OPUS Mag

Far from timid • Caveat Lector

Nothing Was The Same...3 Years Ago

Nothing Was The Same...3 Years Ago

Everyone has that album. You know, that album when regardless of the time you begin to push play, you are instantly taken back to a certain moment in time. A moment you recollect so vividly that it feels as if it were just yesterday that it happened. You can close your eyes as the music plays & perfectly place yourself in the past. Yes, I'm talking about that album. We all turn to music for something. Some of us turn to music as an escape from reality, others turn to music in hopes of hearing someone who is able to relate to us, the rest turn to music to reminisce on the past

See, when you grow up in Michigan, you’re lucky enough to witness the changes in all four seasons. Sometimes, you even get these weird “in-between seasons” that neither feels like spring, summer, fall, or winter. The fall, my favorite, is particularly great because this is when all the trees start changing colors & most of them look like a painting from a Bob Ross special where he took a handful of acid before they started filming. I’m serious, for as much shit as I serve Michigan on a daily basis, if you ever get a chance to visit Michigan you should absolutely visit during the fall season. The point I’m trying to make is; when you have these noticeable milestones throughout the year, the music amplifies those memories I just spoke about.

Three years ago, on this exact day, I moved into a one-bedroom apartment with a monthly rent I still have no idea how I managed to afford & a landlord who was a real piece of shit. Three years ago, on this exact day, Drake released his third album Nothing Was The Same & nothing, truly, was ever the same.

 “How much time is this ni**a spending on the intro…?”

For Drake, Nothing Was The Same was a milestone album. He had previously set the bar with Take Care, but it didn’t feel as if he was under the intense microscopic pressure he was under prior to the release of Views. NWTS was Drake’s first opportunity to take some risks and experiment with his music. He didn’t take many, and they weren’t incredible risks, but he did take some. We hadn’t heard Drake rap over a beat that sounded like it was from the Cam’ron/Dipset vault prior to Tuscan Leather and we also hadn’t heard Drake paint such a vivid picture of Toronto prior to records like Connect.

Prior to the album’s release, Drake & 40 both said they wanted to create an album that sounded like what Memento looked like. To me, Nothing Was The Same feels more like a dream sequence & all you have to do is go back & re-listen to Wu-Tang Forever to understand what I’m trying to say. One of those dreams that takes you to numerous random places, filled with random people from your past & you have no control over it. You have to let it play out & see where it takes you. Maybe you’re taken to a conversation with an old flame as the somewhat haunting keys of From Time quietly plays in the background. Maybe you somehow fast-forwarded to your future wedding as Hold On, We’re Going Home plays while you dance with your to-be bride. Or, maybe you’re taken to a night out with your closest friends as Worst Behavior plays through the car speakers on your way to the strip club before you’re greeted to the thumping bass of 305 To My City upon your entrance. Whichever it is, Nothing Was The Same has a song for each.

There’s lots of talk online about, “Does Drake have a classic album or not?” I steer clear of those conversations, even if I already have an answer picked out in my head. Yes, Drake does have a classic album. Though, I’m not always inclined to pick Take Care first because I can skip a number of tracks on Take Care. I can’t say the same for Nothing Was The Same. The 15-song album (20 if you added some of the freebies that came out just before & after the album release to your own version) is a skip-free album. Well, aside from Jay’s, “Cake…cake, cake, cake, cake, cake” verse. We’ll just act like that never happened.

It’s fall now. The windows are open; I no longer need my fan and I can hear the leaves brush against each other as the wind blows a brisk breeze that constantly fills the room with a very distinct fall smell. I push play on Nothing Was The Same & I’m instantly taken back to the one-bedroom apartment with boxes upon boxes stacked on top of the hardwood floor that smelled like it was just polished the same morning I moved in. Yes, for me, Nothing Was The Same is that album.

 “Fuck all that ‘happy to be here’ shit that y’all want me on…I’m the big homie, they still be tryna lil bro me, dawg.”

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