After a much anticipated wait, the kid known as Drizzy Drake or as some call him, ‘Wheelchair Jimmy’ from his Degrassi days is back with his sophmore effort, Take Care. Despite the success of his debut, Thank Me Later, which sold nearly 500,000 in the U.S., Drake felt like it was rushed to satisfy fans eager for more after his breakout mixtape, So Far Gone. Thus for the aptly named Take Care, Drake decided to do just that – choosing to focus more sonically on the production and subtleties that would enable him to tell the story of his new-found fame. What followed was an emotional introspective into the conscious inner thoughts and feelings that you’d expect from an Immanuel Kant writing, much less someone considered the heir to the Hip-Hop throne.
1) Over My Dead Body
Drake recruits Candian singer, Chantal Kreviazuk to set the tone for the album’s opener and she does it quite well. Chantal’s written songs for Avril Lavigne, Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood thus this pairing seems atypical, but again Aubrey Graham is anything but typical. The pairing and song reminds me of his collab with Lykee Li on So Far Gone. His slow melodic verses complement perfectly to the piano keys that accompany the laid-back beat. The first two lines of the album paint the picture of the juxtaposition that we’ll see throughout the album.
I think I killed everybody in the game last year, F- it I was on though//And I thought I found the girl of my dreams at a strip club, F -it I was wrong though
2) Shot For Me
In Shot For Me, we see more of the same from Drake. It’s almost as if he has this sort of split personality – his rapper braggadocio is definitely not lost as he fulfills his rite of passage as a rapper and calls out all the girls that left him before he was famous. He even takes it a step further by naming them out:
It’s a shame you didn’t keep it: Alisha, Catya//I know you gon’ hear this I’m the man//Yeah I said it, I’m the man//Don’t you forget it
Where it takes a turn from typical ‘rapper talk’ is when Drake switches up and starts to explain to them why their relationships failed. Unlike most, he’s not afraid to put himself out there:
OK Look I’m honest//Girl I can’t lie I miss you//You and the music were the only things that I’d commit to//I never cheated for the record back when I was with you
Interestingly, when Drake is showing off his prowess to his exes, he chooses to go the singing route and when he tries to explain why things fail, he switches to a rap. Unusual but again shows his artistic flexibility.
Not much needs to be said. The lead single for the album delivers and you’d have to be living under a rock to not have heard it blaring on your local FM station. Interestingly, the song lacks the sentimental Drake we saw in the first two tracks as he wastes no time with the first two lines in establishing his foot back in the game. Two lines that also might undoubtedly break the record for song lyrics in Twitter/FB status updates.
I might be too strunged out on compliments, overdosed on confidence//Started not to give a F- and stopped fearing the consequences
4) Crew Love Feat. The Weeknd
Drake reaches out to another Canadian native, The Weeknd to lace this track. In fact it actually feels more of a Weeknd track with a Drake feature. The backdrop – a soft ballad with both The Weeknd and Drizzy going on one of their patented and artful passive aggresive brags. The song is kind of an ode to guy camaraderie ala Entourage – something we’ve seen in Headlines and is one of the themes of the album. In one of my favorite lines, Drake shows that he’s finally comfortable with who he is and the thoughts of others truly don’t matter.
And really I think I like who I’m becoming//There’s times where I might do it just to do it like it’s nothing
5) Take Care Feat. Rihanna
The ex-couple reunite following the success of their last duet, What’s My Name. After the first few tracks that showed Drake’s more sensitive side, one can only imagine what would happen once laced on a track with his ex-belle. Fans screaming for ‘the Old Drizzy’ will hate this as it’s essentially the antithesis of their pleas. However, the track shows Drake at his most vulnerable…He pleaded for her attention but in the end he essentially let her Take Care, no pun intended. At a certain point, I expected this song to go to the next level with the bass kicking in similar to Found Your Love but I’m sure we’ll have plenty of electro remixes to Take Care of that for us – okay, pun intended.
Can’t deny that I want you, but I’ll lie if I have to//Cause you don’t say you love me to your friends//When they ask you, even though we both know that you do
6) Marvin’s Room/Buried Alive
As we’re aware, Drake isn’t reluctant to give us a glance into what his conscious and inner thoughts are. Thus it’s only fitting that we see how his persona is amplified when put in that enthralling position of drunk dialing his ex. The video captures it brilliantly, as we see Drake’s brash and bold honesty when he gets her on the phone. Once again, he’s able to perfectly compliment his rapping and singing skills on the woozy melodic track and they mesh together flawlessly. His inebriated state provokes him to start letting things out and we see him for who he really is. A simple guy that’s engulfed in the fame and what comes with it – he likes the lifestyle but at the end he knows what’s better for him.
Too many drinks have been given to me//I’ve got some women that’s living off me//Paid for their flights and hotels I’m ashamed//After a while girl, they all seem the same
7) Underground Kings
Wait a second, what is this?! The first track on the album sans singing or the typical “down-tempo” beat. Drake’s lyrical prowess has quite honestly developed since Thank Me Later, yet his lines don’t quite have the same sting when they’re being put under melodic R&B like ballads. Drake again reaches out to another Canadian native, T-Minus for the production of the beat and truly means it when he says he’s trying to put his city on his back. The track comes at the perfect time, as Drizzy reminds us why people yearn for him to rap more. It pays homage to UGK and his mentor, Lil’ Wayne…he even manages to drop a Muhammad Ali reference in there.
I swear it’s been two years since somebody asked me who I was//I’m the greatest man, I said that before I knew I was
8)We’ll Be Fine
In one of the more forgettable tracks of the album, Drake takes it the way of the ‘baller rapper lifestyle’ that he seldom does. Usually when he does one of the these, it’s opposed with the problems he’s faced by being so successful. In un-Drake like style, we don’t hear any complaints – WHERE’S EMO DRAKE AT?! Drake also isn’t afraid to make his rap delivery ‘sing-songy’ – something rappers are constantly criticized for today. Even on a track that he’s restricted to rapping, you can hear his R&B side screaming to come out.
I heard you got your ways, I never would’ve known She said you’re such a dog/I said you’re such a bone
Part Two Coming Soon….