Drake is preparing to release Views, his fourth studio album, on Friday after a long, mysterious wait. He began discussing the follow-up to Nothing Was the Same in 2014 – and even gave it a provisional title, Views From the 6 – but instead of releasing his next proper full-length, he has surprised fans with several unofficial singles and two acclaimed album-length mixtapes: high-profile solo effort If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and Future collaboration What a Time to Be Alive. Given his prolific output for the past three years as he has wrapped up the LP now simply titled Views, information is muddled as to what fans can expect from the upcoming release. Here is what we know, so far.
In keeping with the original title of Views From the 6, a reference to Drake’s home of Toronto – the current city was formerly made up of six smaller cities – the album’s cover shows an image of the city’s CN Tower. The image is Photoshopped so that it appears as though the rapper is seated atop the landmark.
Drake confirmed the final track list of the album on Twitter earlier this week. Noticeably absent is “Summer Sixteen,” a track he debuted on OVO Sound in January just moments before confirming the April release of his new album. The single’s title also happens to be the name of his summer tour with Future, which begins in July.
The track list does, however, include Drake’s recently released songs “One Dance” featuring Wizkid and Kyla and “Pop Style” featuring Jay Z and Kanye West, who are billed together as the Throne. His 2015 smash hit “Hotline Bling,” a song he debuted during his radio show last summer amid his Meek Mill feud, is the album’s sole bonus track.
Leaked tracks “Controlla” featuring Popcaan and “Faithful” featuring Pimp C, which Drake has not released officially, are also included on the final track list.
The track list Drake released prior to the album’s official debut did not specify guests, even for the previously released songs, but the roster of featured artists ranges from hip-hop heavyweights like the Throne to international artists such as dancehall performer Popcaan and Filipino singer Kyla.
As on his other studio albums, Drake has continued to work with his OVO team, including Oliver El-Khatib and Noah “40” Shebib, both of whom spoke about the album last September with the Fader. “We’re just really getting back to basics and not giving ourselves any sense of deadline,” El-Khatib said. “Just letting it happen naturally. That’s how we’ve always done it. When it’s done, it’s done. If we love it, we love it.”
Both Drake and Apple Music confirmed that the album would be an Apple Music exclusive, though a trailer the rapper released on “Views Eve” noted that the exclusive would be for a limited time. Apple Music’s Tumblr account then revealed that a special OVO Sound show on Beats 1 on Thursday night would serve as the album’s “global listening party.” Zane Lowe will also be interviewing Drake on the program, which usually runs on Saturday evenings.