This album leaked yesterday, and while I normally do not download leaks and instead wait until the final project is officially released, I couldn’t help myself with this one. As soon as it leaked I had an influx of emails, facebook messages, and text messages telling me that I needed to download this “masterpiece.” One friend went as far as calling it Drake’s “magnum opus.” He handled the leak with incredible class, and you have to give it to him for that. Most rappers get on their Twitters to vent frustration, anger, and sometimes straight up violence when they find out their albums have leaked prematurely; Drake handled the situation like a gentleman. He knows how classic this album will become, and he seems to have no concern about the leak.
I need to start this post with a preface: I have never been a Drake fan. I have never gotten excited about a Drake release. I’ve liked a song or two, a single here and there, but I’ve never gotten excited about a release. This album, though, is one that I consider to truly be one of the top 10 hip hop albums ever made. Drake’s flows, clever lyricism, and open, refreshing honesty are all massive assets, and with perfectly chosen production and features, this entire project is an instant classic. This will win a Grammy for Best Album, I am willing to place money on that fact right now. But that does not go far enough–this is not just the best album of the year, it is one of the best hip hop albums of all time. This is Drake’s best project to date, and I am extremely excited to see how this project is received when it finally drops on November 15th. I have uploaded these songs to stream, but we will not be providing any link to the leak. Buy his album; support artistry, support the craft, support the industry, support real music.
1. Drake – Over My Dead Body (10/10)
I listened to this album from start to finish, and this song set an immediate precedent for excellence and realness. 10 out of 10, hell of a way to start things. Drake is talking about his life in the kind of honest way that we see so rarely in mainstream hip hop. Going over a simple piano riff, Drake really lets his voice shine and carry this song. Beautiful hook throughout, and unbelievably honest lyrics throughout. This song gives us a look into Drake feels about all of his past success leading into Take Care, which he must have known would be an incredibly important album both for his career and for hip hop in general.
All these people really discussing my career again, asking me if I’ll be going platinum in a year again. Don’t I got that shit the world wanna hear again?
Jealousy is just love and hate at the same time
2. Drake – Shot For Me (8/10)
Drake starts this song with his singing voice, which is always pretty amazing to hear. Dude’s just got it all: crazy flows, clever, meaningful lyricism, and this unbelievable voice to boot. He doesn’t start rapping until about a minute and 30 seconds into the track, and when he does it’s a really nice change of pace to the song. He talks about relationships a lot throughout this album, especially relationships that have hurt him. While there are artists in mainstream hip hop talk about such relationships, Drake does it in a refreshingly honest and real way as is evident on this track. He ends it with a really beautiful, simply spoken string of well put together lines, kind of like Drake’s 2011 take on Biggie’s classic “Hustler’s Prayer.”
May your neighbors respect you, trouble neglect you, angels protect you, and heaven accept you
3. Drake – Headlines (9.25/10)
I mean I’d almost be shocked if you guys haven’t heard this one yet, it’s been everywhere recently. This is was the lead single, and as such has great pop appeal. That does not mean that Drake’s lyricism or meaning takes a backseat, though. The hook (They know, they know, they know) itself is derived from him saying that his friends “know” that he will cover their case expenses; Drake talks about real issues throughout this entire album and it’s great to see him also do so on the singles. And the way he ends the song? No words.
They saying I’m back, I’d agree with that/ I just take my time with all this shit, I still believe in that/ I had someone tell me I feel off, oooh I needed that / And they wanna see me pick back up, well where I leave it at?
I heard once that they would rather hear about memories than enemies/ Rather hear what was or what will be than what is/ Rather hear how you got it over how much it cost you/ Rather hear about finding yourself than how you lost you/ Rather you make this an open letter about family, and struggle, and then take it forever/ About hearts that you’ve broken and ties that you’ve severed/ No doubt in my mind, that’ll make them feel better
Hit the jump to keep reading the full review.
Drizzy just dropped some dope visuals for his latest single, Headlines. You know dude is doing it big when he gets private access to the Rogers Centre where the Toronto Blue Jays play. Nothing too cray out of this video, but still a fun watch and the editing is superb–it’s chopped up to match the flurrying snares of the track.
The Toronto crooner leaked the first single off his upcoming sophomore album, Take Care, late last night via his website. It’s a smooth flurry of synths, strings and snares coupled with Drizzy’s classic back-and-forth rap/sing cadence. He recently told Rolling Stone, “I hate singles. With this album, I want to tell a whole story. I don’t want people to just hear a piece and judge the album on that.” I’ll be looking forward to more, Aubrey. @dcbui