Drake takes reality check
FANS of hip- hop may have been looking at Drake the wrong way.
Although he is loved by many in the rap scene, he’s more of an R ’ n’ B singer who also spits rhymes. He’s not a fulltime rapper.
Comparing him to Tupac Shakur, Biggie Smalls or Public Enemy is like apples and watermelons.
Drake has more in common with John Legend or Kid Cudi – singers with a dash of street swagger.
Many of the things that bugged me about his debut, and it was quite a list, have now been forgotten – he’s too touchy- feely, too woe- is- me, too sensitive, introspective and emotional, he’s too Canadian, he sings too much.
So with a fresh set of eyes and ears, let’s look at his sophomore outing, Take Care.
The most appealing thing about Drake’s writing style is his honesty and candour. But he has also widened his themes.
His awful debut Thank Me Later was almost exclusively about fame and how he could take it or leave it . . . yawn.
While still moody and melancholic, he’s now writing about mistrust, self- doubt, failed romance, the impact of celebrity, loneliness, women ( lots of songs about women), and his concerns that on his current path he might choose a hollow life over a fulfilling one.
In short, it is real. And if hip- hop was ever in love with anything, it is realness.
The album opens with a cascading piano joint titled Over My Dead Body. Effortless and cool, Drake pops a few shots at his jealous haters. It’s a solid start.
Standing out from the pack is a slowmotion love song that shares its name with the album title and has big echoing drums and a Rihanna cameo.
As is popular to do right now, it steals directly from Jamie Smith and The xx, specifically his remix of Gil Scott- Heron’s I’ll Take Care of You.
One of the album’s brightest moments is the Just- Blaze- produced gospel groove dubbed Lord Knows. It’s closely followed by Marvin’s Room, a tale about the perils of drunk dialling.
As for the two songs that mentor Lil Wayne cameos on, forget them.
At this point Drake may have outgrown Wayne – awkward.
Drake’s detractors often dis him as too soft. It’s interesting that high- profile collaborator Andre 3000 from Outkast sheds a little light on to his own softer side with his guest spot on The Real Her.
The Atlanta rapper references Adele’s Someone Like You when he is ‘‘ sittin’ here sad as hell’’.
Maybe opening up about your feelings will be the next best big thing in rap?
Nope, will never happen.