My too late review: Drake Take Care

I like music and I have opinions. And stuff. So here’s my too late review of Drake’s Take Care. Yeah, the album came out last week. Sorry for the wait, Drake.

Take Care sold 631,000 copies in its first week, but was outmatched by sales for discount Lady Gaga Halloween costumes.

Degrassi reference count: 1

If you liked the more boisterous moments of Drake’s Thank Me Later, you might be disappointed the rapper appears to have spent more time lately entertaining guests at home than in the club. The rapper’s followup album, Take Care, is definitely a much quieter effort. It certainly wouldn’t pass the MC Serch Club
Banger Challenge
. But if you enjoyed the softer moments of Drake’s debut, slap on your extra melancholy headphones: Canada’s favourite sort-of chanteur has taken that solemn ball and run with it (or wheeled it for fans of Jimmy Brooks.)

That’s it, really. The album is good. Maybe even great. Definitely different.

If you want a bossy club track, you’ll have to wait for the new Rick Ross (I know I will be). Like fake rap violence? Talk of guns? Drug trafficking? You’ll have to wait for that, too. Drake’s a different kind of rapper. But fear not impressionable teens, he’s still drinking, sleeping with women, spending flashy amounts of cash and bragging about it. He’s not that different.

But this is the post-bling era (yeah, I’m using that). What separates Drake from, let’s say, Chingy — is that, while he revels in a lavish lifestyle and sexual gluttony, when Drake goes home, he feels bad about it (that’s a whole new kind of conflict diamond).

Take Marvin’s Room, where Drake observes:

I think I’m addicted to naked pictures
And sittin talkin’ ’bout bitches
that we almost had
I don’t think I’m concious of making monsters
Outta the women I sponsor til it all goes bad

I GET that, man. We’re not so different, Drake.

Too many drinks have been given to me
I got some women thats living off me
Paid for their flights and hotels I’m ashamed
Bet that you know them, I won’t say no names
After a while girl they all seem the same
I’ve had sex four times this week I’ll explain

OK, maybe not.

Still, when Drake raps “Rich off a mix tape, got rich off a mix tape,” I sing along — saying “got sick off a blitz cake” — and pretend that we’re friends.

Degrassi reference count: 2

Degrassi reference count: 3

Me: Hey man, when you were on that TV show, did you ever hook up with that Ellie Nash girl. Girl was fine.

Drake: I’m a professional. What do you take me for, an old rake?

Me: Snake?

Take Care is the album your younger brother would make if he got rich, started living excessively and had to come clean about his reckless behaviour to your mother (and set that statement to a beat). But Drake isn’t offering an apology. All your mother can say is “Take care, kid. I know you can make it through.” The rest of us get to sit back and watch (and listen). Should be fun.

Degrassi reference count: 4. Five would be too many.

Note: Many of the usual suspects cameo on the disc, but where are the Canadians, Drake? You’re Canada’s rap ambassador! It’s your job to tell our southern neighbours, “I’m not the only one who can do this.” Where’s k-os? Or Shad? What about Classified? Give these guys a break. Barington Levy clearly isn’t going to return the favour. By the time Nelly Furtado gets around to launching a comeback, Saukrates is going to be too old for the hairstyle I assume he still has. All of the Canucks on Take Care are behind the scenes: Friend and frequent producer 40 is back, of course, and even Chantal Kreviazuk picks up a writing credit. Good pick boss, because if there’s one person who needed a boost of credibility in Atlanta hip hop circles, it’s Mrs. Raine Maida.

Have you seen Ricky J? Dan Yates wants to know. Email

About Dan Yates

I'm a writer, editor, wannabe funnyman and sometimes blogger.
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