May 23, 2012

Evan Nabavian is mostly not lying.

I might get pilloried by team Passion for writing this, but I think Drake kills it – absolutely kills it – when he makes music at the exact right point in his menstrual cycle. “No Lie” counts among the five Drake songs I like, the first four being “Best I Ever Had,” “I’m On One,” “Free Spirit” and “The Motto” (before they put Tyga on it). If these songs comprised The Drizzy EP, it would be a document of commercial rap’s redemption. On all of these songs, Drake hit the booth looking to project a scrappy rap heartthrob – the sensitive guy in the crew who still gets respect from the street.

“No Lie” hits hard and Drake sings a Timberlake-esque hook, clearly gunning for summer anthem status. He applies pop sensibilities to the 2010 Lex Luger/Southside trap banger and executes perfectly. I think everyone prefers Drake as an able and willing pop star over the wounded starlet we hear on “Marvin’s Room” or the Lil Wayne impersonator we hear on “Headlines” – even if he sounds like an edgy Backstreet Boy on paper.

Oh yeah, this is technically a 2 Chainz song. He’s filler. Not compelling enough to deserve a second look, but not generic enough to ruin a great Drake song. His ultra-ignorant brag rap serves the track well, but he barely raps as well as the average MMG weed carrier. This means he’ll live and die by his taste in beats and collaborators. Come to think of it, “No Lie,” “Neighborhood Hoez” and “Pimps” have the makings of another great EP.

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