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Monday, May 27, 2024
The Observer

Drake back with latest Beyonce collaboration, ‘Can I?’

Eric Richelsen | The Observer
Eric Richelsen | The Observer

Lately, the sun rises less and less frequently, hiding behind its clouds. The fall season is in full swing, and with it come three guaranteed things: heavier clothing, heavier hearts and — naturally — heavier Drake songs.

Over this past weekend, the new release “Can I?” — featuring his second collaboration with Beyonce — was unceremoniously leaked over the Apple Music station Beats 1’s “OVO Sound Radio” show. Coming on the heels of his latest project, “What a Time to Be Alive,” a collaboration with rapper Future, the song brought about somewhat of a return to Drake’s roots.

The Canadian rapper/singer croons over samples of Beyonce singing, “Can I / Baby?”, asking a faceless lover various questions – naturally structured around the formula “Can I … baby?”. While the style and delivery does sound a bit forced and tacky, the song still is able to relate to listeners’ own insecurities and romantic frustrations.

Yes, it is a bit confusing which direction Drake is trying to go in nowadays. While on the one hand, we have the tough-guy, superstar rapper puffing out his chest and boasting of his success for the majority of his latest album “What a Time to Be Alive,” the project still ends with a somber, reflective track in “30 for 30 Freestyle.”  To take things even further on the other hand, Drake also walks a fine line between swagger and sadness on “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.”

That is not to say that he as a musician cannot venture down both roads and express the multitude of his emotions in different songs. After all, no man — or person, obviously — is ever truly static in their emotions. On any single day, any given person probably swings through the wide range of feelings and emotions probably about 50 times. Thus, to criticize an artist for putting out multiple songs going in different directions would be hypocritical, to say the least.

Yet somehow, there is a double standard with Drake. Some days, it almost feels as if the artist wants to shed his “soft” reputation and assert how manly he is. Other days, he just wants people to understand him and get that he, like anyone else, is prone to his emotions.

It is also difficult for “Can I?” to hold a candle to Drake’s first collaboration with Beyonce, “Mine.” Granted, the latest leak is just that — a leak — and so total judgment should be suspended until the finished product is officially released. But even with a glimpse at the style of the song and the first verse, the duo’s “Mine” just sounds so much better. “Mine” offers a full evolution within the song, while providing listeners both the female and male’s perspective in a (confusing) relationship.

The two can, and have, released work together that is an undeniable hit and showcases two artists that complement each other’s style. While the initial product is promising, it does have some work to do and is in need of some polishing. Fans of the two musicians can only hope that the song promises on its potential. After all, the weather lately certainly begs for another sad Drake song.