Drake: Take Care

On November 15, 2011, Aubrey “Drake” Graham dropped his sophomore album, “Take Care.” After Drake’s debut, “Thank Me Later,” impacted the rap genre on such a huge scale, fans were excited to see what was next for the flourishing young rapper. “Take Care” not only raises the standards of rap, but also displays sincere emotions in a genre that celebrates being the toughest and coldest. Drake stands out because of his ability to convey explicit feelings, even if that means admitting to crying. He’s not afraid to pour it all into his music; at this pace, Drake is well on his way to revolutionizing the music scene.

The emotion and sincerity can clearly be heard in Drake’s voice whenever he raps or sings; he conveys so much in just a few words. That’s not to say that he isn’t filled with arrogance, but his ego is well deserved due to his success. Opening the song “Headlines,” Drake is not afraid to admit he believes the world is his and enjoys rubbing his success in the noses of those who doubt him. “I might be too strung out on compliments/overdosed on confidence/started not to give a f**k and stop fearing the consequence.”

However, when you move on to the melancholy harmonica provided by Stevie Wonder in “Doing It Wrong,” the mood changes to the polar opposite: the pain and anguish of a break up. “Take Care” is a ride that can change moods from one song to the next, but with such finesse that the listener can easily accept it.

Drake is an outstanding rapper, but when he’s around good company, the guy becomes untouchable. “Take Care” features a variety of artists who complement Drake and bring out the best in this Canadian rapper. Throughout the album there are appearances from Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Rick Ross, Birdman, and The Weekend. These artists have made their mark on rap and continue to do so.

The highlights begin with the title track, featuring Rihanna. It contains a piano synth loop that gives an upbeat but cautious mood of entering a new relationship with its trust issues of being hurt by an ex-girlfriend. Then “HYFR,” featuring Lil Wayne, is a song that indulges in the joys of being famous and doing whatever you want. “The Motto,” also featuring Lil Wayne, is a bonus track available if the album is purchased online. It supplies a heavy bass line and constant crisp hi-hats that give an old-school feeling from the late ?s and ?s. The track demonstrates the glamour of fame and has Wayne and Drake flaunting their ego with a simple flow, but is still astounding. The pinnacle of “Take Care” is the hubristic track “Make Me Proud,” featuring Nicki Minaj. From start to finish, the song supplies lyrical acuteness from both Drake and up-and-comer Minaj.

“Take Care” is a great composition and is also just a taste of what Drake is capable of. With this album, expectations have increased yet again. Now all that’s left is to wait to see if Drake rises to expectations again.

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