It’s 20 September 2015. The music world goes into overdrive as Future and Drake drop their surprise collab tape, What a Time to be Alive. But I think, and don’t bite my head off, we as music fans didn’t appreciate that masterpiece enough.
1. Jumpman was the most played, but not the best track on the tape
For most people, when they listened to the tape for the first time, Jumpman stood out to them as the standout banger on the tape, me included. The production of the beat, the chemistry and the bouncy flows used by both rappers was pure musical greatness on a track.
But let’s not be naive; they both went harder on different songs. Let’s take Scholarships for example. That song is crazy. Future’s dark intro to the song, his melodic bars ebbing and flowing to the beat, and then Drake coming in and continuing where Future left off; his symphonic lyrics and the switch up of the beat during his verse topped off the song wonderfully. If you were to listen to WATTBA now, maybe because of how much Jumpman has been overplayed, I reckon you will realise that Scholarships is actually a better song than Jumpman. (I think it’s the best track on the tape).
2. Future spun Drake continuously on the tape
At the time the album dropped, Future was one of the biggest rap stars in the world. His best performing album, Dirty Sprite 2, had just been released 2 months beforehand, and he had the world in the palm of his hands. Couple that with Drake, a global superstar beyond music, and you have a heavyweight album here. I’m sure most people expected Drake to spin Future continuously during the album, because Future and other trap artists are depicted to be ‘mumble rappers’, who ‘rely on the beat’. But alas, this did not come to pass. Future spun Drake backwards lol. I can honestly say that on at least 5 of the 9 tracks that both rappers starred on, Future outshone Drake. I think this surprised a lot of people, and maybe annoyed some people, because their favourite rapper had been one-upped by a trap artist. Trap music wasn’t what it is today back in 2015, as many of the top trap artists of today were still on the come-up back then, so for Future to outshine Drake was even more impressive. I’m sure a lot of you will disagree with me in saying that, but music is subjective at the end of the day.
3. Both artists released albums the same year as WATTBA
Drake dropped If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, and Future dropped DS2. Both these albums have their own cult following and produced bangers such as Legend, Energy and Blow a Bag and Stick Talk respectively. I feel like most music fans were still in the middle, or not having finished, of digesting these albums before WATTBA came out, and it was almost as if we had too much music to listen to. Was WATTBA being neglected a bit by some of Drake and Future’s fanbase? Now I know some people will say, ‘it still went platinum’, but that’s not the point. If I was to ask 10 random people what their favourite Drake or Future track from 2015 was, I doubt most would say a song that was on WATTBA.
We, as music fans, were lucky to get a collab album from two of the hottest rappers in the game at that time, and I feel like this is something that will not happen again for some time, so we should grow to learn to appreciate and preserve bodies of music like this.