," the Drake smash with mild steel drum vibes that preceded the More Life period, and which probably fits a little better into our More Views here than it did near the very end of Drake's own playlist. Like "Controlla," on the A-side, it's a fine dipping of the toe into the album's international waters.
12. "With You" (feat. PARTYNEXTDOOR) (Views)
Probably the song on Views that would feel the most comfortable surrounded by More Life cuts, a PARTYNEXTDOOR-assisted, polyrhythmic shimmy-and-shake that insists on a physical response. It might've been a little too repetitive to get pulled as a radio single, but it's the perfect song to enter our More Views Side Two stride with.
13. "Portland" (feat. Quavo & Travis Scott) (More Life)
Took Drake long enough to get in on the Year of the Flute, but he and producers Murda Beatz and Cubeatz make up for lost time with a blaring hook that's basically Zelda-worthy. The song's booming bass and spitting drums almost make it a little too tough for our playlist, but that ceaseless flute and Quavo's priceless hollering make it too much fun to be ignored here.
14. "One Dance" (feat. WizKid & Kyla) (Views)
Buried a little on the second side here, but that's fine -- our set doesn't need "One Dance" as a centerpiece, and after its 10-week run at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, having it come as a late surprise towards the end of this playlist is just about the best chance it has of sounding fresh again in the immediate future. Still a pretty good song, in case you forgot.
15. "Ice Melts" (feat. Young Thug) (More Life)
A D.R.A.M.-like cha cha hopefully not borrowed too explicitly from any specific song of Shelley's, the only problem with the guitar flares and Young Thug warbles of "Ice Melts" is that its title suggests that there ever was cold weather to begin with. Maybe on More Life, but on More Views the thermometers don't even read temperatures below 70.
16. "Too Good" (feat. Rihanna) (Views)
Can we all agree by now that this was always the best Views single? Anyway, as Drake's pop soulmate, Rihanna should basically always get the last word among his special guests, and so we'll let her tete-a-tete with Drizzy essentially serve as our More Views climax here, and let the beat ride out all summer long.
17. "Feel No Ways" (Views)
But we can't really end on "Too Good," though. Drake closers always see him at his most introspective and loose-lipped, and while neither of the closing freestyle-style tracks on More Life or Views are appropriate for our playlist, Drake's post-relationship lament "Feel No Ways" -- the secret highlight of Views, essentially serving as an answer song to "Hotline Bling" -- is the perfect parting shot. The beat is still euphoric, but with an unmistakable tinge of melancholy; if you can't quite hear the frost creeping in, you can feel the chill on its way. This time, summer's over for real.