Last night, hours before Drake's fourth studio album was set to be released, the rapper took to Instagram to belatedly join in the week-long Views album artwork Photoshop party. He announced the album's featured artists by placing a tiny version of himself on each of their shoulders.
It was not only one of the lamest, least satisfying jokes I have ever stumbled across, it was one of the most beautiful, sneaky admissions of guilt. The Views album artwork was always meant to inspire memes, just like the music video for "Hotline Bling" was always meant to fast-track an alright single from the shadows to the song of autumn.
Now your boy The Boy, king of neuroses, 6 god, father of memes, and breaker of Meek has brought winter to April. Drake's new album Views was released exclusively on iTunes late last night, and those smart enough to purchase it and submit it as a work expense (will internet content creators be able to do their jobs in 2016 without access to it?) may have been thrilled to find that the album was paired with a "digital booklet."
The Boy has brought winter to April
The digital booklet is a PDF, and oh, what a PDF it is.
I will say that the Views PDF is not as chilling as the PDFs that accompany most Taylor Swift iTunes purchases, because hers often contain cyphers. However, it is a close second, because it's a harrowing journey into the mind of a man who is embracing his ability to manipulate the cultural conversation and command the creation of memes.
I will walk you through the horrible nightmare it has painted in my mind here.
Looking out over the city of Toronto, a city Drake loves but a city Drake knows gets mixed reviews, Drake dreams of memes. He looks down at the slim gold chain on his chest and thinks the pun "Chaining Tatum." He doesn't chuckle, just purses his lips and then sends a freezing twirl of spit spiraling toward the gravel below, mumbling, "You've done it again."
A computer-generated Drake stomps through the tundra, then settles into position. He notes with pride that his outfit stands in stark contrast to the snow and the washed-out mansion behind him. He will be so easy to Photoshop. CG Drake furrows his brow: "I'm so predictable, I hate people like me." A single water molecule freezes in CG Drake's tear duct, but he doesn't move to wipe it away. He cannot. His 3D modelers have not yet given him that animation.
The stars rearrange themselves for Drake. The stars rearrange themselves into the inside of Drake's Rolls-Royce. Drake thinks, "Who is driving?" Drake takes out his iPhone, opens Apple Maps. He whispers to whoever is in the front of the Royce: "I can GPS you if you need addressing." Drake cackles. No one hears him. There is no one driving. There is no one Drake can trust to drive. Drake is in a snowbank in a Rolls-Royce. It is winter. It is cold. It is so cold.
Drake and his business associates have their weekly discussion on whether champagne itself is the metaphor, or if empty, gold-plated champagne glasses are the metaphor. They decide a lush leather couch is the metaphor and they sit upon it. One of them disagrees, and clings to an iPhone, which is the only object in this world that is not a metaphor, that is real. Drake says, "I made a decision last night and I would die for it." The decision is a metaphor.
Drake tells you to pull every Gerbera daisy up by the roots and you oblige. The color was hurting your eyes. It is April. It is winter. "This is not a fairytale," you growl at yourself. You tweet "my springtime days are over, fuck that season for life," and Drake scribbles something in his planner with a red pen.
Drake raises a brow and the internet does his bidding. You struggle again to make your iTunes download of Views work properly. Drake's breath is cold as Canada, then warm like a fever as he whispers in your ear, "it doesn't matter."