Drake New Release TAKE CARE Album Review

Rebecca Lattanzio - OFC Contributor


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Drake's New Release TAKE CARE Takes On the Hip-Hop World!

Sophomore slump? Not for young rap superstar Drake. TAKE CARE was officially released in stores on Nov. 15, but Drake fans and followers have been listening to the leaked album for weeks. The second studio album by the former “Degrassi” actor is anything but a slump. Different than his first CD, THANK ME LATER? Yes! Different from his Young Money counterparts Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne and Tyga? Absolutely. But Drake seems to have found his niche as the crooning R&B heartthrob of YMCMB. Call it a cliché to follow up a first album with love songs and mass amounts of collaborations, but Drake has done it in his own way and on his own terms.

The album is a mix of late-night love letters and “Young Money rules all” rhymes, but the track list is strong and the music is quality work, as should be expected with cameos by artists like Stevie Wonder and Andre 3000. One thing is clear about Drake’s writing ability: He is able to articulate what others are thinking and makes it apply across age and race boundaries. Simply put, he’s a relatable guy.

The explosion of his single “Marvin’s Room,” which he recently admitted was written about ex-fling Rihanna, proves this. He follows suit with songs like “Shot for Me,” “Doing it Wrong” and “Look What You’ve Done,” all slow heart-pouring ballads about relationships past. It could be argued, and probably will be by many fans hoping to get more Lil Wayne and less Marvin Gaye from TAKE CARE, that there could have been a few more rap songs included. This is, after all, where Drake got his roots; his third mixtape, “So Far Gone” received buzz worthy of Grammy-nominated artists.


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But the hip-hop that does shine through is strong and entertaining. “HYFR (Hell Ya, F***ing Right)” and “The Motto,” both featuring Drake’s mentor Lil Wayne, are catchy and radio-friendly with a sound unlike anything else out there. His recent single “Make Me Proud” with labelmate Nicki Minaj is the classic ride or die relationship song that’s present on any modern hip-hop album, but as we have seen before, whenever these two come together a dynamic hit is all but guaranteed.

Aside from solidifying himself as an R&B ladies’ man with TAKE CARE, Drake has also shown his knack for re-mastering old beats. The song “Practice” beings with the famous opening notes of Juvenile’s 1998 mega-hit “Back that Azz Up,” and Drake even goes on to slow some of its verses down and make them his own. He may have a pervasive theme of love lost and rekindled in TAKE CARE, but he certainly hasn’t lost his talent for rapping.

“Headlines,” “Underground Kings” and “We’ll Be Fine” all showcase the kind of rhymes that made his past mixtapes so successful. His knack for writing both witty verses and sultry hooks is what sets him apart from the rest of hip-hop’s elite.

All in all, TAKE CARE is a step up from his freshman success THANK ME LATER, which was impressive enough for a newbie. The second album shows growth, maturity and a level of musicality high above that of his competitors. If Drake is cautious not to bog down his listeners with too many more Rihanna-loving romance songs, he could cement his spot among today’s hip-hop royalty.

Buy TAKE CARE [Deluxe Edition] on Amazon

Get tickets now on sale for Drake Club The Paradise Tour on Ticketmaster!

Check out Drakeofficial.com

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 January 2012 07:34