Drake Take Care
    • WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 16, 2011

    • Posted by: Gabby Green

    Since the release of Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreak, rap has begun to reach the age of melodramatics. Perhaps rappers have started to realize that mo' money does in fact mean mo' problems, which is immensely clear in Drake's latest album, Take Care. In Take Care, the Toronto native and former Degrassi star longs for the days of monogamous relationships and is pained with guilt for acting like a brat towards his mother. In many ways this open-book rap is much more sincere than Kanye's moodier tones, but this could be because Drake's life is so present in pop-culture. He not only shares everything—from his relationship with Rihanna to his twitter "wife" Nicki Minaj—but he also performs these songs of heartbreak with his muses.

    With guest appearances from Rihanna, The Weeknd, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Lil' Wayne, Andre 3000, and Stevie Wonder, Drake's hyped new album has a lot going on. Drake takes influence from dubstep, pop, R&B, and soul, and while there aren't too many songs on the album that are worthy as chart toppers, Take Care is an interesting approach to contemporary hip-hop. Among his influences for the album, he cites James Blake, which is clear in his minimalistic approach to his newest songs. Take Care is certainly more melancholic than the typical hip-hop album, and it seems to be Drake's evaluation of fame's hold on his life. Take Care is a surprisingly candid telling of love, fame, and taxes.

    We can't help but share our concern for Drake due to some of his more morose verse in "We'll Be Fine," such as "Yeah, never thoughts of suicide I'm too alive/But I still treat it likes it's do or die/Even though dying isnt in the plans, but neither was making it and here I am." Drake has a moment of respect for the late Aaliyah, throwing out "Since I saw Aaliyah's precious life go to soon, she deserves the credit for how I'm about to get it." What's so humbling about Drake is that he never stops feeling gratitude for his good fortune, and unlike most rappers will accredit his success to the artists who came before him. Drake breaks down the album's message stating, "The whole process has been about slowing life down and really pinpointing emotions."

    Other notable songs on the album is the title track that features Rihanna, "Make Me Proud (feat. Nicki Minaj)," "Lord Knows (feat. Rick Ross)," "Doing It Wrong (feat. Stevie Wonder),"and "Practice." "Take Care" has a steady beat and lyrics that demonstrate Drake's heartbreak with lines like, "My only wish is I die real/Cause that truth hurts, and those lies heal." The track samples Jamie xx's instrumentals for the remix of Gil Scott-Heron's "I'll Take Care of You." Since his debut album, Drake's technical abilities have strengthened, his rapping is speedier and his singing is smoother. Even next to the great Stevie Wonder on his harmonica, Drake's vocals on the hook don't come off as too shabby in comparison on "Doing It Wrong." "Doing It Wrong" stretches his love of the gloomy verse with lines like "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." Drake has followed the formula for powerful breakup ballads in this song among many others on Take Care. Notorious for being a slower-paced rapper, in "HYRF (feat. Lil' Wayne)" Drake and Weezy switch roles with Drake spitting lyrics at his fastest pace yet, and Weezy taking on much slower vocals than usual. "Practice" utilizes slow synth instrumentals and smooth crooning from Drake singing of grief and regret.

    Take Care is an honest depiction of Drake's life since fame hit—the ups, the downs, and the money and girls in between. We hope for Drake's sake he can work through some of these issues, but at least it has allowed him to creatively express his emotions as a rapper. An emo-rapper, if you will. And let's face it, money, fame and girls aren't exactly terrible problems to have, no matter how you feel about it.

    Drake ~ Headlines (Official Video) from OctobersVeryOwn on Vimeo.

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