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Drake Flexes Hard on Cloudy, Contemplative ‘5AM in Toronto’

Drake, Beyonce, Jay-Z

Drake has always been an interloper. One of the virtues of not being seen as fully belonging anywhere is being equally at home everywhere. The first single from the hip-hop hybridist’s upcoming Nothing Was the Same, Mike Zombie-produced “Started From the Bottom,” felt like a brilliant head fake: haunting, brazen, and catchy enough to be a hit, but with relatively simplistic, sing-song vocals that fail to convey Drizzy’s full range as an artist. Last night, the Canadian multi-threat revealed “5AM in Toronto,” and it’s a return to the ruthless verbal prowess of Take Care tracks like “HYFR.” The retro-futuristic keyboard loops, courtesy of producers Bo1da and Vinylz, evoke Twin Peaks-y chillwave survivors like CFCF (revisit 2009’s “You Hear Colours” for comparison). But combined wih the former child actor’s brutally accurate assessments of the rap landscape, it all just underscores his claim that every song out there “sounds like Drake featuring Drake.” Which, hey, is essentially what we said on our list of the real 10 hottest MCs in the game.

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