No artist in recently memory has as much to prove on his sophomore album as Drake. The 25-year-old Canadian rapper/singer dropped his debut album, Thank Me Later, last year to Mount Everest-sized hype. Thankfully, the album’s reception to the tune of 447,000 copies sold in its first week out, a swift platinum certification, and a handful of Grammy nominations suggests Drizzy lived up to the hype. But can he prove Thank Me Later’s success wasn’t a fluke and he can do it all again? His new album, Take Care, says hell yeah.
Drake didn’t fall into the traps many artists fall into when they’re trying to avoid the sophomore slump. He didn’t tap the hottest producers in the game, or call up every big name possible to lay down a feature. Instead, Drizzy went to his go-to guys, including Noah “40? Shebib, Boi-1da, T-Minus, to make a set that’s just as much an R&B album as it is a rap album. Take Care is predominantly mellow, introspective, and paints a clearer picture of the artist Drake wants to be.
Take Care is out now, but if you’re still not sure you want to give it a chance, check out the 4 tracks from the album we think you need to check out.
1. Over My Dead Body: There’s no question why this song kicks off Take Care. It summarizes everything Drake is expected to do with his sophomore album. Using a chilling sample from Canadian singer/songwriter Chantal Kreviazuk, Drizzy explains that he wasn’t last year’s Rookie Of The Year by accident. He’s got the goods and he’s here to stay. Anyone trying to take his place in rap away will have to do so over his dead body. “Are these people really discussing my career again?/Asking if I’ll be going platinum in a year again?” he ponders. These folks may be yapping, but Drizzy’s confident he’s got “the sh*t the world wants to hear again.” And with that, we’re off to a good start.
2. Doing It Wrong: Sometimes when a relationship ends, not all parties are willing to let it go. That’s the situation Drake finds himself in on “Doing It Wrong,” one of his most emo songs yet. His ex is desperately holding on, but he’s not exactly making it easy to break all ties, even though he knows it’s not wise to lead her on. He seems conflicted as well. Although lyrically the verses are Taylor Swift-style simple (the second verse: “We live in a generation of not being in love and not being together/But we sure make it feel like we’re together/’Cause we’re scared to see each other with somebody else”), the hook is where the song gets it’s power, especially in the line, “Talk if you need to, but I can’t stay to hear you/That’s the wrong thing to do/’Cause you’ll say you love me/And I’ll end up lying and say I love you too/But I need someone different…you know it, we both know it.” Drake’s willingness to capture such an honest, human situation makes this track brilliant — oh, and so does that amazing harmonica solo by the legendary Stevie Wonder at the end.
3. Lord Knows featuring Rick Ross: As Drake would put it, he’s on his “spitter sh*t” on this Rick Ross-assisted track, produced by Just Blaze. Against the sweet voices of a gospel choir, Drizzy waxes poetic for a good 52 bars — or so he’s estimated — about his life, money, career, and detractors. He gets introspective frequently, boastful just as often. “Of all the things I hear they be poking fun at/Never the flow, though/They know I run that.” He’s also letting these haters know he’s not worried about the constant emo jokes. “I’m hearing all of the jokes/I know they’re trying to push me/I know that showing emotion don’t ever mean that I’m a p*ssy/I know that I don’t make music for n*ggas who don’t get p*ssy/So those are the ones I count on to diss me.” The irony, the jokers would probably really dig this track.
4. Take Care featuring Rihanna: Drake re-teams with his ex-flame and “What’s My Name” collaboration partner Rihanna for this tale of a guy eager to be with a girl who’s still reeling from the end of a bad relationship. Art imitating life much? The irony is overwhelming, but there’s no one better to assist Drizzy on this tune. Rihanna’s heavenly voice glides ever so effortlessly over the sample of Jamie xx’s remix of Gil Scott-Heron’s “I’ll Take Care Of U.” Rihanna and Drake prove once again that while they’re not a great romantic match, their musical stars couldn’t be more perfectly aligned.