Drake's long-awaited Views released

WASHINGTON: Drake, one of the most successful rappers of the moment, on April 29 released his long-awaited new album, Views — an ode to his hometown Toronto.

Views — his fourth studio album, and the first since Nothing Was the Same in 2013 — is a 20-track opus that clocks in at nearly 90 minutes.

It was released exclusively at midnight on Apple Music and iTunes — further evidence of the power of the streaming market.

"The album is based around the change of the seasons in our city," the 29-year-old Canadian rapper said in an interview late on April 28 with Apple's Internet radio station Beats 1. Fans got an early listen of the music before the midnight release.

"Winter to summer and then back to winter again. It's just to show you the two extreme moods that we have. We're very grateful for our summers but we also make our winters work ... And they're harsh."

"It creates a different type of atmosphere, a different sound, a different type of person even. And I thought it was really important to make the album here during the winter," he said.

Drake invited a few top names to collaborate with him: Rihanna — who previously paired with the rapper on What's My Name? and Work — sings on Too Good and Kanye West produced U With Me?

Views also includes a few recently released songs including Pop Style — a track which initially featured West and Jay Z, but which Drake changed in the final edit to cut them — and the smash hit Hotline Bling as a bonus track.

The album cover is a picture of the landmark CN Tower in Canada's largest city — with the rapper Photoshopped into it so he appears to be perched on top of it.