NOTHING WAS THE SAME was a bridge album. It marked the end of the wide-eyed and highly emotional era of Aubrey Graham and his open wounded candidness. In its wake, "Started From The Bottom" and "Worst Behavior" became beacons and guiding forces. Drake's subsequent projects—If You're Reading This It's Too Late, What A Time To Be Alive, and Views—became hardened, leaner, and more suspicious. His ascension as rap's next icon was complete.

NOTHING WAS THE SAME isn't Drake's most influential or critically acclaimed project. It doesn't have the rose-colored nostalgia of So Far Gone or the generation-defining heft of Take Care. Regardless, the creation of Drizzy's third studio album was a necessity. As its name predicted, NWTS was the moment Drake solidified his mark on history, proving that one doesn't always need a classic album to create a classic moment.