Drake pulls the best Beyoncé move of all time

By Managing Editor

The definition of what constitutes an album versus a mixtape has fluctuated and been influenced in part by the music industry.

A mixtape today is defined loosely and is generally considered a project that did not flow through the typical label-run vetting and distribution process that an official album would be subject to.

The former “Degrassi” star and popular rapper Drake “pulled a Beyoncé” on Feb. 12, casually dropping a surprise 17-track mixtape, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, shortly before midnight, after releasing a 14-minute short film titled “Jungle,” a name shared by one of the songs on the mixtape.

Drake’s attempt to imitate what Beyoncé did with her acclaimed self-titled album in December 2013 seems just as welcome and nearly as successful.

Drake released the surprise project through his Twitter account @Drake, tweeting a link for fans to follow and purchase the album on iTunes for $12.99.

The mixtape is now available for streaming on SoundCloud and Spotify and features artists including Lil Wayne and PARTYNEXTDOOR with mentions of artists in certain songs such as Madonna, indie-rock band the Raptors and rapper Riff Raff.

While some fans seem disappointed in the absence of any sort of somber Take Care feels, the surprise release is a worthwhile listen evenly sprinkled with both thought-provoking tracks and turn-up songs.

One question yet to be answered, though, is why Drake would release such an extensive project as a mixtape and not an album, seeing as the work he put into both the mixtape and his short film might have had a more substantial payoff.

Many critics and fans agree that it is peculiar Drake would choose to release the project as a mixtape, as many music lovers view mixtapes as the distribution method usually pursued by much more amateur artists, or at least musicians who are new to the business and just looking for a way to get their names out there.

However, Drake is a name that has been out there since he released his very first mixtape So Far Gone back in 2009.

Another success of Drake’s video and mixtape release is the storytelling he used in his short film, “Jungle.”

The film, just longer than 14 minutes, opens with a relatable and somewhat heavy intro to his perspective of his current social and professional life.

While this is a sentiment many artists express after they have achieved success or even reached their peak, the artist’s grind is often an overwhelming cycle in which they feel the pressure to continuously impress their fans, often going so far as to try to compete with their past work and their “former selves.”

While Drake discusses in his short film a feeling of obligation to constantly improve upon his earlier work, he should be proud of his efforts and the dedication he put toward surprising his fans with a mixtape that offered a wealth of versatile music with a compelling video to complement his audio work.