"Pop Style" Belongs To Drake, No Matter Which Version Of The Song You Listen To
From where I sit (which is, unfortunately, not next to Drake atop the CN Tower in Toronto), here's my views on Views: this album is prayer hands emoji-levels of perfect. Honestly. You can try and convince me that the 20 tracks that make up Drake's fourth album are anything less than perfect but I'm just going to "Hotline Bling" it right out of there. Views is bae because Drake is bae. Like any good artist is wont to do, the nation's favorite slice of Canadian bacon, aka Drake, has been switching things up on us until the album dropped. Aside from a last-minute album name change (it's now VIEWS after being titled Views From the 6), one of the bigger changes is the switch-up on the track "Pop Style," which, when it was released as a single, featured The Throne (Jay Z and Kanye West) contributing verses. Don't get me wrong: the two parts of the original "Pop Style" are great, but somehow, Drake still manages to steal the spotlight regardless of which version you're listening to.
How exactly does Drake own both versions of "Pop Style"? Well, there was some buzzy disappointment with Jay Z's involvement on the original track — specifically, how short it is. Let's face it, in this competition for track domination, Jay Z loses instantly. Nice try, Jay Z, but your two lines can't save you.
Which brings us to Kanye. In the original "Pop Style," Kanye's flow is air tight, but there's something about off-kilter about the lyrics and the beats. They simply don't match up. Kanye's verse is a little too goofy for the vibe of "Pop Style." While Yeezy is known to infuse his verses with humor and self-deprecation where his celebrity lifestyle is concerned, the heavy bass line of of the song seems, tonally, at odds. Lyrics from Kanye's verse go a little something like this:
"Jay Z about his business/ I'mma let you finish but/ I just wanna rock your body/ Take you to the garage and do some karate/ Chop it, chop it, chop it, chop it, sippin' sake"
For a song that is all about chilling out, stay confident to the bone and living the high life you've earned, Kanye's lyrics feel scattershot.
The magic of Drake's replacement verse is that it enhances "Pop Style" by being utterly cool while staying on topic. He starts off the new verse with "I cannot be gotten that's a given," and truer words have never been spoken. Drake is leaning into the bass line throughout "Pop Style" with natural aplomb. If "Pop Style" is about maintaining a the number one status and relishing in your success, Drake keeps this message strong.
They been out here tellin' lies on me/ Everybody out here for themselves but they still got their eyes on me/ See me puttin' in the hard work now Mama doesn't have to call work now/ I decide when I start work now
Drake's swagger carries through this new verse and keeps us listeners in check. The new verse on "Pop Style" is the best edit that Views could have gotten. Not only was the original version a little messy, it was a bit dissonant in it's message. With the new "Pop Style," Drake takes full ownership and continues to give us a master class on how to stay on top.
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