Review : Drake - Thank Me Later
AbsolutepunkWell, it’s here. Drake’s official debut, Thank Me Later is ready to be loved and hated, ready to be analyzed and critiqued. Not only is it one of the most anticipated hip-hop albums of 2010, it’s probably the most anticipated debut since Kanye West’s The College Dropout. Sure, other freshman rappers like Wale, Kid Cudi, Charles Hamilton, and B.o.B. had hype, but none of them match the anticipation for Drake’s first official full-length.
Originally known as the kid in the wheelchair from Degrassi, Drake made a name for himself in the hip-hop universe with his critically acclaimed mixtape, So Far Gone. It also doesn’t hurt that he caught the ear of superstar Lil Wayne, who signed Drake to his Young Money imprint. After many guest spots, a re-released EP of choice cuts from So Far Gone, and appearing on a Young Money comp album (in which he was one of two rappers to drop legit verses), Drake is ready to take the spotlight for himself. A title like Thank Me Later is a loaded one; Drake already knows this is going to be a grower. A polarizing album that you’ll appreciated later, an album you’ll thank him later for. For those expecting an album full of beats like the summer hit “Forever” and “I’m Goin’ In,” you’ll be sorely disappointed.
Instead Drake enlisted some of the best producers to help created a chill album to slow your roll to. The simple kick of opener “Fireworks” serves as the perfect backdrop for Drake to spit a few bars about his rise (Alicia Keys provides the hook, and she’s just the beginning of a cameo list full of stars). In fact, simplicity is a recurring theme, whether it’s “The Resistance” or the panty-dropping “Shut It Down,” which features The-Dream’s silky vocals over delicate piano keys. But simple doesn’t mean weak, as “Light It Up” goes hard. Drake is one of the few artists who can transition between a R&B croon and a hip-hop flow, and he does it well on this track....full text
SpinDue to his unorthodox pedigree—half-Jewish Canadian kid from a comfortable neighborhood who played a wheelchair-bound hoops star on Degrassi: The Next Generation—Drake has enjoyed a level of rap stardom (engineered by Lil Wayne) that often feels like an elaborate hoax. But vulnerabilities become strengths on this cagily self-aware debut album: He's an emotionally fragile guy who relishes fame and fortune while second-guessing every smile from a new chum or overly friendly woman. Beside Alicia Keys on "Fireworks," he yearns to find the love his divorced parents never had; on the title track, he ponders whether former girlfriends discuss him over "double-pump lattes and low-fat muffins." Drake's personal anecdotes lack the bravado of bullet-wound boasts, but they're intimate and lyrically detailed enough to draw blood.
A reformed backpack rapper with enough brains to move beyond regressive '90s-worship, Drake unspools his usually clever witticisms over airy, wide-open production (Boi-1da, 40, Kanye West, many others) that's more suggestive of contemporary R&B: "Toodles to you bitches / And if you dolled up, I got the voodoo for you bitches," he quips atop the menacing strings of "Up All Night." The abundance of spacey synths and clattering, reverbed percussion makes Thank Me Later feel like ideal cruising music for a ramshackle UFO, but it also incorporates dynamics like few other hip-hop albums before it. Drums disappear, phasers distort everything, and Drake comes in crooning about one stripper or another....full text
VibeIt goes without saying: Aubrey "Drake" Graham owns the year's most anticipated debut album. But before Thank Me Later shows official face tomorrow, VIBE took the tedious time to break down all the key elements of Drizzy's first born. From unraveling his prototypical girl, to scooping the LP's best (and worst) seconds to rating each guest feature, consider the following a well-detailed preview. Just don't expect a download link. —Tracy Garraud and John Kennedy...full text
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