Drake‘s sophomore studio album, “Take Care,” is as much for his fans as it is for him. The 25-year-old Toronto native took his time and care — no pun intended — to craft a project that best showcases his life behind the lens. Drake brought along only close friends and family (from Noah “40” Shebib and The Weeknd, to hometown talent Divine Brown) for this ride, and bared his soul, for better or worse.
“So Far Gone” (2009) — Drake’s mixtape turned Grammy nominated retail album — introduced us to the “Degrassi” actor turned rapper. Drake’s debut effort, “Thank Me Later,” (2010), cemented Drake as a force in the hip-hop game. But “Take Care” presents Drake at his best: unraveling without the care of being judged when spit-singing emotional verses over intricate, piano-heavy synths.
“I heard once that they would rather hear about memories than enemies,” Drake says at the end of his first single, Rap Songs No. 1, “Headlines.” “Rather hear what was or what will be than what is. Rather hear how you got it over how much it cost you. Rather hear about finding yourself and how you lost you. Rather you make this a open letter about family and struggle and it taking forever, about hearts that you’ve broken and ties that you’ve severed. No doubt in my mind that will make them feel better.”
Which songs on “Take Care” abide by Drake’s album scheme? Here’s our Twitter-length track-by-track review of each song.
You be the judge: What do you think of Drake’s sophomore album? Tweet us your own review at @billboard (using hashtag #bbdrake). The best tweets will be posted on Billboard.com in the coming days.
1. “Over My Dead Body”
2. “Shot For Me”
Drake acknowledges and takes responsibility for his impact on the ladies, good or bad. Don’t hate him or thank him later just take a shot for him.
Drake delivers a message in his first single: “The realest is on the rise, fuck them other guys.” But take to the three minute mark for Drake’s overall scheme for “Take Care.”
4. “Crew Love” feat. The Weeknd
Drake and The Weeknd serve 3 1/2 minutes worth of friendship. Perfect for the guys wanting to ride and simply reminisce on the bro-ments.
5. “Take Care” feat. Rihanna
6. “Marvin’s Room” / “Buried Alive” Interlude feat. Kendrick Lamar
Drake’s ode to drunk dialing when in romantic turmoil. The song is sealed with Kendrick Lamar’s poetic take on the rappers’ encounter.
7. “Under Ground Kings”
Close your eyes and imagine being the passenger in Drake’s Maybach. This is the story Drizzy would tell when riding around his hometown.
8. “We’ll Be Fine” feat. Birdman
“Always presidential and tonight is no blue moon” – Drake’s rhymes of luxury living and Birdman snaps bands over a T-Minus and 40 collabo.
9. “Make Me Proud” feat. Nicki Minaj
Drake joins forces with another Young Money star student to high-five independent women, one being herself. Ladies, take notes.
10. “Lord Knows” feat. Rick Ross
With a grand opening by Just Blaze, Drake boasts. Listen closely and you’ll hear Rozay introduce the rappers’ upcoming mixtape, “Y.O.L.O.”
11. “Cameras”/ “Good Ones Go” Interlude
“Look like we’re in love but only on camera,” Drake rhymes faint over Jon B.’s “Calling On You.” Wait, could he be talking about Rih Rih?
12. “Doing It Wrong”
Inspired by Don McLean’s “The Wrong Thing To Do” and Stevie‘s harmonica, Drake shows the heart breaker in him. A considerate heart breaker.
13. “The Real Her” feat. Lil Wayne and Andre 3000
Guess who also listens to Adele when “sad as hell”? Andre 3000. The OutKast member seals Drake’s a’ha moment with his own words of wisdom.
14. “Look What You’ve Done”
In an open letter to mom, uncle, and bubi, we see Drake at his best: heartfelt, honest over Static Major background vocals, Playa samples and 88 keys.
15. “HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right)” feat. Lil Wayne
With a bit of “Swanging and Banging,” T-Minus delivers a rock-influenced platform for teacher and student to squash questions with an acronym.
Drake slows and spins one of his predecessors’ (also family: Cash Money) hip-hop classic for the z-share generation, “Back That Azz Up.”
“I hate when people say they feel me, man.” Noted, Drizzy. For those who have their doubts on The Weeknd, listen to the man’s falsetto.