Best songs: “Fireworks”, “Over”, “Up All Night”, “Unforgettable”, “Light Up”, “Miss Me”, “Find Your Love”, “Thank Me Now”
Who would have ever thought a half-Jewish-child-actor-from-Canada would become the coolest kid in hip hop’s high school? I know I did. So after releasing last years critically acclaimed So Far Gone mixtape, expectations are high for Drake’s first official long player. So how does the album stack up? Peep the breakdown foo!
1. Fireworks (ft. Alicia Keys) (Prod. by Noah “40″ Shebib)
Any intro that includes good introspective rap and Alicia Keys is good with me. Speaking of Alicia Keys, word on the street is that Swizz Beatz knocked her up. Congrats bro!
Drake sounds ubber-gay on this joint (singing in a falsetto), but then again you may like that kind of thing and explain it away as being “real music”.
3. The Resistence
With a cool name like “The Resistence” I expected this to be a big record and it is. This song has the same feel the “Say You Will” freestyle Drake did on So Far Gone has, but unfortunately not as powerful.
4. Over (Prod. by Boi-1da)
You either love or hate the first single, so no need for comment. I personally think its hot.
5. Show Me A Good Time (Prod. by Kanye West)
I’m not sure what Drake was thinking picking this beat from Yeezy cause it sounds like something Kid Cudi wouldn’t even use. Other than the wack beat, Drake provides enough lyrics to carry the song.
6. Up All Night (ft. Nicki Minaj) (Prod. by Boi-1da)
This doesn’t really sound like a Drake record but more of a Cash Money thing, which is unfortunate because I think fans would have liked to see Nicki Minaj come into Drake’s sonic world, rather than the other way around.
7. Fancy (ft. TI and Swizz Beatz) (Prod. by Swizz Beatz)
I think what made Drake was the fact that he didn’t have to go to producers from the old generation such as Swizzy and have these no-thought repetitive hooks. I think this song would have been better if Drake scratched Swizzy from the hook and sang something instead or got Mary J. Blige (whose coincidently doing back ups on the hook to Swizz?). Hell he could have got Trey Songz to sing it, speaking of which Trey Songz is nowhere to be found on the album (not that I care).
8. Shut It Down (ft. The Dream) (Prod. by Noah “40″ Shebib/Omen)
This is pretty much the watered down version of “Brand New” shot through a Dream aesthetic (i.e. swearing while singing).
9. Unforgettable (ft. Young Jeezy) (Prod. by Noah “40″ Shebib/Boi-1da)
This is probably the best song on the album complete with a soulful Aaliyah sample and a Jeezy verse.
10. Light Up (ft. Jay-Z) (Prod. by Noah “40″ Shebib/Tone Mason)
This is probably the third best Jay-Z collab after “Renegade” and “Black Republicans”. I just wish Jigga didn’t get lazy near the end of his verse.
11. Miss Me (ft. Lil Wayne) (Prod. by Boi-1da/Noah “40″ Shebib)
The most hype song on the album with some killer verses from both Drake and Wayne. But for some reason the song loses steam on the hook.
12. Cece’s Interlude (Prod. by Noah “40″ Shebib)
I can’t take this seriously at all.
13. Find Your Love (Prod. by Kanye West)
Even though I find this song lacks any substance, because Drake just keeps saying the same thing over and over again, I do find it incredibly catchy. And let’s not forget how hilarious the video is.
14. Thank Me Now (Prod. by Timbaland)
Drake raps over the most mediocre Timbo beat I have ever heard. I’m pretty sure Magoo wouldn’t even spit over this. Aside from the lackluster production, Drake as usual provides some good lyrics though his flow isn’t as on point as usual.
The Last Word
Drake has become a household name and his debut album, although not as “classic” as I thought it would be, due to poor production and lack of a cohesive subject matter, on a lyrical level is still leagues better than what “insert random rapper’s name here” is putting out. It’ll be interesting to see if Drake continues in the music game or returns to acting as after this album its uncertain if Drake has anything interesting left to say. But then again, I may be thanking him later.