Drake takes re­al­ity check

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Music - JAR­RAD BE­VAN

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.