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Two tracks in two days: Drake's Days in the East more wistful than Draft Day

Drake on the last show of his 2013 tour, in Philadelphia.

Owen Sweeney/Invision/AP

Draft Day

By Drake; streaming here.

Days in the East

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By Drake; streaming here.

Another day, another track dropped from Drake. On Wednesday it was the Lauryn Hill-sampling Draft Day. Thursday brings Days in the East, a moody retrospection on split loyalties – east-side homies versus west-side family, and current love versus old love.

Draft Day finds Drizzy getting Wiggy and brash, while taking playful but pointed aim at hip-hop kingpins. It samples Hill's 1998 tune Doo-Wop (That Thing) and name-checks sports figures such as football's Johnny Manziel and Toronto-bred basketballer Andrew Wiggins, both of them wunderkinds awaiting drafting into the pro leagues. Drake, though clearly established, associates himself with their coming ascent. With Hill's hit woozily drifting in the background, our man refers to himself in the third person and boasts of his trend-setting mix of rapping and singing: "That boy manifested it, that boy knew it was written, that boy did it on purpose."

Days in the East is an example of Drake's "switchin' up the program," as its R&B flow is low and mellow. He recalls a visit to an urban-music empress – "Remember one night I went to Erykah Badu's house / She made tea for me" – as he ponders a past lover still on his mind.

The wistful track is in contrast to the cockier Draft Day, where Drake, focused on "makin' records and gettin' bigger," disses the rappers who have a Mrs., undoubtedly Kanye West and Jay Z. Later, the Hunger Games actress Jennifer Lawrence receives a nice shout-out.

The world-beater Drake is insolent, and will be fed. He's got hunger and he's got game, but he wants you to know that he's a boy in love with parts of his past just the same.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More


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