Listen to Drake’s “Days in the East,” an Apparent Ode to Rihanna

Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
April 3 2014 12:57 PM

Listen to Drake’s “Days in the East,” an Apparent Ode to Rihanna

Drake seems to profess his love for Rihanna in new slow-burner, "Days in the East."

Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Another day, another unannounced one-off track from Drake. Less than 24 hours after releasing the cocky “Draft Day,” Drake released new track “Days in the East” in the wee hours of the night last night. The rapper previously teased the song during a performance in Birmingham last month, when it was still called “Call On Me,” but this is the first time we’ve heard the studio version. Feeding off its pulsating, atmospheric production—from OVO affiliate PARTYNEXTDOOR and longtime producer Noah “40” Shebib—Drake revives the woozy vocal inflection he employed on “Own It” to create a hypnotizing love song, likely meant for rumored girlfriend Rihanna.

As the song begins, Drake sings about feeling insecure after an unnamed woman he’s infatuated with assumes power in their relationship. Then, after a spacey interpolation of Rihanna’s “Stay,” it segues into the song’s climactic stream of consciousness. Recounting an evening spent with friend and neo-soul songstress Erykah Badu, Drake admits that Badu’s wisdom, “When that shit is real, you just know,” referring to love, forced him to accept that he already knows he’s in love. From there, the connections to Rihanna unravel as he mentions waking up in Amsterdam together, his confidence that she’d fly anywhere for him, and various subtle hints. Regardless of its subject, “Days in the East” indicates that, just as he did on “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” Drake’s not done dabbling in the growing subgenre of alternative R&B.

Dee Lockett is Slate's editorial assistant for culture.



The Ebola Story

How our minds build narratives out of disaster.

The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics

A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers


Welcome to 13th Grade!

Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.


The Actual World

“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.

Want Kids to Delay Sex? Let Planned Parenthood Teach Them Sex Ed.

Would You Trust Walmart to Provide Your Health Care? (You Should.)

  News & Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
Dear Prudence
Oct. 23 2014 6:00 AM Monster Kids from poorer neighborhoods keep coming to trick-or-treat in mine. Do I have to give them candy?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 23 2014 8:51 AM The Male-Dominated Culture of Business in Tech Is Not Great for Women
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
Brow Beat
Oct. 23 2014 9:00 AM Exclusive Premiere: Key & Peele Imagines the Dark Side of the Make-A-Wish Program
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Oct. 23 2014 7:30 AM Our Solar System and Galaxy … Seen by an Astronaut
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.