Song of the Moment

J. Cole - Lost Ones

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Drake - Take Care

After finally recovering from Lambeau, I'm ready to get back to work with a little New Music Tuesday entry done on Thursday. Drake's 'Take Care' came out this week, surprisingly to not a whole ton of publicity. Even though his last album came out just a year ago pretty much, he was slamming the studio time and banging out another recording. The danger of dropping albums once a year is quality - which we've seen with countless acts, but most notably - Ludacris. If the quality slips for Drake's albums, he'll alienate the already jaded fans that feel he's more pop than hip hop. Right from the bat, this album feels substantially more low-key than any other rap album that dropped this year. It's got this atmospheric sound, that uses really subtle beats, really slow tempos and just really laid back grooves. The focus would appear to be on the lyrics and subject matter, and not the really over-the-top productions. Isn't that funny? You actually spend MORE time producing an album to make it feel under-produced. I've heard this album compared to some TLC's tracks, where you have this really smooth feel with a blues overtone, which is pretty much what this is. It's very blues meets R&B meets a little rap, which is about what TLC was in their day. This might have a little more synth and electronic elements to it, but not all that unique. Lyrically this seems to be about the strained romances in his life, the relationship with other family and friends and then the overall difficulties of gaining all this new found fame. His stance about life is very different because he's a biracial kid from some means, and he never had to sell drugs or get into gang life. So that take is almost refreshing to hear, and to listen to him talk about his own self doubts and no belief that he's as talented as some of the critics would lead on, is almost nice to hear. Even though he's more "relateable" to the common listener, I don't think his music appeals to everyone. This album doesn't contain a single "go hard" track to satisfy the rap moguls and it's probably too pop to make the R&B nuts do a double take. While Drake has been a master of giving a little bit to everyone, I'm not sure where I stand with this one. While I personally really like the laidback groovy stylings, I could see it not being for everyone. His flow isn't Pac-ian, but whose is? If you take this for what it is, a soul rap album that is all about his emotions and not his cars/girls/drugs, I think you'll enjoy it.

1. Over My Dead Body
2. Shot for Me
3. Headlines
4. Crew Love
5. Take Care
6. Marvins Room/Buried Alive Interlude
7. Under Ground Kings
8. We'll Be Fine
9. Make Me Proud
10. Lord Knows
11. Cameras/Good Ones Go Interlude
12. Doing It Wrong
13. Real Her, The
14. Look What You've Done
15. HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right)
16. Practice
17. Ride, The

Listen To Samples

Top 3 Tracks:
1. Take Care
3. Headlines

3.75 out of 5 stars


  1. B Side!!

    I've listened to this album in it's entirety and quite frankly... I really like it.

    This is an awesome review. For me, you brought out a few noteworthy points. One is that "Take Care" was a low-key drop this year and secondly it isn't for everyone. Typically we get accustomed to an artist dishing out a certain listening experience. However, with Drake, through the past few years, I've heard his work and he is more like an Octopus to me His tentacles dabble in various pools of sound. In the same token, I feel that the "dabbling" he does IS what makes him the artist we see and hear.

    "..soul rap.." I think that's one of the best descriptions of this album of read so far.

    I've left you the link to this site before. Here recently at, they posted a review of "Take Care" and I think you'll be interested in reading the opinions of these guys. I've linked you to them before so hopefully it'll be familiar:

    Also at (tumblr) SeanTheROBOT, another I've mentioned before, posted an interview done by Hardknock TV with Childish Gambino. He describes many different things and I think this is something else you may be interested in:

    In the meantime... I'll be jamming and checking The B Side on the regular!!! :)

    Yay MUSIC!!!

  2. Ohh, and I love how he used that Juvenile track on "Practice". Real nawce!

  3. Thanks for your thoughts on the review, as always. I think he's got that laidback style that could make a rap "purist" unhappy. I mean, he doesn't bring it like some guys can - but that's not really his style. I'd like to see him do more with Weezy - but that's my personal respect for Lil Wayne.

    The 'Back That Ass Up' cameo was pretty unexpected. I do like it as well. I probably haven't heard that song since the early 2000's.

    I expect him to keep blowin' up. Hopefully Weezy doesn't retire like he says, and can keep YMCMB in business.