OVO Sound Radio has already more than justified the existence of Apple Music's Beats 1, gifting the internet with new music weekly from Drake and his posse. He's made web stars out of guys like Mississauga's Ramriddlz and "remixed" songs like D.R.A.M.'s "Cha Cha" into inescapable hits like "Hotline Bling."
Drake's been co-signing artists like this for a lot longer than he's had an online radio platform, of course - songs like "Tuesday" attest to this - but it's given him a weekly sounding board to attempt to recapture the success of his original A&R discovery: The Weeknd.
During this week's episode, Drake returned directly to those roots, jumping on The Weeknd's "Tell Your Friends" from his chart-topping new album Beauty Behind The Madness.
Abel Tesfaye is now beyond the point where he needs Drake's co-sign - this isn't an unknown mystery singing beguiling R&B over Cocteau Twins samples, but a major label superstar writing songs with Max Martin and singing duets with Ed Sheeran - but it's not hard to see why Drake would want to hop on "Tell Your Friends." Aside from its lush, soulful Kanye West production, it's the song from Beauty that most sounds like Drake. Those lyrics about returning home to Toronto a hero, richer but with the same values (and drug problem)? Straight out of the "Started From The Bottom" playbook.
So why does Drake's remix fall so flat? Well, unlike the last song he labelled a "freestyle," the Meek Mill destroying "Back To Back," this one sounds like he could actually be writing it on the spot. Drake spends most of the time laying back and letting the beat play, often defaulting to his new one-word chorus: "evolving." And though the lyrics' switched focus to a relationship "too famous" to buy purses for (likely Serena Williams) give the tabloids something to hook onto, it's still full of Drizzy's icky paternal, condescending "nice guy" romance that easily sounds like it could come from the mouth of Danny Tanner.
As great as it would be if this were the next "Crew Love," I'd say skip the remix and go back to the original.