Drake has made the biggest announcement yet about his new album Views From The 6. The Hotline Bling rapper is expected to release his fourth studio album on 29 April with Apple Music and iTunes carrying the record exclusively.
Announcing the exciting news on his Beats 1 OVO Sound Radio station on Saturday (9 April), Drake, 29, told listeners: "Views is dropping 29 April. It's something that I've been working really hard on, myself and 40 [producer Noah Shebib]... Trying to craft a lifestyle track, a sound for our city. It's not a short ting [sic]. There's a lot of music on there. You'll have your full share of Drake music for the summer and for the year. Forever."
A trailer which the Work rapper, real name Aubrey Graham, shared on Twitter appears to suggest the album will be his most reflective to date and will cover everything from his upbringing in Toronto, Canada, to his signing with Lil Wayne's Young Money record label and his biggest achievements since rising to the forefront of rap in 2009.
Watch Drake's Views From The 6 trailer
Speaking over a montage of his milestone moments, Drake charts his journey over the last seven years, saying: "The 6. Rappers. Diamond. Key. New Ride. Old Ride. Bad Times. Good Times. Young Money. New Money. OVO. 29. 29. 29. Best I Ever Had. Worst Behaviour. Old crib. New crib. October. Sound. Festival. Album time again or acting time again. My friends, my friends. Younger me. Older me. Me as Manny. Me as Jimmy. Me as Drake.
Among the references are Drake's hit singles, his role as Jimmy Brooks in Degrassi: The Next Generation, receiving the key to the city of his hometown Toronto and launching the OVO Fest in 2009. The repetition of the number 29 also suggests that 29 April was chosen deliberately to match his age.
With an official release date in the diary, the countdown is on for what will undoubtedly be Drake's fourth number-one album in the US. In anticipation of the arrival of Views From The 6, IBTimes UK takes a look at everything we know so far about one of the most awaited albums of 2016.
Listen to Drake's Hotline Bling:
As previously mentioned, Drizzy will be dropping Views From The 6 on 29 April but you won't find it on Tidal, Spotify or any other streaming service just yet with Apple Music holding exclusive rights to the release.
Tracklist and collaborations
Drake is keeping fans in suspense with the official tracklist, but several songs have leaked online in recent weeks, including These Days. The rapper has a great host of collaborations with dancehall artist PopCaan featuring on Controlla, a verse from UGK legend Pimp C on Faithful, afrobeats star Wizkid on One Dance and Jay Z and Kanye West on Pop Style.
On his show, however, Drake premiered a new version of that song without the guest stars and his effort to remaster it suggests it will definitely end up on the final tracklist. Over recent months, Drake has also released a couple of songs which did not appear on last year's mixtapes, If You're Reading This It's Too Late and What A Time To Be Alive, so it is entirely likely that Hotline Bling and Summer Sixteen will make the final cut.
There is also speculation as to whether he will include his Meek Mill diss tracks Charged Up and Back To Back. Considering the latter was nominated for a Grammy and is a firm fan favourite, it would seem a wise choice. Rumours are also rife that Drake and producer 40 could again team up with Atlanta's very own Future, following the chart-topping success of their WATTBA mixtape.
With Controlla and One Dance infusing elements of dancehall and afrobeats, Views might just turn out to be Drake's most creative record to date. Addressing the new direction of his sound, Drizzy said: "I'm trying to find ways to pull more untraditional sounds in, to push the boundaries a little further. Something about it should be special."