Drake Review: A Bucket of Yuck…mostly
I hate Drake. I don’t hate Drake because he is a marginally-talented-ass-clown who can’t write lyrics and has a shitty flow. I hate Drake because he is a marginally-talented-ass-clown who can’t write lyrics, has a shitty flow AND consistently pollutes some of the better beats and potential guest spots in the game merely by his presence. Drake is the President’s Day of Holidays. Drake is the Kia Sedan of automobiles. Drake is the prescription painkillers of illicit narcotics use. In almost all situations, Drake is the milquetoast cousin of what is good and right with the world. He flows like rancid syrup, and sings like he wants to be the soundtrack for a middle-schooler’s first handy (just like the Degrassi-alumni that he will always be). As a further note, Drake refers to himself as Drizzy occasionally. Spoiler alert: This goes over about as poorly as you think it would.
Let me give you an overview of what this album brings to the table. A bunch of sweet beats and great production value. Drake trying to be Kanye. A great, deliberate verse by Andre 3000. Drake trying to be Cudi. An unexpected turn by The Weeknd, in which Drake is absent for the first two minutes of the track. Drake ruining The Weeknd’s guest spot by entering the track. A good XX-produced song featuring Rihanna. Drake trying to be Frank Ocean. Kendrick Lamar stealing the show on a track. Drake rapping “It’s my birthday; I can get high if I want to”. A confusing guest spot by Chantal Kreviazuk (who I only know from her cover of “Leaving on a Jetplane” on the Armageddon soundtrack). Drake butchering Juvenile’s classic, “Back That Azz Up”. I could go on and on, but let me elaborate on just a few of the above highlights/lowlights, as I only have limited space (I don’t really have limited space, I just know that you won’t read 10,000 words).
^^^^ “Make Me Proud”: One of the redeemable tracks on Take Care
Drake’s cover of “Back That Azz Up”, titled “Practice”, is a cautionary tale in a long line of songs that should never be covered. Some might say you can take the song out of New Orleans, but you can’t take the New Orleans out of the song. That notion would be completely false in the case of “Practice”. Drake’s interpretation castrates the essence off of what was once a club staple, and turns it into a slow jam abomination that I find personally offensive. “Practice” is not the only banal slow jam Drake offers on Take Care, just the most heinous.
^^^I refuse to put Drake’s version; consider this a palate cleanser
With the slow jam fat cut off the album, the material ranges from salvageable to damn-near-genius. The beat on “Make Me Proud” needs to be blasted from thousand-foot speakers from the highest mountaintops for the entire world to start grinding to. This beat coincides with Drake delivering his best verse of the album, a verse with urgency and conviction. Nicki Minaj performs the fatality on the track; really bringing it home.
Unfortunately, Drake doesn’t manage more than 2-3 palatable verses on the album, his attempt at rapping sometimes approaching a pain level I would call “circumcision by sandpaper”. For all the solid portions and immaculate production work that went into the album, I just can’t seem to get beyond Drake’s anchor-like presence bringing the album as a whole to its knees. If you like Drake, you will probably love this album. If you find Drake to be a blight on the earth, you will probably find some solace when you dig deep, but will want to steer clear for sanity’s sake.
Can’t Miss: “Crew Love”, “Take Care”, “Make Me Proud”
Can’t Hit: “Practice”, “The Real Her” (except the Andre 3000 verse), “Look What You’ve Done”