On Sunday night, around midnight-ish Drake‘s sophomore album Take Care leaked. After he received the news, he tweeted “Listen, enjoy it, buy it if you like it…and take care until next time,” and enjoy is exactly what everyone has done.
The lengthy album (19 tracks total including two bonus songs) demonstrates just how far Drake has come. Take Care is way more ambitious and lyrically versatile than his debut effort, 2010’s Thank Me Later. Credit has to be given to Drake’s musical director, Noah “40” Shebib, for placing Drake with instrumentals that elevate—if not attempt to overshadow—his lyrics. This makes Drake work twice as hard to perform better than the beat. These kind of instances also give rise to when the emotions come out and the music sounds the most natural.
The album begins with “Over My Dead Body.” The introductory song is just a taste, as Drake takes the listener on a voyage where he is speaking about something more than the struggles of fame and being in love with strippers. But wait, he is still speaking about both of these things, only now his subject matter is not so fixated on these two topics alone. Drake has expanded to discuss the success he has achieved thus far, the trials and joys he has encountered with his mother and aunt, and of course the haters.
Take Care also has a good amount of stellar features; including Stevie Wonder (he’s not singing) on “Doing It Wrong,” The Weeknd on “Crew Love,” updated versions of “The Real Her” with Andre 3000 and “Marvin’s Room” with Kendrick Lamar.
Where the first album felt like he just wanted to live out his rap dreams and feature every rapper he has ever looked up to, this one feels like Drake wants to be the artist that every rapper looks up to. There is more craftsmanship in the coordination of the songs and more theme tracks instead of various random topics being explored in one song. Nevertheless, Take Care is still for the ladies (one of many examples: He turns Juvenile‘s ’90s hit “Back That Azz Up” into an R&B song). As long as Drake is from Toronto, he’ll never create a hardcore hip-hop album. He will forever sing about his relationships and make songs that women can relate to, leaving him looking like the reincarnation of an ex-Destiny’s Child member. And that’s a good thing, because Aubrey loves the ladies and they love him back. Overall, it’s easy to tell that Drake finally likes the man that he’s becoming.
You can pick up Take Care (officially) on November 15.
Tracklist For Take Care:
01. Over My Dead Body
02. Shot For Me
03. Headlines
04. Crew Love Feat. The Weeknd
05. Take Care Feat. Rihanna
06. Marvin’s Room
07. Under Ground Kings
08. We’ll Be fine
09. Make Me Proud Feat. Nicki Minaj
10. Lord Knows Feat. Rick Ross
11. Cameras
12. Doing It Wrong
13. The Real Her Feat. Andre 3000 And Lil Wayne
14. Look What You’ve Done
15. HYFR Feat. Lil Wayne
16. Practice
17. The Ride
18. Hate Sleeping Alone (Bonus)
19. Untitled Feat. Lil Wayne (Bonus)