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How Drake’s More Life Connects Music Across The Black Diaspora

Historically, black working class culture has largely been experienced internationally through the lens of hip-hop. On More Life, Drake shifts from that perspective, (happily) disrupting the U.S. dominance of how the black experience is represented in western pop culture. He takes production cues from London producer NaNa Rogues (Section Boyz’s “Trapping Ain’t Dead”) on one of the project’s high points, “Passionfruit,” and on the euphoric “Get it Together” Drake incorporates diasporic sounds by South African house producer Black Coffee, to mesmerising effect. “4422” features Sampha, the British artist influenced by Ghanaian highlife, his cousin grime MC Flirta D, and the Malian folk music of artists like Oumou Sangaré. Alongside Skepta’s British Nigerian grime narrative, all the featured artists tell their own story.