Drake Is Under Critical Fire — And Still on Top


What kind of music should the world expect from a 36-year-old Drake? “I want to hear adult Drake rapping for adult people,” rapper-turned-podcaster Joe Budden said after hearing his new album, For All The Dogs. In lieu of any newfound maturity, the album is instead full of very Drake moments, including lyrics about a ruined Bahamas trip, the difficulties of dating 25-year-olds, Esperanza Spalding’s 2011 Grammy wins, and people thinking he’s still hung up on Rihanna. Meanwhile, critics noticed what they described as a growing misogyny in Drake’s work, and called the album a “misfire.”

In the new episode of Rolling Stone Music Now, Mankaprr Conteh joins host Brian Hiatt to discuss the new album (which they like better than most critics), the state of Drake discourse, and much more. For the full discussion, go here for the podcast provider of your choice, listen on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or just press play above.


To fans, it seems, none of the criticism matters. As the episode discusses, For All The Dogs not only hit number one, but also claimed seven of the top 10 singles in the Hot 100. “First Person Shooter,” a fan favorite track with J. Cole, is the top song in the country, which means Drake has now tied Michael Jackson for the most number ones from a male artist (though, to be fair, pre-streaming charts bear little resemblance to post-streaming ones).

Download and subscribe to Rolling Stone‘s weekly podcast, Rolling Stone Music Now, hosted by Brian Hiatt, on Apple Podcasts or Spotify (or wherever you get your podcasts). Check out six years’ worth of episodes in the archive, including in-depth, career-spanning interviews with Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, Halsey, Neil Young, Snoop Dogg, Brandi Carlile, Phoebe Bridgers, Rick Ross, Alicia Keys, the National, Ice Cube, Taylor Hawkins, Willow, Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Dua Lipa, Questlove, Killer Mike, Julian Casablancas, Sheryl Crow, Johnny Marr, Scott Weiland, Liam Gallagher, Alice Cooper, Fleetwood Mac, Elvis Costello, John Legend, Donald Fagen, Charlie Puth, Phil Collins, Justin Townes Earle, Stephen Malkmus, Sebastian Bach, Tom Petty, Eddie Van Halen, Kelly Clarkson, Pete Townshend, Bob Seger, the Zombies, and Gary Clark Jr. And look for dozens of episodes featuring genre-spanning discussions, debates, and explainers with Rolling Stone’s critics and reporters.

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