Drake Returns To His Rap Roots With A Griselda Producer

Tomorrow (October 6), Drake is slated to release his eighth solo album, For All The Dogs. The superstar’s first full length since mid-2022’s Honestly Nevermind is promoted in signature Drake fashion, with a time-stamp song arriving days before the OVO LP.

“8am In Charlotte” follows catalog gems such as “4pm In Calabasas” and “5am In Toronto.” This time, Drizzy links with Grammy Award-winning producer Conductor Williams—an artist known for his extensive work with Griselda Records artists including Westside Gunn, Mach-Hommy, and Rome Streetz—as well as an acclaimed work on Tyler, The Creator’s CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST album.

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Atop the video posted to the artist’s socials, Drake interviews his son, Adonis. It features the child artist describing a drawing of an animal—eventually revealed to be a goat, running away from “monsters and animals” out to get him. The sequence is rife with symbolism—with Drake as the G.O.A.T. and his enemies being creatures nipping at his heels. Conductor’s piano-based production begins, and listeners are treated to a stream of conscious from one of Rap’s reigning greats.

The money speakin’ for itself, I call it fortune-tell / Fire top from a b___h that work at corporate sales / Chinchilla ushanka, we skiing out in Courchevel,” brags Drake at the top, referring to a stylish French destination. He then speaks about some movers and shakers in his circle. “I  leave for tour and my n___as f__kin’ go to jail / Preachin’ to the dogs ’bout wantin’ more for themselves / It’s weighin’ heavy on my moral scale / Knowin’ they gon’ sell another citizen ‘cane, they think they Orson Welles.” A few lyrics later, he jabs, “I got these cats tuckin’ tails on fourth-quarter sales / I’m used to seein’ tears drop over enormous meals.

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Breaking news, they tried to kill him, but the boy prevails.” Like past time stamp songs, the MC/singer is bringing a chippy message to his foes. Moments later, he raps, “Your words don’t match your actions like a foreign film / And now it’s silence in the lamb, like the horror film / Things get quiet after me statin’ the obvious / Things get kinky after 15 years of dominance / That October sky is lookin’ ominous / The money is autonomous / Shout’ to Oliver North, he out in Rome doin’ Toronto s__t / And Jeremiah the watchdog, you niggas know what time it is / I’m in and out of Houston Hobby so much, I’m a hobbyist / H__s waitin’ on Cench in the lobby, that boy a lobbyist / Savage got a green card straight out of the consulate.”

In the third verse, Drake talks slickly to his opponents again. “You n___as obsessed with me, and it’s not on no-hetero vibe / Handle beef so quiet, you think that I’m letting it slide / Next thing you know, we tip-toeing past enemy lines / Diss me so long ago, we making your memories fly / Conspiracy theories start floatin’ ’round like the Kennedy guy / I’ll prolly hold a grudge against you guys ’til I’m 75.” Days before his 37th birthday, Drake is still a competitor who sees himself in fighting shape. Publications, including HotNewHipHop, are speculating that Drake’s disses are aimed at his longtime friend-turned-foe, Kanye West. Less than a year ago, on the song “Circo Loco,” the OVO leader suggested that his 2021 peace campaign with ‘Ye was not genuine to his feelings. In late 2021, Ambrosia For Heads pointed to instances during their collaborative concert, where Drake dissed Kanye West. Drake also has a longtime feud with Pusha-T.

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This is not Drake’s first work with Griselda. In 2021, Drizzy and Benny The Butcher made “Buffalo Freestyle.” The song eventually leaked, but was never officially released. Two years later, Benny has lamented the song not coming out. “I was pissed, I’m not gon’ lie. It’s a f__king Drake record,” the Buffalo, New York MC told Joe Budden. “It was my biggest record…It’s a record just sitting in my pocket but I understand the mechanics of the business.” Benny added that he had no ill will towards Drake.

#BonusBeat: Conductor Williams recently produced one of two new Little Brother songs (“Glory Glory”), available on the AFH playlist (which also includes “8am In Charlotte”):