Drake's third album, Nothing Was the Same, hits stores September 24. We've already heard a few singles, scratched our heads at the WTF cover art and watched the album's trailer, featuring a ridiculous amount of expensive cars, in a haze of jealousy.
While we sit back and wait for the final piece of the puzzle—the actual album—let's dissect what we know so far about Nothing Was the Same.
1. Come on, Get Happy If you were a fan of Drake's melancholy flow on Take Care, the new album might not be for you. It sounds like Drake found a little bit of happiness since he released his second album in 2011, and we can all thank Los Angeles for that.
Drake told Billboard in early 2012, "Now I'm in a very, very, very, very different place than I've ever been. Really focused on myself, really focused on my health, my body, my mind, really wanting to be the best I can possibly be... I'm in a different mindset now that I'm very proud of..." He added, "I recently made the move to L.A. There's a new atmosphere. I'm getting to know new people... Anybody knows that when it's new, that's when I thrive."
We heard a little taste of Drizzy's new "glass half-full" attitude on the second Nothing Was the Same single, "Hold On, We're Going Home." Older Drake fans were a little confused—the emo Drake they once knew and loved ditched the frowns in favor of a lighthearted, '80s synth throwback.
2. The Collaborators Noah "40" Shebib has been working with Drake since way back. No, really—Shebib helped produced the Degrassi mini-series Degrassi Unscripted.
But like the song says, they started from the bottom, now they're here: After producing Drake's first two albums, Shebib came back again as the primary producer on Nothing Was the Same, with a few other producers lending a helping hand. Boi-1da, T-Minus, Mike Zombie, Hudson Mohawke and Mike WiLL Made It (among others) all hit the studio with Drake this time around.
There are a lot fewer guest appearances from other singers and rappers, however. Drake's debut album, Thank Me Later, and his second album, Take Care, had eight guest appearances each (Lil Wayne and Jay Z, to name a few). Nothing Was the Same, on the other hand, only features two guests on the official track list, one of which is much lesser known: Detroit rapper Detail, who is featured on "305 to My City," and Jay Z, who appears on "Pound Cake" (which we hope is actually about pound cake).
3. The Singles Before releasing the first official single, Drake put out a few one-off songs that don't appear on the album, "5AM in Toronto" and "Girls Love Beyonce" among them. But we didn't get a real taste of what Nothing Was the Same had in store until the minimal but aggressive "Started From the Bottom" arrived.
After that, we heard "Hold On, We're Going Home" and most recently, "Wu-Tang Forever" (below) which samples Wu Tang Clan's Wu-Tang Forever track "It's Yourz."
4. That Infamous Cover Art When Drake revealed the artistic album cover for Nothing Was the Same, the Internet started making fun of it immediately. The double cover, which features an oil painting by Kadir Nelson (famous for his work on Michael Jackson's Michael album cover), shows an illustrated present-day Drake looking back thoughtfully at a young Drake against a blue sky background. It kind of reminds us of something we might see from Yeezy, not Drizzy.
Nelson told MTV News, "I approached [the cover] as if it were something that would have resonance not only for now, but for all time. It's something that Drake and I both thought would last beyond what you'll see on most album covers now. We wanted something that was different from everything else."
Drake continued, "Sometimes when I try and think back through this journey it's hard to pinpoint all these moments. On past albums when I've been trying to tell the story, I've got there but maybe not got there all the way. This is my most clear, concise thoughts from now, and my best recollection of then." Hence the clear blue sky. It's symbolism, duh.
5. The Track List Without further ado, the Nothing Was the Same track list:
1. Tuscan Leather
2. Furthest Thing
3. Started From The Bottom
4. Wu-Tang Forever
5. Own It
6. Worst Behavior
7. From Time
8. Hold On, We're Going Home
10. The Language
11. 305 To My City (featuring Detail)
12. Too Much
13. Pound Cake (featuring Jay Z)/ Paris Morton Music 2
14. Come Thru*
15. All Me*
* Deluxe edition
Drake's Nothing Was the Same drops September 24.