I know that Drake is one of the biggest selling superstars of the past fifteen years. I also know many hip-hop fans, including my son, look at his music with varying perspectives. As I listened to “Take Care”, released in 2011 and rated as the #95 album on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums, I was just not able to really connect with this record, even after several listens. I told my son it was a bit monotonous, and felt a little like hip-hop muzak. Obviously, there are millions of fans around the world who would disagree with me, so I will accept my place as an outlier here.
Drake’s sound is a blend of singing and rapping, and my biggest issue, like on many records, was that the songs lacked much in the way of alluring beats or compelling hooks. Most of my favorite elements on this record are the many collaborations. I was pleasantly surprised that Chantal Kreviazuk, a talented pianist and singer, makes an appearance on the first song, “Over My Dead Body”. On “Crew Love”, we get our first introduction to “The Weeknd”, and I definitely enjoyed his work with Rihanna on “Take Care”. Kendrick Lamar surfaces on the “Buried Alive Interlude”, and another favorite moment is the wonderful Nicky Minaj, an artist I need to explore further, on “Make Me Proud”. Rick Ross and Lil Wayne also appear on multiple tracks.
Aside from enjoying those collaborations, there just wasn’t much about this album for me to keep pursuing. I’m sure there will be more Drake before this journey ends, so I will hope for a more infectious collection of tunes to follow.