Review: What A Time To Be Alive

It truly is a time to be alive for Drake and Future fans alike. The rappers released their joint mixtape What a Time to be Alive (wattba) Sunday night as a follow up to Future’s DS2 and Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late that dropped earlier this year. As an avid Drake fanatic, please reference my Drake themed stick and poke for proof, I sat around on my laptop Sunday night waiting to be able to stream the album. It was made available for purchase on Apple Music and ITunes, but as a broke college kid I downloaded it off a Dropbox link. Please, no one tell Champagne Papi. 

Even though the rappers' regional sounds don’t quite match up, the collaboration only made sense. Both king pins are at the top of their games after their 2015 album releases and what more could the audience want than a full 11 track mixtape featuring them both at once? Plus, Drake has been writing verses for Future’s songs for a while, appearing on such tracks like "Where ya at" off of DS2 and "Tony Montana" on Pluto 3D. However, and Drake fans bear with me, throughout their collaborative history one theme reigns supreme: Future dominates.

To be fair, this mixtape relied much more heavily on Future’s production camp than Drake’s OVO production team. But the extent to which Future overshadows Drake on most of the tracks off the mixtape can’t solely be accounted for in the production value. Of course Drake scatters some of his signature “drakeness” across the mixtape, like his hook on "Big Rings"; “I got a really big team! And they need some really big rings! They need some really nice things! Better be coming with no strings!”, Future’s verses are definitely more memorable. For one, he sounds more content than his usual troubled sound, only skimming over the drug habit he usually laments about on tracks like “Live from the Gutter.”

By far the best collaboration of the two rapper’s sounds comes through on the track “Jumpman.” They match each other’s energy hype for hype. The repeated line “Jumpman Jumpman Jumpman them boys up to something” perhaps a nod to their lowkey Atlanta recording sessions culminating in What a Time.

For now, it’s fair to say that they rule the temporary rap duo game. While they haven’t quite attainted the amount of global fame that Kanye and Jay-Z did for Watch the Throne, they definitely conquered the “now” sound. They played to what the audience with a fair amount of success, ultimately assuring that there will be hype for both of their next solo projects.