Take Care’ Gave Birth To The Era Of Drake
“Since Take Care, I’ve been caretakin’.” – Drake “Redemption”Drake, similar to the likes of JAY-Z, Lil Wayne and Method Man, in regard to the consecutive quality of his albums, reeks with legendary status. His climb to fame, although over a decade in the making, began with one of his first and most notable releases Take Care. Everyone has a favorite Drake album and mine happens to be Take Care. Drizzy creates music in a generation that has a short attention span yet he can curate an album with over 15 records on it and everyone listens from beginning to end. Most musicians produce some of their best music during the infancy of their careers and although Drake has only improved overtime, there's something so classic and raw about this album. I enjoy listening to artists that were born to create music. There's nothing forced about Drake's delivery - ever. It's his effortless approach to music that gifts his records stuck-on-repeat trends. Take Care boasts with 19 records amid features from Lil Wayne, Andre 3000, Nicki Minaj and Kendrick Lamar to name a few. Each feature on this album comes from an artist that's already a legend or a legend in the making. Think about it, artists like The Weeknd, Rihanna and Kendrick Lamar truly began to flourish after this album's release. Now let's be clear, I'm not saying this album kicked off any of the aforementioned artists careers, but I will say that it was a healthy boost. Furthermore, each of the featured artists on this album were noteworthy additives not mere meaningless, poppycock verses or pitchy hooks. Drake's genius was apparent from the beginning and his relentlessness and slightly petty antics over the years have shaped him into the mogul and character we know him as today. From Degrassi to the Grammy’s, he’s a true chameleon in the best way. In my opinion Drake created a new genre of music.
“Since Take Care, I’ve been caretakin’.” – Drake “Redemption”
Let's hop into some of my favorite records. Take Care kicks off with "Over My Dead Body," a solemn but heavy lyrical start to what turns into a high-energy yet bipolar album. Drake raps,” Are these people really discussing my career again? / Asking if I'll be going platinum in a year again?/ Don't I got the shit the world wanna hear again? /Don't Michael Jordan still got his hoop earring in?” It’s the cocky but poetic demeanor present that divorces his flow from the majority. After starting the album off rather slow, production wise, he then quickly switches gears into the head-bobbing banger “Headlines,” where he raps, “And they sayin' I'm back, I'd agree with that / I just take my time with all this shit, I still believe in that / I had someone tell me I fell off, oh I needed that / And they wanna see me pick back up, well where'd I leave it at?” It’s his clever simplicity that’s simply extraordinary. Drake says a lot without really saying anything; it’s a mindboggling dichotomy. Even in deep records like “Crew Love” he takes the time to merely tell us a story about his evolution, his love for music, his friends and his legacy, rapping “I told his story, it made history,” alongside the fitting vocals of TheWeeknd – it’s a vibe. Drake's albums hearken like my inner most thoughts; it’s his humanity that bleeds through in his music not the mere airhead thoughts of a rising millionaire. His music is not only therapeutic but also pleasantly authentic. Each Drake record in this album is a narrative rather that be of love, triumph, pain, regret or haughty punch lines; he gifts listeners versatility. Fan favorites like “Marvins Room” further solidified that flexibility. He raps, “I think I'm addicted to naked pictures / And sittin' talkin' 'bout bitches / That we almost had / I don't think I'm conscious of making monsters /Outta the women that I sponsor til it all goes bad.” The accountability he takes for his own love downfall is a rarity in juxtaposition to the era of musicians that rave about breaking hearts and careless happenings. Drake’s apologetic and aware versus being one and not the other. As the album moves along we reach other hits like “Make Me Proud” featuring Nicki Minaj and “Lord Knows” featuring Rick Ross. I love this verse from Nicki because it’s effortless, charismatic, soaked in punch lines and creatively bipolar as she sifts from rapper to singer to rapper. Moving right along, another one of my favorite records “Cameras/ Good One’s Go Interlude,” bleeds with transparency and honesty. Drake places his wrong and right-doings on tracks and turns them into hit records. For example, he put this generation on blast in “Doing it Wrong,” singing, “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.” Those couple bars are sum up our entire generation when it comes to blurring the lines between dating and commitment.
The Era of Drake, the Introduction of a New Genre
One of my favorite records, “Practice”, represents the best makings of Drake and his ability to creatively reference tracks. Drizzy can take an old classic and make it a new classic – make it his new classic. Everything about this album hearkens like time put in but at this point in Drake’s career he was merely a novice to music, barely a toddler in the industry but his music hearkened like a decade in the game. The melding of hip-hop, rap, soul, RnB, lofi and pure vibes birthed the Drake-esque sound. He doesn’t try to be anyone but Drake and it’s that self-assurance amid life’s constant drip-drop of new lessons that he then turns into iconic music content that let’s us know that his reign will be a long one. I also love the nostalgic nature of this album when listened to in the present day. As the album plays, I think about my life during that time. I was a freshman in college, a wild-child really, social media was a new nuance and Drake was my peace yet my ratchetivity all in one album.