Drake’s “Connect” Is Still Elite Nighttime Driving Music

“Nothing Was The Same” turns 6, today.

Drake has always worn his influences on his sleeve. Southern rap was formative for him, fostering his profound and well-advertised admiration for Houston. “Connect” shows him spinning his Southern inspirations into something that manages to still be undeniably Drake. The song samples “25 Lighters” by DJ DMD, Lil’ Keke and Fat Pat – one of the most iconic songs in hip hop history. “Connect” is evidently an homage to chopped and screwed music, largely pioneered by the rappers on “25 Lighters” who belonged to DJ Screw’s Screwed Up Click. 

The pitched-down bars about swanging that repeat throughout “Connect” at varying volumes come from Fat Pat. He’s referencing the Houstonian practice of swerving between lanes in muscle cars with low ground clearance and music blasting out the trunks. On “Connect”, Drake tried to concoct a syrupy soundtrack for this sort of activity. However, Drake does his usual thing on here. He provides some rather corny lines about relationship troubles, playing the victim with a penchant for singing out his sadness. It’s mostly 40’s immaculate production that gives off the sense of heavy, disorienting intoxication. There’s a breakdown in the beat before the final verse that is arguably one of the standout moments on Nothing Was The Same, ending with a mind-blowing synchronization with car noises that ushers Drake back in. While chopped and screwed is ideally crafted for those late-night drives when you start dissociating from everyday reality, Drake’s melancholy adds an extra layer of self-indulgence that allows you to swang like you’re the only one on the road and the only one in the world. 

Quotable Lyrics

My license been expired I renew it after the weekend
Fuck I know I said that shit the last 7 weekends
Girl I guess procrastination is my weakness
I hate stoppin’ for gas this late
Cause there’s n****s creepin and not like how we’re creepin’

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