By Bert Connelly
ART5 & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
Leak – n: an unintended hole, crack, or the like, through which liquid, gas, light, etc., enters or escapes: a leak in the roof.
Rap – A quick, sharp knock or blow. Weird how sometimes words mean diﬀerent things in diﬀerent contexts, no? This is about to be a lot of rap.
Drake – Take Care
So in case you live under a rock or in case you don’t get WiFi under your rock, Drake’s sophomore album leaked onto the pages of the Internet this passed Sunday. The staﬀ of “If I Only Had A Blog” has had this album on its wish list since they got over the fact that Drake was on some TV show when he was a teenager, which was a diﬃcult process for all of us.
At this point in the review, I would normally digress about how the nature of fame has changed in the days of the Internet. I would talk about how studies have shown that people remain famous for shorter periods of time. I would eventually bring it back to the issue at hand and state something like, Drake’s music and appeal depend on him remaining in the spotlight for as long as possible. It’s an interesting cycle of co- dependence in which his content is reliant on his fame and his fame is largely based on his pseudo-emo take on that fame. Drake continues to prove that he is better than anyone at the art of the sad-brag, meaning his subject matter is rooted in the trials and tribulations that come from him being a wildly successful rapper/singer. It’s a formula we have seen from Kanye and, in fact, in terms of comparisons to recent albums, this is perhaps Drake’s take on “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.”
Oh, right, the music.
This album is so Bar-Mitzvah-ready that sh*t cray. What I mean by that is, the album is packed with slow jamz that will have people hip-hovering across the country to Drake’s Rap&B. The album cover alone – Drizzy, alone, looking ponderously into a chalice, surrounded by gold-tinted candlesticks (Imagine if they remade the movie “Clue” and cast Drake in the lead role) and ambiguous works of art – looks more like an R&B cover than a rap album. But that is exactly what Drake is going for; his lyrics are one part braggadocios wordplay and two parts somber/melancholy reﬂections on lost love and one-night stands. Drake continues to make music that, literally, no one should be able to relate to, but nonetheless everyone does.
The production ranges from sweeping string and piano sections to club-ready 808 percussive joints to Weeknd-inﬂuenced pounding synths. Drake also brought some friends along for the ride, including, Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Rick Ross, Lil’ Wayne, Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, Nicki Minaj and Andre 3000. These features serve as a testament to Drake’s skills, because on a roster that deep one would expect him to get outshined but he manages to keep all eyez on him throughout (Note: Kendrick might have stolen the show if Drake actually rapped on the song with him, solid evasion). It’s also great to hear Andre 3000 on tracks again, but it’s sad to hear Lil’ Wayne try to keep up.
Once, I shit you not, I was ending things with a hookup and the girl said, “I’m more than just a number.” She wasn’t. But Drake reminds us that he is still one of the most quotable rappers doing it. He is consistently clever – “Shout out to Asian girls/Let the light dim sum.” He brags so good – “Might talk that real if you ask me what I care about/Rap & bitches, rap & bitches, bitches & rappin’, rap & bitches until all of it switches/ I swear, it’s been two years since someone asked me who I was/I’m the greatest, man, I said that before I knew I was.” And he keeps emotions at the forefront – “What have I learned since gettin’ richer?/I learned working with the negatives can make for better pictures/I learned Hennessy and enemies is one hell of a mixture/Even though it’s f*cked up, girl, I’m still f*cking with ya.”
Is this Drake’s opus? I can’t believe I just wrote that, for a few reasons. The ﬁrst, and most obvious being, what the hell am I doing right now? The second, and more pertinent to this article, is that of course it’s not. The sophomore slump is something that musicians go through just as much as college students. But Drake didn’t go to college and these are not his concerns. I think I’ll end this with a double entendre. Drake should continue making “Headlines” for a long while because his career is far from “Over.”