When Drake rapped on “0 to 100”, “We already got spring 2015 poppin’, PND droppin’, Reps-up P droppin’, Majid Jordan droppin’, OB droppin’, not to mention me droppin,’” it wasn’t boastful. The self-proclaimed “6 God” fulfills his prophecy by dropping If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.

Following the new music model popularized by Beyoncé, Drizzy drops the album unannounced on the six-year anniversary of So Far Gone. More than symbolic, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late sounds largely retrospective, not only in content, but in execution.

Drizzy gets right back to business with the WondaGurl produced “Used To”. This is the Drake that rappers are afraid of – the one that can keep up with a reinvigorated Lil Wayne, the one that effortlessly slips into murder mode, but can still keep you shouting along.

The first half of the mixtape is slurred and slow hearken. “Legend” and “Energy” are dark and sinister – a hallmark of the Toronto sound as of late. The exaggerated delivery and tales of maneuvering through town is all signature Drake however. With the exception of the raucous “10 Bands”, the filter sweeps and confessionals continue until the Boi-1da and Syk Sense produced “6 God” rips through the speakers. It’s that splash of water that wakes you after the slow songs get a tad tedious.

The second half of the album takes it up a notch. PARTYNEXTDOOR takes over for an impromptu intermission with the slick “Preach” and “Wednesday Night Interlude”, but after the curtains raise, Drizzy gets right back to business with the WondaGurl produced “Used To”. This is the Drake that rappers are afraid of – the one that can keep up with a reinvigorated Lil Wayne, the one that effortlessly slips into murder mode, but can still keep you shouting along. The similarly scathing “6 pm in New York” is another entry in the geo-temporal affirmations that have been a consistent trademark over the years.

Drake continues to deliver those signature anthems that send the blogs, pundits and industry into a tizzy.

There are a few filler tracks. The ultra-sweet “Now & Forever” is almost comical in its repetition and the formulaic feel of “You & The 6” makes it feel like something scooped off the cutting room floor. While I usually enjoy 40’s R&B tinged signature creations, the Gabriel Garzon-Montano flip on “Jungle” felt uninspired, as did the Ginuwine lift on “Legend”.

Nonetheless, Drake continues to deliver those signature anthems that send the blogs, pundits and industry into a tizzy. Tracks like “Madonna” and “Company” featuring Travi$ Scott are those undeniable bangers that some hate to love. At this point it’s hard to deny his crown. And for anyone still willing to throw rocks, it might already be too late.

@MaajinnBluu