There’s something disarming about the title of WilliefromtheDrive’s new project, “Forgot To Drop These While Protecting Your Feelings,” set to drop on November 10th, 2023. In a landscape of meticulously curated playlists and singles, the release dares to overwhelm with an astounding count of 62 tracks, traversing over an hour of music. It’s an audacious offering that whispers of an era when music was less about strategy and more about raw expression.
This gargantuan LP is a sort of musical diary, chronicling personal feelings spanning half a decade—from 2018 to 2023. In his own words, WilliefromtheDrive—born William Willard—had apprehensions about releasing these tracks. But, in a commitment to artistic authenticity and perhaps as a nod to the resilience that defines him, he’s chosen to share these myriad pieces of himself.
The album defies the norm from the outset, not just in its length, but in its soul-baring honesty and palpable passion. The same passion, resilience, and honesty Willie highlighted as his guiding principles back in 2021 are the undercurrents of every song in this expansive collection.
Starting with “The Baddest” featuring Dollo, the album kicks off with a testament to self-worth and street-earned confidence while also gassing up a woman who he considers “The Baddest”. The track is a head-nodding, unapologetic introduction to Willie’s world. His collaboration with Dollo creates a synergy that’s magnetic, a blend of raw life experiences with a beat that keeps you rooted in their reality.
“Flowing better” featuring Sicko Mitch turns the narrative to the journey of growth and the evolution of Willie’s sound. This track is a chronicle of change, a celebration of coming into one’s own, with Sicko Mitch’s feature adding a layer of lyrical complexity that showcases their collaborative genius.
In “Winning,” the atmosphere shifts. The track is an unyielding statement of Willie’s commitment to success against all odds. Here lies the heartbeat of Willie’s story—his battle, his climb, his victory. It’s a universal anthem for anyone who’s stared down life’s challenges and chosen to rise.
The provocatively titled “Fuck you Kalema” is more than just a hook with shock value. It’s the distillation of every setback and every naysayer that Willie has faced. It’s raw, it’s real, and it’s a confrontational piece that encapsulates the struggles and frustrations on the path to success.
Then, as if flipping the record to its tender underbelly, “Be Your Lover” featuring Top Five Nay showcases Willie’s versatility. It’s a softer tone, an admission of vulnerability in the world of love. Top Five Nay’s feature lends a smoothness that complements Willie’s raw edge, together creating a song that resonates with those who have loved just as fiercely as they’ve fought.
Navigating through the LP’s colossal tracklist is akin to sifting through someone’s personal journal. The songs range in tone, tempo, and topic, but they’re unified by their core authenticity. It’s evident that these tracks were never intended to conform to a theme—they were created out of moments of pure emotion, captured and crystallized into music.
What’s striking about Willie’s work is not just the volume of content, but the undeniable sense that each track comes from a place of deep personal significance. It’s as if Willie decided to forego the protective filters that artists often employ. The tracks were not polished to remove the raw edges; they were left as they were born—imperfect, genuine, human.
Production-wise, the album might have the fingerprints of hurried sessions and impulsive recordings, further emphasizing the urgency and authenticity of Willie’s message. This isn’t a collection for the casual listener. It’s a deep dive into the psyche of an artist who has lived every line, and it demands an attentive ear to appreciate the nuances hidden within its breadth.
By releasing these 62 tracks, WilliefromtheDrive shatters any pretense of playing it safe. Each song is a thread in the larger tapestry of Willie’s experiences, thoughts, and lessons learned. For the listener, the album offers an opportunity not just to hear but to listen—to really absorb the stories being told, to understand the man behind the lyrics, and to perhaps see a reflection of their own journey in his.
“Forgot To Drop These While Protecting Your Feelings” stands as a testament to WilliefromtheDrive’s dedication to his art. It’s a declaration that sometimes the most profound statements are those that are most difficult to express, and the true measure of success is not in the numbers, but in the ability to remain unwaveringly true to oneself.
In an industry that often values presentation over content, Willie’s project is a bold statement, a sprawling mural of life in all its chaotic beauty. It’s an invitation to experience music not as a passive