The A-Z Guide to Every Song Sampled on Drake’s ‘Views’
The Toronto rapper's fourth studio album features everybody from Beenie Man to Timmy Thomas.
In a 2015 interview with The FADER, Drake described how his relationship with longtime producer and OVO Sound co-founder Noah "40" Shebib has evolved over the years, saying, "He used to be the guy that would track me in hotel rooms at 4 AM. And now he is not that guy—I have another guy that does that. If I want to make the album I want to make, I have to go find him. I have to go sit with him, and we have to really put in effort."
The terms of their partnership may have changed since the hitmaker began working with Aubrey Graham in 2005, but there's nobody who understands the Toronto rapper's needs better. For his highly anticipated fourth album, Views—released last week following an extensive Zane Lowe interview on Beats 1—Drake kept the production largely in-house, with contributions from PartyNextDoor, Majid Jordan, Nineteen85 (of R&B duo dvsn), and more.
Still, 40's presence looms the largest, with credits on the majority of the record's 19 songs. While the album feels emotionally and musically cold and sparse in places, there's also moments of real warmth, especially on tracks like "Controlla" and "One Dance," which draw on an array of international influences, including reggae dancehall and UK funky. From Beenie Man to The Winans, here's our guide to all the songs sampled on Views.
Beenie Man, "Tear Off Mi Garment"
Sampled On: "Controlla"
Following Rihanna's "Work" music video, which was shot at Toronto restaurant The Real Jerk, the album's catchiest tune—and Caribana anthem-in-the-making—emphasizes the city's rich Jamaican heritage with words from the dancehall veteran.
Brandy, "I Dedicate, Pt. 2"
Sampled On: "Fire & Desire"
Remember when Drake put out that half-baked post-humous Aaliyah song? This is a much better homage to the 90s.
DJ Paleface feat. Kyla, "Do You Mind (Crazy Cousinz Remix)"
Sampled On: "One Dance"
Drake's Anglophilia is well-documented, from his Jamie xx collaboration to his friendship with Skepta and allegiance to grime crew BBK. The best British influence, however, is Crazy Cousinz's UK funky remix of Kyla's 2008 piano house hit "Do You Mind," which provides the foundation for Views highlight "One Dance." As for the singer's reaction? "I thought it was an April Fools [joke]. It's not every day Drake calls," she told Noisey in a recent interview.
DMX feat. Faith Evans, "How's It Goin' Down"
Sampled On: "U With Me?"
Despite their past differences—including a 2012 Breakfast Club interview where DMX declared, "I don't like anything about Drake"—things seemed to be a bit more copacetic between X and the Toronto rapper of late. Interpolating a pair of classics by the Ruff Ryders star might seem like an odd call for an artist not typically regarded for his, err, toughness, but it fits the track's braggadocio rhymes.
DMX feat. Sisqo, "What They Really Want"
Sampled On: "U With Me?"
Incidentally, DMX is allegedly releasing a new album this year, his first since 2012's Disputed.
Ha-Sizzle, "She Rode That Dick Like A Soulja"
Sampled On: "Child's Play"
Like Beyonce's "Formation," "Child's Play" draws on New Orleans bounce culture, this time sampling one of Ha-Sizzle's best-known tunes. Unlike the Lemonade highlight, which was politically charged and urgent, it's used as a springboard for Drake to air out his dirty laundry.
Ideal, "Get Gone"
Sampled On: "Faithful"
From the Houston R&B quartet's 1999 self-titled debut album.
Sampled On: "Faithful"
Despite its rattling, tough-as-nails Timbaland beat, Jay Z's "Tom Ford"—off his critically maligned 2013 album, Magna Carta... Holy Grail—is decidedly not a good song, albeit redeemed slightly by a remix featuring an unreleased verse from the late Texas rapper and one half of UGK. Repurposed for the intro of "Faithful," the overall effect is slightly jarring, but it underscores how heavily Drake's career has been influenced by Houston and Southern hip-hop.
Malcolm McLaren, "World's Famous"
Sampled On: "Feel No Ways"
While he's been mostly preoccupied with The Life Of Pablo this year, Kanye West contributed his behind-the-boards talents to "U With Me?" and "Feel No Ways," the latter of which borrows the oft-used drums from McLaren's 1983 track. Coincidentally, Pharrell also sampled it for his 2006 single "Number One," also featuring 'Ye.
Mary J. Blige, "Mary's Joint"
Sampled On: "Weston Road Flows"
Even though it contains some of the album's most Toronto-centric references—including, but not limited to, NBA player Vince Carter, rapper Jelleestone, and the city's transit system—there's nothing more universal than 40 flipping a track from the R&B superstar's 1994 breakthrough My Life, with a key assist from rising 23-year-old French producer Stwo.
Mavado feat. Serani, "Dying"
Sampled On: "9"
He's yet to go all-in and make a full dancehall record, but Drake's certainly not afraid to cherry-pick from the genre, this time using a forlorn hook from Mavado's 2007 debut album, Gangsta for Life: The Symphony of David Brooks. Thematically, it's a continuation of the topics Drake explored on If You're Reading This It's Too Late, with the rapper reflecting on the trappings of success. "9" was co-produced by Brian Alexander Morgan, best known for his work with New York trio SWV, which makes sense given the rapper's predilection for 90s R&B.
Popcaan, "Love Yuh Bad"
Sampled On: "Too Good"
A verse Popcaan laid down on a previously leaked version of "Controlla" was unexplainably absent from the final version, leaving many Jamaican fans feeling cold. Hopefully the original reference track sees the light of day eventually, but in the meantime, we've got the Rihanna-featuring "Too Good," which uses the Mixpak-signed dancehall star's 2014 hit "Love Yuh Bad."
Ray J, "One Wish"
Sampled On: "Redemption"
Timmy Thomas, "Why Can't We Live Together"
Sampled On: "Hotline Bling"
Remember this one? Last year's summer anthem made Views as a bonus track in what seemed a canny move to guarantee the album a platinum plaque through the Recording Industry Association of America's revised certification system. Despite the passage of time, the sample of Timmy Thomas' 1972 electric organ-driven soul hit "Why Can't We Live Together"—which received a stellar rework courtesy of LA's DJ Dodger Stadium—is still the MVP of "Hotline Bling."
The Winans, "The Question Is"
Sampled On: "Views"
The ruminative outro of Views—which recalls Drake's solo effort "30 For 30 Freestyle," off his 2015 collaborative mixtape with Future—borrows the chorus of the Detroit gospel group's 1981 song. It also was used for "Summer Sixteen," which didn't make the final album cut.
Max Mertens is on Twitter.