Drake on Apple Music (2024)

  • Drake on Apple Music (1)


    On the cover of his fourth studio album Views, Drake looks down from atop Toronto’s CN Tower, paying homage to the city’s notoriously frigid winter temperatures in a heavyweight shearling coat and high-cut boots. He looks less like the superhero he’d made himself into over the course of a roughly six-year rise as singer-songwriter extraordinaire and more like a troubled monarch. Views, which followed two wildly successful projects in 2015 that he’d branded as mixtapes—If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and the Future collab What a Time to Be Alive—would confirm him as both, his penchant for immaculate songwriting still fully intact and the pressures of existing as the most popular voice in rap, as well as his hometown’s most successful export, weighing heavy on his mind. “I made a decision last night that I would die for it,” Drake raps on “9.” “Just to show the city what it takes to be alive for it.” Drake’s presence eclipsed Toronto just about as soon as So Far Gone dropped, but the city—and what it thinks of him—was never far from his mind. There are references here to specific people (“Redemption”), places (“Weston Road Flows”), and experiences (“Views”), along with nods to the influence of the city’s Caribbean population on “With You,” “Controlla,” and “Too Good” (which just happens to feature Rihanna).He isn’t too much for the world, though, ruminating on his position as one of music’s biggest names—and those who’d rather he wasn’t—on songs like “Still Here,” “Hype,” and “Grammys.” Maybe the the most affecting acknowledgment to this end is the fact that “Hotline Bling,” a strong contender for 2015 song of the summer, was such an afterthought by the time Views was released that it appears here as a bonus track. For all intents and purposes, the Drake of Views is the same one we got on If You’re Reading This and What a Time, but if his previous proper album (Nothing Was the Same) foretold anything, it’s that the man peering down from CN Tower sees things differently than the rest of us.

  • Drake on Apple Music (2)

    If You're Reading This It's Too Late

    Drake surprised everyone at the beginning of 2015 when he dropped If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, an impressive 17-track release that combines the contemplative and confrontational with plenty of cavernous production from longtime collaborator Noah “40” Shebib. While Drizzy joins mentor Lil Wayne in questioning the loyalty of old friends on the woozy, Wondagurl-produced “Used To,” “Energy” is the cold-blooded highlight—on which he snarls, “I got enemies.” Later, amid the electrifying barbs of “6PM in New York,” Drake considers his own mortality and legacy: “28 at midnight. I wonder what’s next for me.”

  • Drake on Apple Music (3)

    Nothing Was the Same (Deluxe)

    Nothing Was the Same intensified Drake's sensitivity even as it deepened the ominous undercurrent in his music. These are songs about success and celebration, but more importantly, they address the inescapable fear and danger inherent in any conquest. Working primarily with his longtime collaborator Noah “40” Shebib and a host of invited sonic masterminds, Drake makes songs that say as much through atmosphere as they do with lyrics. Rather than adhere to the conventions of beats and rhymes, his tracks embrace the slippery tension between singing and rapping, between tight rhythms and free-floating passages, between choruses and stream-of-consciousness confessions. Nothing Was the Same is a remarkably unified piece of work, with each song partaking in a singular fusion of sensuality, revelry, and tantalizing darkness.

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    Take Care (Deluxe Version)

    Drake’s magnum opus Take Care is best compared to a fine wine: From the dark, warm tones of its cover art to the long waiting period between inception and release, everything about the album exudes opulence. And, like a vintage port, the album has aged beautifully, standing as one of the most beloved, most decadent moments of Drake’s illustrious discography.As the title itself suggests, Take Care is a testament to the theory that the best art requires lots of time. After receiving mixed feedback on his studio debut Thank Me Later—an album Drake himself felt was rushed—the rapper made a return to his own sonic roots, enlisting musical savant Noah “40” Shebib to spearhead his second studio album. Shebib and Drake drew on the very “Toronto sound” they’d pioneered—a sound that was situated at the sweet spot between rap and R&B, and that had defined Drake’s acclaimed 2009 mixtape, So Far Gone.The new strategy worked. Released in 2011, Take Care was an instant smash, debuting at the top of the album charts, despite being leaked online ahead of time. The rapper wasn’t shy about acknowledging the discrepancy between Thank Me Later and Take Care: On “Headlines,” one of Take Care’s standout pop moments, he raps: “I had someone tell me I fell off/Ooh, I needed that.” It was this honesty and vulnerability that allowed Drake to rap-sing his way into the hearts of millions of fans worldwide, ushering in a new wave of commercial hip-hop draped in tender emotion.But despite the album’s chart success—and its eventual Grammy win—Take Care is more than just a career-catapulting moment for Drizzy. The album also marked the mainstream arrival of Drake’s fellow hometown hero The Weeknd, who at the time was an underground dark R&B crooner releasing acclaimed mixtapes. Working as both a producer and a performer, The Weeknd would get a major status upgrade with the release of Take Care, collaborating with Drake on such tracks as “Crew Love” and “Shot for Me.”Elsewhere on Take Care, Drake proves that, though he was just in his mid-twenties, the Canadian child-actor-turned-rapper had mastered his identity. Rather than exuding a manufactured image of what a rapper “should” be, Drake is fully himself on tracks like “Marvins Room,” a hit that became known as the drunk dial heard ’round the world. And his fractured relationship with his father takes center stage on “Look What You’ve Done,” in which Drake recounts arguments with his mother, while also name-dropping his then non-famous ex (a tactic that became the rapper’s signature style).Take Care also finds Drake paying tribute to his Cash Money family members, including Nicki Minaj, who features on “Make Me Proud.” She’s one of several high-profile guests on the album, which also features turns from Rihanna, Stevie Wonder, T-Pain, and André 3000. They all share the spotlight on one of hip-hop’s most celebrated albums of the 21st century.

  • Drake on Apple Music (5)

    Thank Me Later

    After a mixtape propelled Drake from Canadian TV star to bona fide hitmaker, Thank Me Later confirmed his star status. His official studio debut solidifies his moody signature sound while grappling frankly with fame, sex, and self-doubt. Seamlessly fusing hip-hop and R&B, he renders navel-gazing in hi-def clarity: “Karaoke” and “Cece’s Interlude” find the newly minted icon pining for the comfort of old flames and simpler times. But his uncertainty about his newfound fame pales in comparison with the celebratory mood of songs like the triumphant "Over."

Drake on Apple Music (2024)
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