While you are busy jammin' out to Drake's Views on this glorious day of all days, it doesn't take long to realize that the rapper pays homage to some old-school hits on the 20-track album, sampling some '80s and '90s R&B classics throughout the record's track list. And in case that "I dedicate to you" refrain on "Fire & Desire" sounds just a tiny bit familiar, don't spend all day frantically racking your brain trying to remember where you've heard it before: Drake's "Fire & Desire" samples Brandy's "I Dedicate (Part II)," and it's an important reminder of just how influential and iconic the singer was in the '90s.
While Drake's "Fire & Desire" is all about recognizing the importance of his lady ("you're a real-ass woman and I like it," he sings), interestingly enough, Brandy's "I Dedicate" is all about her vocal inspirations (Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder), and other people who have helped shape and influence her life, like her family (there's a pre-Kim Kardashian Ray-J shoutout on there). I love the idea that Drake's "Fire & Desire" puts forward the idea that he was influenced by Brandy (enough to sample her song on his album), even echoing Brandy's "I dedicate to you" himself on the track.
If it's been a minute since you've thought of Brandy, let me remind you that this woman was IT in the '90s, with her R&B hits "Have You Ever," and "The Boy Is Mine," her duet with Monica, earning her critical acclaim and even a Grammy Award. Equally as praised were her acting chops, starring as the titular character in the long-running UPN series Moesha, and as Cinderella in Rogers & Hammerstein's Cinderella — opposite her idol, Whitney Houston, as Fairy Godmother.
And Brandy isn't the only R&B icon that Drake sampled on Views — according to Billboard, "Weston Road Flows" features a sample of Mary J. Blige's 1994 track "Mary's Joint," while the titular "Views" takes on The Winan's "The Question Is," from 1984. Drake was clearly heavily influenced by the old-school sounds of the '80s and '90s, and I love how he brought them back and paid homage to his roots on Views. Started from the '80s, now he's here.