Directions Drake Could Go In With 'Nothing Was The Same'

(Radio.com) It's been two years since Drake released his last album Take Care, but he certainly hasn't been quiet. Instead, Drake's spent his time guesting on a handful of tracks with what seems like every rapper in the game, including the newly anointed Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky. He's also spent time testing the waters by dropping songs that, besides "Started From The Bottom," may or may not be featured on his upcoming album, Nothing Was The Same.

With the recent announcement that his new record will be out September 17, fans will finally get a fully formed album that Cash Money CEO Birdman already claims takes Drake to the next next level.

"I think Drake he's one of those n***** that's gonna change the game every time he come, because he's a talented animal," he told MTV. "He's somethin' I never been around before,"

High praise coming from the guy who made stars out of Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj. But what could Drake do to take his game up a notch and pleasantly surprise his fans?

Record With A Live Band: It's nothing new to see a rapper to team up with a live band for a few tracks here and there or an MTV Un-Plugged special. But using an actual band in the recording of the album means the whole making of would no longer be a two-pronged process. He could just go in with a band and lay down the track right there. Drake as bandleader: the ultimate baller move. We've even got an idea of the band who should play back up, the ultimate hip-hop band, The Roots. The jazz-tinged outfit would add a touch of class, a few horns (including a sousaphone), and a chance for Drake to ditch the drum machine once and for all. Whether he's showing off his side stick pattern or tearing into a blazing drum-and-bass groove, Questlove on the skins will add a little more heart to Drake's already palpable sound.

Go Smoother, Silkier, Sexier: As an '80s baby with a penchant for Cosby sweaters, it wouldn't be out of the ordinary to see him channel one of his favorite singers, Sade and go smooth R&B for Nothing Was The Same. Though Drake tried to get the songstress to collaborate with him on his 2010 album, Thank Me Later, she politely turned him down. (She's also turned down Jay-Z in the past.) This could be his chance to show her how much he truly loves her style by updating her adult contemporary sound for a younger generation. Bonus, the silkier sound will definitely mean more chances to hear Drake sing and a chance to hear an Aaliyah sample or two. To help him get the right mix of soul and R&B, Drake can team up with Black Milk, the sensitive producer who can help the rapper make something sweet, silky and original. And who knows, maybe Sade will be game to collaborate this time around. Three more suggestions here.

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