“Mine” ft. Drake- Beyoncé

I was up last Thursday at midnight when Beyoncé unexpectedly dropped her fifth-album, the self-titled Beyoncé. Not surprisingly people were freaking out instantly, saying Queen Bey had obliterated the competition and calling the record a game-changer. While I’d argue it’s still premature to make such sweeping declarations about a week-old album, early returns and Billboard numbers indicate the R&B blitzkrieg worked. But the more interesting thing to me during those early hours of the album’s release wasn’t what everyone was saying, but what wasn’t being said. I follow three-hundred plus artists on Twitter and once the Beyoncé news broke, not a single one of them had a thing to say. It could’ve been the late-night hours that kept them silent; I’d like to picture the music industry collectively shuddering, not knowing how to even proceed.

Had they heard the album, they certainly would’ve been shook. A mélange of “post-dubstep tinted future R&B“, Beyoncé’s stunning cohesiveness borders on inscrutable. From the soaring “XO” to the matrimonial giddiness of “Drunk in Love”, everything logically fits together and serves an artistic purpose, a major achievement considering how many people worked on this LP. One of these collaborative efforts that immediately caught my eye, was “Mine”, featuring Drake and produced by the rapper’s in-house producer Noah “40” Shebib. “Mine” is what you might expect from a “40” effort, fumes of synthesizer and percussive clinks slowly encroaching on the track, occasionally picking up into full bass-drops and drum machine hits. To fit in with the minor-key fare, Beyoncé and Drake stick to the shadows. “F*** what you heard your mine, your mine,” Beyoncé proclaims. In the past, she would’ve wailed the line into oblivion, here she holds back, barely rising above a whisper. Drake’s in self-conscious confidence mode, s***-talking one moment and sincerely apologizing the next. His lothario side is largely tempered to fit the couple on the verge of commitment vibes. Call it next level if you’d like, tracks like “Mine” make it clear that on Beyoncé everyone’s working on the same level, and she’s leading the way.

Listen to the track here.

“Hold On We’re Going Home”- Drake

Outside of Kanye West, Drake is the rapper most capable of going from unparalleled cockiness to soul crushing self-doubt. Any sense of the braggadocio Drake took to uncharted territory earlier this year with “5 AM In Toronto” vanishes in the night when the soft disco walk of “Hold On We’re Going Home” steps forward. The muscular bass booms from the speaker, but Drake still can’t lift all this weight alone. His Spartan ego still has its Achilles heel and it’s on full display here: “I can’t get over you, you left your mark on me, I want your high love and emotion endlessly.” He proposes “going home” to be alone with the girl that caught his eye, though it reads as more of a stop-gap than a long-term solution. If this is in fact an official single off of Nothing Was The Same (as has been reported), we’re getting “Drake featuring Drake.” One the opulent party-host, the other coat half on hiding in the corner; looking for the first chance to leave.

Listen here and look Nothing Was The Same to drop September 17.