Back when I was in college, my friend tried to introduce me to this new rapper named Drake. I had heard one of his songs, “Replacement Girl” since it had my boo thang in my head favorite singer of the moment Trey Songz on it & had even seen him on my guilty pleasure Degrassi. But that was it. She swore up and down that I need to check him out because he was going to be large.
4 years later she’s looking like a damn prophet.
I’ll admit I was late to the Drake appreciation party. And after I listened to his first few mixtapes, I definitely wasn’t ready to crown him the best new artist of our generation. To be honest, I actually fell asleep the first time I tried to listen to “Comeback Season” (whoops!) But I still decided to give him a chance. It took some time for his debut album, “Thank Me Later” to grow on me but once it did I felt like I was part of the masses. Here I was naming Facebook picture albums after his song titles and dancing to all his hits in the club. But I still wasn’t ready to join the Drake fan club. Then he dropped his sophomore effort, “Take Care”.
I’m not going to even lie. I would like to act like “Take Care” really didn’t happen. I would like to pretend that he didn’t really release a R&B version of Juvenile’s “Back That Ass Up” but unfortunately this was real. If “Thank Me Later” was Drake’s attempt to please the urban masses with hit singles galore, “Take Care” was his attempt to experiment with his sound and to show another side to him that we hadn’t seen before. And either you loved it or you hated it.
I mostly hated it.
Maybe it was because I was expecting the Drake that appeared on the urban radio hits on “Take Care”. Not the one that would make a song like “Marvin’s Room”. I had a preconceived image in my head as to what “Take Care” Drake would sound like and the version I got didn’t match up. So when I learned that he was going to release a third album, “Nothing Was The Same”, I made myself a promise. I was going to go into the album with an open mind. My expectations wouldn’t be set that high because usually when that happens, I’m let down time and time again. But this time, I was gonna approach listening to this album with no expectations. No images of what this version of Drake should sound like. And see where that takes me.
Great idea I had.
I could sit here and dissect every single verse, line, adjective, adverb on this album but I’m not because…well I would bore myself to tears doing that. But I will make a declaration now:
This is Drake’s best album.
On “Nothing Was The Same” it appears that Drake was able to do what a lot of music artists set out to do but fail miserably at: staying true to their sound but creating hits. This album epitomizes who Drake is. He’s not a hardcore rapper that sold drugs in Toronto. He’s not a conscious rapper discussing the plight that faces the black community. But he is a rich rapper. He’s a rapper that could more than likely pull any chick at the club. He’s a rapper that believes that he is the best out right now. And he’s a rapper that spills out his emotional issues in his verses. That’s who Drake is. And that’s the Drake that was presented to me on this album.
Random thoughts that I took away from the album:
- I don’t think there’s a beat on here that I hate.
- The guest features didn’t outshine Drake.
- I wonder how long will it be before people start tweeting random Drake lyrics. (I Think I did this as I was writing this review)
- I’m actually struggling to pick my favorite song because I have so many options.
- Hold on! Is this the first Drake album that I’ve heard without ANY features from any of the big names from Young Money (I’m not counting Detail). GLORY TO GAWD!
- This album kinda reminds me of “So Far Gone” Drake.
The transformation that Drake went through these past few years (starring on a Canadian teenage soap opera to a popular rapper) seems very surreal. But it seems as if people have forgotten about his stint as Wheelchair Jimmy and is buying into Drake being one of the great artists of our generation. Now I don’t know if I would go THAT far, but I will say that I was pleasantly surprised by this album. I’m going to hold off calling this a classic (because I don’t make that determination until a few years pass by), but I will say that this album is a very solid offering from Drake.
And easily my favorite that I’ve heard this year.
Favorite Track(s): “Worst Behaviour”