Drake is no stranger to dramatic left turns in his career. It's how he got started in the first place, as a former child TV star signing to Lil Wayne's record label. He has always flipped between hip-hop and pop, between rap and singing, appealing to your standard rap fans and casual radio listeners. His breakthrough song, "Best I Ever Had" is essentially a pop song, and one of his first singles, "Find Your Love," contains no rapping.
Yet, when "Hold On, We're Going Home" debuted about a month ago, it still felt like a dramatically different Drake, especially in light of the singles he'd released in 2013. Mixing a classic '80s sound with some of the same influences that have dominated both independent music and the mainstream, the song is seemingly an amalgamation of several different but important strands of popular music.
While Drake hasn't said specifically what artists and songs have influenced him directly on "Hold On, We're Going Home," and his latest album Nothing Was The Same, there are at least thirteen songs that set the tone and make a song like this possible. They are all mostly recent, because the mix of nostalgia (including chill-wave, throwback electronic music, neo-disco) and radio pop (as well as rap, indie, R&B) is a distinctively recent pop phenomenon. Here are some songs that establish the context for a radio star releasing a song like "Hold On, We're Going Home" in 2013.Continue Reading