Welcome back to our coverage of Drake. We are going balls to the wall over here, as if we've all been cooped up all winter and finally just got released outside to run around and stretch our legs. Except "all winter" is the amount of time we waited for the album to come out, and "running around outside" means listening to Views on repeat. And on one of my rotations through this audio playground (see what I did there?), my ear got caught on Track 6, and I started wondering — what song does "Weston Road Flows" sample?
As I mentioned, it's the sixth song on the album, and it comes in with a kind of a hazy female voice. The woman sings alone for a moment before Drake begins rapping over the top about the road in Toronto that he grew up on, and repeats on loop throughout the song with the following lyrics:
Why can't we work it out
Why baby? Can't we try (why, why, why, why, why)
You said our love would always stand the test of time
It turns out to be a sample of Mary J. Blige singing the outro from her 1994 hit "Mary's Joint," off the album My Life, which makes perfect sense. Not only is that a song that Drake would have grown up listening to during his formative years, but Drake and Mary J. Blige have actually collaborated before; Drake did a verse on Blige's "The One" in 2005, and Drake also brought Blige onstage for a performance of his song "Fancy" at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2010.
So, they have a history of working together, and this particular sample from "Mary's Joint" is the perfect fit to highlight Drake's complicated relationship with the place he's from now that he's made it big. It will always be home, but his life is so different now that it must really make him wonder if that relationship — with Weston Road and his childhood home in general — will stand the test of time. Or, in other words, if he can stay true to the person that he used to be.
It's a pretty interesting message, and I maybe wouldn't have understood exactly what Drake was getting at without the sample, so congratulations on a successful collaboration, sir! Now, if you'll excuse me, I have more swings and slides and merry-go-rounds to investigate.