Four years ago today, Drake released VIEWS, his fourth—and arguably most highly-anticipated—studio album. Despite a three year gap from his third studio album Nothing Was The Same, Drake filled the void by dropping two commercially successful 2015 mixtapes: If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and What A Time To Be Alive.
In honor of Drake’s favorite number and common references to “The 6”, here are 6 fascinating facts from Aubrey Graham’s VIEWS:
1. Despite Critics, Billboard Success
Drake’s always had haters, and they’re not going anyway any time soon. But the Toronto-born rapper lets his numbers speak for themselves. Despite the noise, VIEWS spent 13 total weeks at number one on the US Billboard 200. Additionally, the album was certified six-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
VIEWS also received nominations for “Album of the Year” and “Best Rap Album” at the 2017 Grammys, and sold over 5.41 album-equivalent units in America.
2. Recorded Internationally
It is a non-disputed fact that Drake’s music and influence stretch far beyond Toronto, and even North America. He is an international music icon and has been dominating the hip-hop and rap charts for almost a decade. In addition to touring all over the world, Drake also recorded VIEWS in numerous cities.
In addition to the CR3 and S. O. T. A. studios in Toronto, Drake also recorded significant portions of VIEWS at The Connaught Hotel in London, Triangle studio in Atlanta, and the Sandra Gale Studio in Los Angeles.
His studio in LA is part of his lavish Yolo Estate home, and his primary producer Noah “40” Shebib spoke about the importance of utilizing more than one location, “The thing is, with us, is a balance of finding that space to make such a project that’s based around our city and also coming out to the west coast to sort of escape some of the harsh winter and find a good creative space.”
3. Cover Turned Meme
Demonstrating his commitment to the city of Toronto, Drake sits atop the CN Tower—Toronto’s tallest building at 1,814 feet—on the cover of VIEWS. Of course, since it’s Drake, the internet was quick to take the photoshopped image and create memes out of the 15-foot-tall Drake as his legs dangle off the skyscraper.
4. Switched Official Names
Just one day before the official release, the Toronto Star reported that the new Drake album will be entitled VIEWS—no longer Views from the 6. According to The Star, the “tersely worded email” from Universal Music Canada explained that the change in name made the album “less Toronto-centric.”
5. Apple Partnership
Drake struck a deal with Apple, allowing Apple Music to be the only platform to exclusively stream VIEWS for the first week after the album’s release. The deal was worth $19 million as the album was streamed over 250 million times within the first week, equating to 1 million in iTunes sales.
A few months after release Views, the album became the first project to surpass one billion streams on Apple Music, which Drake happily shared with his fans.
6. Pop-Up Shop Drizzy
Eleven days before he officially released VIEWS, Drake held a pop-up shop in Manhattan. Despite not being there a special guest, Drake partnered with Beats By Dre to distribute free “VIEWS” tee-shirts.
The pop-up shops continued to debut in Miami, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, and Toronto.