Drake: A cautionary tale

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It is a rare accomplishment to create an album, 17 tracks and almost an hour and 20 minutes long, that can resonate enough to not only become popular when it is released but to stay relevant years later. Take Care by Aubrey “Drizzy” Grahm did that. Almost two years since the album was released, Drake’s voice still has the same deep emotion and feeling that everyone, myself included, connected with during November 2011. A lot in the world has changed since then, from my own graduation from high school, to my path into college to me moving to Athens, the world has become a different place for me. The world has done more than change for me though, time has changed the world in numerous ways, from the reelection of President Obama, to the increase in mass shootings, to another Olympics and World Cup passing, the world has not stopped evolving. But what a classic album does is transcend current events and the time period to affect people the same as it did when it was first released. So yes, what I am saying is that Take Care is slowly working its way to become a classic album. From a year where there was not really one stand out album like there has been in other years previous (see 2010 MBDTF and 2012 good kid m.A.A.d city), Take Care is slowly becoming the anthem of that cold winter.

Throughout the album, Drake craftily weaves his mournfully ballads and his high-energy bangers. He features some very big names, but does it so sneakily that no one remembers that Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, Andre 3000, Rhianna, Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj and the Weeknd all have fairly big parts on the album. Because this is nothing else but Drake’s. This really is his coming out release, his announcement to the world that he was one of the boys now and deserved to be compared to the biggest stars of his genre. What he does though, is instead of coming outwardly and bragging about how far he has come (he waits until later to do that) he instead attempts to find things still wrong with his life, from his love life to his social life now that he is famous. Now this really seems like it would come off poorly but Drake just has something about him that makes his problems seem relatable. The fact that such a typhoon of rap has problems it seems truly confounds people and listening to what goes on behind the camera really is interesting to people.

I have already released/ written a review for Take Care, but that was almost two years ago and the fact that the album is still relevant to me and my musical taste really actually surprises me. I went back, read what I said about the album, and clearly I was younger. I used more slang, I used more joking language, but I hit on a point then, that has stayed accurate: the fact that someone as rich and famous as Drake can feel any sort of “regular” human emotion like rejection is quite a concept to comprehend. Celebrities are given such a buffer as it were to the world and the things that normally affect people. These people are supposed to be famous and indestructible, so when something normal affects them, it is definitely seen as out of the ordinary. Drake either has figured this out and is taking advantage of it, or truly does have a tremendous amount of heartache making him seem so tangible.

That leads me right into my next point though, why does anyone even like Drake? I mean, the man wrote a song called “Started From The Bottom” with the theme of the song being his suburbia childhood is somehow comparable to a life of struggle and now that he is rich and famous, he reflects that it is about time he has received his due for all the suffering he has gone through. Yet there is something that he has, some sort of charisma or something that keeps people insanely interested. I myself really try to stay away from stereotypical rappers who rap solely about the three big topics, money, bitches and guns. Drake though, loves to rap about money and bitches but the way he does it is so unique but almost equally annoying. He complains. He whines. He attempts to tell the world his life sucks because out of the 30,000 women he could probably call at this very instant the “only one good enough for him” is with some other guy. Maybe the fact that Drake, the multi millionaire, the man who attempted to tell the security guards for the NBA finals who were guarding the Miami Heat’s locker room that he “is music,” the man that has anything and everything can’t get a girl intrigues the masses. Maybe the fact that a man so rich and powerful in every sense of either word actually faces heartbreak and heartache somehow baffles the people. What ever it is, Drake is incredibly popular and his ability to sell out arenas is comparable to any other superstar in the game today.

Even with all of this, Nothing Was The Same did not do it for me. That might honestly be because I have put Take Care on this everlasting pedestal and comparing things to something of that caliber usually ends with dissatisfaction. It also might be because it really is not as good. People liked the album, and critically it was received well. But I think it is finally time to stop listening to the whining of a man who really has no right to. Take Care came out at the perfect time, and was still appropriate for Drake to have released. Content wise though, Nothing The Same is more aggressive, more condescending. Instead of crying about his life, he attacks others that may have been the reason this life was ever “bad.” This side of Drake is not one I am personally interested in. I read an interesting comparison between Drake and Walter White from Breaking Bad and as far fetched, as it seems to put these two even in the same conversation, the points made were funny in how accurate they honestly were. From the way Drake seems to manipulate people in his songs to the way he appears to be a back stabber, singing poorly of his family on Nothing Was The Same, it all points to a sociopathic tendency that Walter White possesses. Drake is clearly obsessed with himself and his own success, not worried about throwing anyone under the bus just to gain an edge.  This is all very similar to Walter White and as weird as it is, Drake’s true personality is starting to show through and Nothing Was The Same.

I just cannot connect as easily as with Take Care. The fact of the world is, more people are closer to heartache than the aggression Drake displays on his latest album. He still has some of those touching moments, “Hold On We Are Coming Home” still has his mournful tune, but less and less of the album is classic Drake. Maybe I am just trying to justify why I don’t like the album with ridiculous conspiracy theories but in all honesty, Nothing Was The Same really was nothing different. Tracks sounded so similar I had a hard time noticing when songs changed. I tried, man I tried my hardest to love this Drake as much as the last. But I just couldn’t. Oh well, I will always have Take Care, and that’s all that counts.

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About J.STOR

Music= Lyf
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