Drake Samples Jodeci, Recalls His Rise on “How About Now”

Marc Hogan

By Marc Hogan

Lead News Writer
on 10.20.14 in News

Drake never changes, does he? A newly surfaced song from the Toronto rapper/singer asks the question “How About Now” in its title and hook. Now or whenever, though — anytime, anyplace — Aubrey Drake Graham has his distinguishing characteristics, and plenty of them are in place on this oddly sourced track. A moody, spacious electronic groove? Oversharing toward an ex? A voicemail message? Even Jodeci, whose 1993 “My Heart Belongs to You” this one samples, have come up in Drake’s work before.

In Drake’s case, having a strongly recognizable personality — as obnoxious as his can sometimes be — is a feature, not a bug. That groove, again, is an unexpected and eerie interpolation of the Jodeci original. Drake’s half-sung haughtiness toward an old love (“I’m up right now/ And you suck right now”) takes on a casually disarming depth as he recalls, “I used to always try to burn you CDs of my new shit/ You’d be like,  ‘Who’s this?’/ I’d be like, ‘Me, girl’/ You’d be like, Oh word, true shit?’/ Then ask if we could listen to Ludacris.” The voicemail intro here, unlike the lawsuit-spawning one on 2011′s “Marvins Room,” features a voice that strongly resembles one Nicki Minaj. As far as references to New Jack Swing-era survivors go, Drake almost definitely won’t have to apologize for this one as he did for last year’s J. Cole-spoiled “Jodeci Freestyle.”

It all adds up to the sense that Drake might still be the same person he was when this woman didn’t want to listen to his raps, but maybe his personality flaws are part of what made him successful. Hey, maybe that could be the subject of a future Drake song?

The track’s origins are intriguing in themselves. According to The Fader, the original leak came from a SoundCloud account attributed to a 17-year-old in Marietta, Georgia, who claimed the song was from Drake’s upcoming Views from the Six. That post has been removed, but “How About Now” is still floating around online. It could also easily have been a cast-off from last year’s Nothing Was the Same or earlier, but nothing has been confirmed just yet.