Drake’s highly anticipated sophomore album “Take Care” was officially released today...but most likely you’ve been listening to it for the past week if you downloaded the leak, nonetheless now that it’s official let’s discuss it.
So I’m probably not the only one that thinks “Thank Me Later” was lacking, in fact, Drizzy himself said in a recent Q&A with GQ that if he had to rank his albums from best to worst (including “So Far Gone”) “Thank Me Later” would come last. So there you have it folks.
I think The Weeknd’s sound had a positive influence over Drake, and I also think that it just took a moment for Drake to figure out how he wanted to mix his R&B-ways with his rap-ways and voila-- “Take Care”!
Drake does something unique on his album, and he reaches a vast audience in so-doing, and therefore I think “Take Care” has potential to do well (and go Platinum?!). He not only combines R&B with rap (thus appealing to more people) but he also talks that real ish that EVERYONE can relate too. I mean, he raps about sending drunk texts. Who hasn’t done that. On "Take Care" though Drake’s more on some reminiscing ish, how things used to be... That seems to be the general theme. But I don’t find it boring. At the end of Drake’s “Headlines” single he does some spoken-word where he accurately sums up his album, he says,
“I heard once that they would rather hear about memories than enemies, rather hear what was or what will be than what is, rather hear how you got it over how much it cost you....no doubt in my mind, that’ll make them feel better”
From there we are taken into “Crew Love”, definitely one of my favourites off the album, although it feels more like a Weeknd song featuring Drake. After that we get another song that has a beat that sounds more like a Rihanna song rather than a Drake song, (which samples Gil Scott-Heron and Jamie xx's "I'll Take Care of You"). I’m not really a fan of Rihanna, but Drake's rapping on that song is so smooth. He seems to bring out the best in his features. Kendrick Lamar on "Buried Alive" was a dope interlude. And obviously we can’t forget Lil Wayne and the elusive Andre 3000 on “The Real Her”. Even Lil Wayne on “HYFR” steps his game up.
Besides the great features, there are also some sick samples on his album. Some of which went over my head, but thanks to DJ Rockstar I have been able to listen to the originals (Drake does it better though...). Anyways it’s great to know Drake’s scope in music is so wide-- he not only samples hip-hop tracks from the ‘90s (such as Juveniles “Back That Ass Up” on “Practice”) but even indie artists like Bon Iver (on “Shot For Me”). The Juvenile-sampled “Practice” might just be my favourite off the album though. A great take on that 1998 track, he has a knack for being able to change it up yet still remind us who he took the sample from.
Another thing I have to mention is Drizzy’s flow. Ahhhh shiieet. He’s so laidback and calm throughout the entire album, it’s like it comes to him so easily, the words just fall off his tongue. “Cameras” is a track where it’s extremely apparent (sampling Jon B’s “Calling on You”). He almost slurs his words purposefully saying, “tryna tell you i’m the one/come ‘n holla at me/‘for i’m on the next ting/YMCMB,” each word flows into the next. “Look What You’ve Done” also has an extremely laid-back feel while telling a story of what Drake’s past was like in that conversational-way. I guess that relaxed-feel makes it seem more like he’s talking to you specifically, it gives it that conversation-feel. I love it.
I am really impressed with “Take Care” and how Drake combines sounds and creates a new sound, something we haven’t really heard before, rap infused with that new R&B sound. The credit obviously cannot go entirely Drake since Noah ‘40’ Shebib was definitely an important part of creating Drake’s sound, and the other producers off the album, including (mainly) T-Minus, and Boi-1da. The production is great, they really looked after every detail of a song.
I felt like Drake was on his way to greatness with “So Far Gone” but then he kind of back-tracked with “Thank Me Later”. But Drizzy is back for reals this time! And soon we will probably be saying so-and-so sounds like Drake.
What do you guys think?