Marcus Reviews Drake’s Take Care

7 Nov

Over My Dead Body: The intro track to the album musically follows the same vein as Fireworks giving us a subdued and simple instrumental for an introspective Drake to recall his last few years in the game and bring us up to speed of where he is right now. It’s a pretty good first taste of what’s to come on this album. (4/5)

Shot For Me: Our first glimpse of R&B Drake on this album has Drake singing/sing rapping about how his lavish lifestyle has strained his relationship with an unnamed female and how he wishes things could be different. You can tell that Drake’s grown as a singer as he’s making vocal choices that he probably didn’t have the confidence to make earlier in his career. Since I’m a fan of R&B Drake I’m all over this song and to me it’s one of the stronger songs on the album. (4.5/5)

Headlines: Everyone’s already heard this song so I don’t really have to say anything about it. The only change is instead of letting the beat ride out like the radio version there’s a bit of spoken word by Drake at the end. Still a solid record that still holds up well enough to me to not be skip-worthy. (3/5)

Crew Love feat The Weeknd: This might as well have been The Weeknd’s song because Abel takes up a good amount of this song that features one Drake verse but I digress. No deep messages or stories in this song just a song about how people love OVOXO (their crew). I’m kind of neutral on the song really. It’s so short that it doesn’t really give me any reason to not like it but there’s just not much going on, it’s just kind of there. I’m sure people will ride with it though. (3.5/5)

Take Care feat Rihanna: The title track of the album was definitely not what I expected it to be. Definitely the most pop-sounding and danceable song on the album, Rihanna brings the chorus on this jamie xx produced track as Drake sings and raps about “taking care” of a girl who’s been hurt before. Don’t be surprised if you here this one in clubs soon because it was tailor made for the dancefloor. I have a feeling that this is the track that the most people are gonna be split on as it’s the “oddball” song if you will. I quite like it though. (4/5)

Marvin’s Room/Buried Alive (Interlude by Kendrick Lamar: Another record that’s been out for a while (But still one of my favorite album cuts) so there’s nothing really to say here for Marvin’s Room but now it has a dope interlude by Kendrick Lamar who does a sort of stream of conscious verse that seems to be about his chance meeting with Drake while tying in a story about being caught up in the vanity that comes with the high life. It’s an interesting little add on but I’m not quite sure why it’s put after Marvin’s Room. (4.5/5)

Underground Kings: No this isn’t an ode to UGK as the name would imply but there are definitely some southern rap influences as Drake’s a well documented fan of that Houston style. Drake raps about how he “got rich off a mixtape” and proclaims himself as the Underground King over a bass heavy beat. It’s your typical “stuntin on yall niggas” type track that bangs in the car if you’ve got the right speakers. Solid track overall. (3.5/5)

We’ll Be Fine: Remember those southern rap influences I talked about? They’re highly evident on this song. If I had to compare this to a previous Drake song it’d be “Up All Night” because it sounds almost like a sequel to that song without Nicki. It features a line that probably best represents Drake’s state of mind currently “Seems like yesterday that I was up and coming. Still so young that I ain’t had enough of nothing” as this song is just a glorification of the high life he’s enjoying right now. This is definitely a potential club banger and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like this song. Could’ve done without Birdman talking at the end though. One of the stronger tracks to me. (4/5)

Make Me Proud feat Nicki Minaj: The third and final record on the album that everyone’s heard by now. If you’ve followed my tumblr for a while then you already know how I feel about this song. For those that don’t, I’m not a fan. Has a positive message that’ll no doubt resonate with females but I feel like the track overall is very generic and weak. Plus Nicki’s verse is whack and I feel like she really adds nothing to the song. Weakest song on the album. (2/5)

Lord Knows feat Rick Ross: First allow me to bow down to Just Blaze for putting producers on notice because he put his DAMN FOOT in this beat! Dear God I made the UGLIEST face when I heard the beat drop. We get Drake at possibly his most confident ever on this record and uses it to shit on his detractors. This is probably the hardest track on the album by Drake lyrically with lines like “I know that showing emotion doesn’t make me a pussy/Know that I don’t make records for niggas that don’t get pussy so those are the ones I’m counting on to diss me or overlook me” and “Alot of niggas came up off of a style that I made up but if all I hear is me then who should I be afraid of?”. Rick Ross drops a nice little 16 as well that doesn’t take anything away from the track but doesn’t necessarily add anything either. Definitely in the top 5 tracks on the album to me. (5/5)

Cameras/Good Ones Go (Interlude): Drake takes another crack at the chopped and screwed sound that he did on November 18th (which I love) and raps about a girl looking good but only on camera. I don’t know if it’s just me or not but this song is boring as hell to me. The interlude features Drake singing about how the “good ones” leave eventually if you’re not smart. I honestly wish the interlude was the actual song because I like it more. (2.5/5)

Doing It Wrong feat Stevie Wonder: Now when I heard that Stevie Wonder was going to be doing a song with Drake I was instantly intrigued and very interested to hear the end result. Needless to say I was left feeling a bit disappointed because Stevie’s only appearance on the song is in a harmonica solo near the end of the song. I would’ve loved for this to have been a duet song between Drake and Stevie. Nonetheless it’s a solid R&B track about the end of a relationship and how them holding on to each other too long is the “wrong thing to do”. I have no problems with the song outside of the absence of Stevie and I’d go as far as to say it’s one of the stronger tracks. (4/5)

The Real Her feat Lil Wayne & Andre 3000: This is basically the same song that came out a few weeks ago but just with a verse from 3 Stacks added on. Basically a song about a deceptive young woman who tricks men into giving her everything and then moves on to the next one. Dre’s verse is pretty damn dope (“sitting here sad as hell listening to Adele” is my favorite line lol) and it’s always nice to hear him on a track these days. Solid track all around. (3.5/5)

HYFR (Hell Ya Fuckin Right) feat Lil Wayne: Drake and Wayne rap about groupies who grill them with the same ole questions and their response is always the same (look at the song name). Drake drops a dope verse and showcases a double-time flow in the beginning of the song that we’re not accustomed to hearing from him. Wayne also comes through with one of his better verse in recent memory. Honestly to me it’s a pretty forgettable song overall but I guess it serves it’s purpose. (3/5)

Look What You’ve Done: Over a classy piano laden backdrop Drake pays tribute to his mother and uncle on this song as he recalls their respective impacts on his life while also tackling his issues with his father and reveals that it’s still a pretty sensitive subject for him. Also features a little message from Drake’s grandmother expressing her gratitude to him for all that he’s done. Definitely the most insightful song in the album I greatly respect Drake for always being willing to open up to him listeners like that. (5/5)

Practice: Drake basically puts his own spin on “Back That Ass Up” by Juvenile on a track that is purely for the clubs/strip clubs. I could’ve done without this one and I’m surprised it’s actually on the main tracklist because it screams bonus cut. I think he should’ve replaced this with Free Spirit or Club Paradise if you ask me but whatever. Don’t really like this one but it’ll definitely appeal to it’s audience *shrug*. (2/5)

(The Ride was missing from the leak so I’ll probably update this once I hear it).

Take Care signals a growth in Drake not only as an artist but as a man. Gone are the jitters and awe that came with his debut album and what stands before us is a cocksure and unapologetic Drake who has found his comfort zone in this life surrounded by drugs, alcohol and women. You can tell that the bullshit that he’s experienced with women, the backstage politics of the rap game and the jeers from his haters have forced him to develop a thicker layer of skin in order to stand his ground while still being able to be very candid and honest with his feelings. With this album Drake’s letting everyone in the game know that he’s not a kid anymore and that he deserves to be viewed as a threat. The chilly disposition that Drake gives off on this album makes the fact that it’s dropping in the winter seem genius. Drake said this album would in ways be comparable to So Far Gone and I can definitely see why he’d say that due too the similar cold vibe that they give off. Earlier I stated that we’ve seen a growth in Drake on this album and it shows in both his hip-hop and R&B side. Drake seems determined to do away with his reputation as a punchline rapper because there are no moments (or at least none that I recall) on this album where he uses that style. Instead he uses a consistent “stream of consciousness” style flow on this album that does a good job of showing his growth as an rapper. There are moments here and there where he’ll drop a witty line but he never does the “pause for effect” thing that he became known for in his earlier days. On the R&B side of things Drake seems to have realized his strengths and limitations as a singer and has worked on coming up with more varied melody patterns on this album. His voice has definitely gotten stronger along with his confidence and it shows on the many occasions that he sings throughout Take Care. My biggest problem with Take Care is the fact that it didn’t live up to my expectations. I feel like because Drake found his comfort zone on this album he didn’t take any real risks artistically. There was a time where he was supposed to do a song for this album with Florence Welch from Florence + The Machine and a few other “off the wall” artists and I’m disappointed that he didn’t come through with those. There were several moments on this album where I almost felt bored because I was getting exactly what I expected from Drake if that makes sense. I’m not saying that this is a boring album though, just that I wish Drake would’ve taken more risks artistically. Also I felt that there were a few moments too many where he was trying to come off as a southern rapper. We get it Drake, you love the south. All in all though I feel like Take Care, while not quite the gem I would’ve hoped, is a pretty strong second outing for Drake and a definite upgrade from Thank Me Later. I can only hope that he’ll continue to grow as an artist and that when it’s time for his 3rd album to drop we may end up getting a classic.

Lyrics: 4.5/5

Production: 4/5

Replay Value: 3.5/5

Overall: 4/5

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