Drake returns - with 23-minute video

Drake’s album Views is No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart.
Drake’s album Views is No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

NEW YORK • Remember Drake? He dominated the music charts for most of the summer and, now, as he returns to No. 1, he has released a new long-form video via Apple Music.

The 23-minute video, Please Forgive Me, which Apple began teasing last week, is a companion piece of sorts to his album, Views. Early on Monday, the 29-year-old rapper also posted on Instagram an image of Apple executives handing him a plaque commemorating one billion streams from Views on Apple Music.

Shot in the South African township of Soweto, Please Forgive Me starts with a wealthy man offering Drake's girlfriend, played by Belgian actress Fanny Neguesha, money for a chance to spend a night with her. The video turns into an action flick as she and Drake seize the money.

It also stars Jamaican dancehall artist Popcaan and Soweto Kliptown Youth founder Bob Nameng, whose non-profit gives opportunities to street children through the arts.

Please Forgive Me was directed by Anthony Mandler, best known for filming Rihanna videos. In 2013, he directed a film of a similar length starring singer Lana Del Rey.

Drake's Views is No. 1 on Billboard's album chart for a 13th non-consecutive week - the longest streak in two years.

It is the top-selling album released this year in the United States. Songs from Views were streamed 57.4 million times in the US last week, far more than any other release, although just 8,000 copies of the full album were sold, according to Nielsen data.

Nielsen and Billboard's new chart formula shows that Views had the equivalent of just 53,000 sales - the lowest weekly total for a No. 1 album since March, when Rihanna's Anti qualified with 54,000.

Despite its commercial success, Views got a mixed reception from critics who believed that Drake - who rose to stardom with mixtapes - did not have an overarching narrative on the album.

The musician has described Views as an ode to his hometown of Toronto.

The album has produced a series of hits, notably the viral Hotline Bling.

NYTIMES, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2016, with the headline 'Drake returns - with 23-minute video'. Print Edition | Subscribe