Drakeo The Ruler currently awaits trial from his cell at Men’s Central Jail in his home city of Los Angeles. However, this obstacle is not merely enough to prevent him from recording and releasing new music. This past Friday, Drakeo The Ruler gifted fans with the release of his newest album, Thank You For Using GTL. This project marks Drakeo The Ruler’s first full length album to release since the Los Angeles rapper was wrongfully incarcerated back in January of 2017. Thank You For Using GTL boasts an impressive 19 tracks produced by Joogszn, of the popular producer collective from LA; Hitmob. While the entirety of the album consists of largely solo tracks, there are a few guests who made the final cut. Including Lil 9 and ALL BLACK, two of Drakeo’s California counterparts, and Rio Da Yung OG, the popular 25-year old rapper from Flint, MI.
The album title, Thank You For Using GTL, is inspired by the automated message played between collect calls from correctional facilities. GTL, short for Global Tel Link is the private company who manages communications between penitentiaries and the world outside. Although Drakeo The Ruler was recently acquitted from the murder charges he was originally imprisoned for, Jackie Lacy, the Los Angeles’ District Attorney has done everything within her power to keep the South Central star behind bars. The DA’s reasoning to keep him jailed stems from conspiracies that his lyrics are self-incriminating testaments to his guilt. As we can hear throughout Thank You For Using GTL, Drakeo is unafraid to continue exercising his first amendment right to freedom of expression, and will continue to use it to say what he feels.
On “Keep it 100”, Drakeo addresses these injustices when he states, “You know they doing me foul, man, this is why I started doing music. You can say whatever the fuck you want, I mean in the court of law you can’t, you’re blocked and get a record, but hey, imma keep doing it”.
Thank You For Using GTL ranges in topics from the usual street storytelling to shopping sprees at Neiman Marcus. Songs like “Maestro’s Tension” and “Social Media Can’t Help You” create vivid story lines listeners are able to visualize. Other tracks like “Keep It 100” and “I Want It All” make you feel as if you’re vicariously living through Drakeo; living lavish, counting racks, and buying what you please. Drakeo’s subject matter hasn’t changed much other that the inclusion awareness about the injustices he has faced, but his wordplay and delivery have elevated to new heights. Drakeo’s ability to swang his words and exchange flows is why he has garnered so much attention. It’s not so much about what Drakeo is saying, rather how he’s saying it.
Even while heated with pressure, Drakeo is able to remain nonchalant and hopeful for his freedom. Much credit should be given to Joogszn, who not only produced the entirety of the album but also mixed the project to create a clear and comprehensible sound all throughout. For first time Drakeo The Ruler listeners, it would be almost impossible to realize that his vocals on this album were recorded behind a prison phone line. Thank You For Using GTL is a glimpse into the brain of Drakeo The Ruler. He translates his thoughts into musical compositions for us. Make sure to check out the South Central superstar’s newest album and keep an eye out for his pending release from jail. Until then, its #FreeDrakeo ‘til its backwards.