"Take Care" by Drake
Daily $wagg grades reviews based upon the Grade Point Average scale. Identical to the system used by most schools to measure academic excellence, Daily $wagg grades an album track-by-track on a scale of 0-4 (F-A) then adds them and divides by the number of total tracks leaving an overall average somewhere from 0-4. Albums will also receive grades for Lyrical Preformance (flow, voice, etc.), Lyrical Content (what they rap about), and Production (beats, instrumentals, etc.).
With a #1 debut and nearly a million and a half copies of his debut album, Thank Me Later, sold to date, Young Money/Cash Money superstar, Drake, has become one of the most sought after R&B artists/rappers in the entire world. Synonymous with forehead tattoos and teenage love, Drake is undoubtedly one of the leaders and iconic figures of a generation. After much acclaim and criticism for his softer, more rhythm and blues oriented, mushy, lovey sung hooks, and surprisingly charming, (or annoying depending on how you view him) ringing, monotone voice, Drake released his second album, Take Care on Young Money Entertainment and Cash Money Records in late November. The album, as expected, debuted #1 and went gold its first week. It is now certified platinum and is nearing the bi-platinum mark as the former nickelodeon actor’s stock continues to rise. However, despite his successful sales, many pondered, ‘would the former Grammy-nominated artist suffer the looming sophomore slump, or continue to make some of the most desired and hot, pop-oriented music around today?’
After about 2 listens, Take Care warranted a 2.81 on my GPA scale. Take Care, in my opinion, fails to carry the weight or excitement of Drake’s first effort. Despite brief high-points of real storytelling, lyricism, and interest, Drake’s second effort generally gives off the vibe of a soppy love story that failed to reach a climax. With songs like “Headlines”, “We’ll be Fine”, “Lord Knows”, and “Look What You’ve Done”, Drizzy Drake manages to retain his knack for clever lyricism as well as relatable, interesting storytelling. These, undoubtedly being Drake’s most appealing traits, are unseen throughout most of the album and only appear on tracks here and there. However, Drake lands the usual expected all-star guest cast for lyrical help and mostly verses, with Lil Wayne (twice), Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Birdman (who hardly plays a part), and the highly desired and rarely heard, Andre 3000 of Outkast, all appearing on tracks . Most of these star’s parts are hits with a miss here and there but an overall good selection from Drake’s camp for outside assistance. As far as lyrical performance, Drake’s output is as solid as ever. Despite this, Drizzy occasionally exceeds the amount of singing that should be endured by a hip hop fan within a brief period, sometimes falling into the soggy, boring tone the album caries at times. Nonetheless, Drake manages to find a decent balance between rapping, storytelling, love stories, ballads, and soppy singing. Lyrical content-wise, Drake also manages to find a decent balance, at his best when speaking into his own life, narrating the ups and downs of his encounters with stardom and widespread fame. Drizzy Drake’s only problem in this category is his tendency to fall victim to generic, boring, and often irritating love songs. Pertaining to production, Drake stays solid, sticking to personal friends, 40 and T-Minus, as well as big-name producers Boi-1da and Just Blaze among others. All in all, Take Care displays a slightly above average performance from Drake, with an excess of lazy, slow love songs continuing to dampen Drake’s hopeful bright spots found on Take Care.
Drake in the Rogers Center, the Stadium of his Home Town MLB Team, The Toronto Blue Jays, for the Shoot of his Video, "Headlines"