Over the years, Drake has entered the worlds of fashion, fragrances, and TV production, so it’s not a shocker that he’s found his way into fine literature. The 36-year-old musician and media mogul announced on June 23 that he will be releasing his first poetry collection, called Titles Ruin Everything: A Stream of Consciousness. That’s not where the news stops, though, as he also revealed via a QR code in several newspaper ads that an accompanying album, titled For All the Dogs, is on the way.
“I made an album to go with the book,” Drake wrote on the Titles Ruin Everything website. “They say miss the old Drake, girl don’t tempt me.”
That second sentence, a reference to his 2011 single “Headlines,” could be hinting at the musical style of For All the Dogs, as a potential return to the melodic moodiness of Take Care. The announcement is accompanied by images of puppies that bear a similarity to recent outfits Drake wore earlier in the year that bore the unfortunate phrase, “Hard Feelings, Harder Dick.” (One wonders if Drake seriously considered pushing that through as the album title at one point.)
Drake was productive in 2022, first releasing the dance music-inspired Honestly, Nevermind which drew heavily on the sounds of East Coast club music, before later putting out Her Loss, a collaborative LP with 21 Savage that earned mixed reviews.
The reveal of a new album is particularly notable since Drake told Lil Yachty in an interview released in February that he was “introducing the concept in my mind of a graceful exit” from music, and that while he still intended to perform and collaborate with others that he didn’t want to “force myself to compete.”
The poetry book is co-authored by longtime Drake collaborator Kenza Samir, who has written songs like “HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right)” “Jungle,” and “Emotionless.” “I don’t know if I have ever wanted people to buy or support something more in my life,” Drake wrote in his Instagram post announcing the book. Drake’s last notable literary venture? Placing one of his Nocta Hot Step sneakers atop a stack of books including novels by Hanya Yanagihara, Aldous Huxley, and Rachel Yoder that set erudite corners of the internet aflame last March.
Snippets of text from the book seem to have been shared on social media by publisher Phaidon, featuring quotes that, like so many Drake lyrics, feel destined to become summer Instagram captions. “I’m a terrible texter, but a great writer / Hate confrontation,” but a great fighter,” one goes. “I am the soundtrack for lives that go on without me,” reads a particularly emotional line. Information about the album came when fans scanned the QR codes that appeared in major print publications like the New York Post, Toronto Star, and New York Times. (This approach to media is much friendlier than his last marketing stunt, which involved fake Vogue covers that led to Condé Nast suing him and 21 Savage over trademark infringement.)
As Rolling Stone noted, Drake first teased the book in a 2022 episode of his radio show Table For One. Rappers dabbling in the world of books is nothing new, from Russ penning a self-help book in 2019 to Gucci Mane’s autobiography to the Tupac Shakur poetry collection The Rose That Grew From Concrete, though when Drake dips his toes into any new creative avenue it’s a big deal.
The album announcement is the biggest musical moment in what has been a relatively quiet year for Drake, save for the single “Search & Rescue,” features on songs by J Hus and Popcaan, and his pair of appearances on Young Thug’s new LP Business is Business. Next on the docket? Befriending new Toronto Raptors lottery pick Gradey Dick.