By David Peter Simon | November 15th, 2011
There are two Drakes. There’s the popular Drake, the one that everyone knows and some dislike (like my dear friends Amanda and Anthony), and then there’s the one that not many people appreciate — the underground mixtape king who fought his way through the game to go from wheelchair athlete in Degrassi to international superstar.
First, let’s start with the inspiring story. Drake is a superstar because he pursued his dreams to make music at all costs. The world was stacked against him in a sense. I mean, have you ever seen Degrassi? It was an abomination. Who would have guessed in a few years Drake could transform himself into a pop culture icon?
So yes, make fun of him all you want, but you can’t deny he inspires. In today’s crazy and mixed up world, we should look to anyone who has followed their passions and succeeded. Except for people like Qaddafi, of course.
Let’s take a look at Take Care. This is a fantastic follow-up album to Thank Me Later. I’m addicted to this album and you should be, too. Every track is tight. Drake is honest, painting vivid pictures of his life and relating how he’s feeling. I respect artists that can do that without being pretentious and still live up to their multimillion dollar entertainer name.
This album features great back tracks with an assortment of artists, from Stevie Wonder to the omnipresent Lil Wayne. Songs like “Practice” prove Drake’s ability to revive old songs and turn them into something new. I’d be interested to see the metrics on people once again listening to “Back That Azz Up” just because he redid it.
Additionally, slow rap ballads like “Doing It Wrong” or the featured “Look What You’ve Done” illustrate his style’s range and prove he’s more than just “Headlines.” He’s a talented and reflective rapper who brings us into his world through his lyrics. I’m always impressed when listening to songs like “Club Paradise” and realizing how much he speaks to you through his work. It reminds me of an interview I read with him that talked about the need to be a real person in your music; it’s all about the feel, you can’t fake it and listeners realize instantaneously when it’s real.
So, yes, some of his songs are cheesy. “Underground Kings” has a line that goes “rappin’, rappin’ and bitches until all of it switches.” The featured song even talks about being “just another kid in a drop-top Lexus,” which is not normal nor inspires any sort of empathy. But hold your grievances for a second. Give him a chance. Beyond that is real stories, real emotions, real hopes, and real dreams — issues going on in all our lives.
Listen to this album with open ears and take a moment to see why I think Drake is one of the best out there in the game right now. He’s more than just rappin’ and bitches, he’s an artist sharing what he feels and thinks to the whole world, trying to keep you in touch with your own reality. For me, that’s more than enough.