Drake’s long-awaited More Life dropped on Saturday and is packed with British references and features. Drake’s interest in the United Kingdom, specifically London, is nothing new. However, More Life represents some of his most overt shows of love for British culture, music, and slang to date. Some people on Twitter have been enjoying the confusion this has caused Drake fans back in North America. But in the interests of full transparency, here’s a brief guide to the U.K. lingo and artists you’ll find on More Life.
1. Giggs's two hard-hitting features.
A regular guest on the Boy Meets World Tour, Giggs crops up on “No Long Talk” and “KMT.” Something of a civil war has broken out among Drake fans over Giggs’s appearance on the project, though: some Twitter users were not feeling the U.K. rapper’s dark, slo-mo style on these tracks, prompting U.K. fans to leap to Giggs’s defence.
Me when I see Americans trying to cuss Giggs & Skepta. pic.twitter.com/sVKuhVF7cE— Monique Monrowe (@Monrowe) March 18, 2017
UK defending Giggs and our Slang from US pic.twitter.com/l2nsSmxA2x— Johnny Hilfiger (@JPhotoboy) March 19, 2017
A play on the northern city of Manchester, home to U.K. serial drama Coronation Street, soccer team Manchester United, and British indie bands like The Smiths and Oasis. Drake has spent time in Manchester over the years and recently celebrated his Grammys success in the city back in February. Perhaps it was at the Bijou Club that night where he met his “gyal.”
3. A showcase of Jorja Smith's soulful vocals.
British teen Jorja Smith pops up on "Jorja Interlude" and again on “Get It Together,” singing “You know, we don't have to be dramatic/ Just romantic.” Drake has been repping Jorja’s music for a while, playing her song “Blue Lights” on OVO Sound Radio Episode 16 in February last year and plugging her Number 11 EP on Instagram. He was also with her when he dropped into a local supermarket in the middle of the country and made one staff member’s day back in February. Check out The FADER interview with Jorja Smith here.
“I’m blem for real, I might just say how I feel” Drake sings on “Blem.” While not a common term, many Londoners would say a blem is a cigarette. Drake, however, seems to be using it to signify being high af.
5. A link-up with previous collaborator Sampha.
Sampha’s bruised and beautiful vocals can be heard on “4422,” though he is not officially listed with a featured artist credit. The title is said to be a reference to the biblical verse Isaiah 44:22, which speaks of redemption and forgiveness, with Sampha singing, “I know I fear trust/ I know I fear fear too much.” Sampha and Drake have worked together twice before More Life, on “The Motion” and “Too Much."
6. An uncredited appearance from Dave.
The voice heard saying, “very much 6 A.M.” and being “awake for 24 hours” at the end of “Teenage Fever” belongs to British rapper Dave. Drake remixed Dave’s song “Wanna Know” last year and brought him out during a recent London show. Revisit Dave's Gen F profile here.