Take Care [Leak]

Album Review: Drake’s “Take Care”


Rating: 8/10

It’s a good thing you’re not supposed to judge a book, or an album, by its cover. The artwork is interesting, showcasing the fact that Take Care is nothing to laugh at. Over the course of two years, Drake has become the voice of a generation, propelling him to incredible heights of success, pressure, and countless angry blog tirades. This, coupled with the idea of a sophomore slump, leads many to ask the Canadian rapper one question: “Do you ever get nervous?”

To fans and critics alike, there has seemed to be two different artists over the course of his career- ‘Rapping Drake’ and ‘Singing Drake.’ When he decides to kick strictly bars here, ‘Rapping Drake’ does very well. The single “Headlines” has already been met with much love, with “Lord Knows” and “Underground Kings” soon to follow in line. The first boasts a larger-than-life instrumental by Just Blaze and both are full of confidence-laced rhymes. It’s true, though, everyone enjoys a self-indulgent song – and Drake has always been at his best is when he’s being an overly-honest, maybe even overly-dramatic, confessional.

Things are no different on Take Care, especially displayed in “Look What You’ve Done” and “The Ride.” The former sees Drake dedicating two verses to his mother and uncle, respectively, over an introspective piano groove, claiming, “You deserved it.” The latter, which features stellar chorus work by The Weeknd, is all about the climb to success and problems that come with; which sounds like a tired subject from the Young Money artist, but it never really does get old. ‘Rapping Drake’ is well-received here; you can play him speakers on blast cruising down the street, as well as alone in your room, staring at a computer screen.

Where listeners sometimes take issue is with ‘Singing Drake,’ the Drake that is in the forefront on Take Care.

There is no doubt that the LP has a majority, groove-based, harmony sound.  A big part of this is the production, provided by in large-part, Noah ‘40’ Shebib. Songs like “Shot For Me” and “Marvin’s Room” are produced to a sound optimal for Drake to carry a tune; and by optimal, I mean good. However, each of these tracks carries a rap verse from him; so does that make these ‘Rapping Drake’ or ‘Singing Drake’ songs? “Cameras/ Good Ones Go” is sung in a drunken, lazy flow, with a mesmerizing beat provided by Lex Luger, that is hard to label and easy to fall in love with. “The Real Her” showcases a half-sung, half-rapped part from Drake, and thankfully, a fully-rapped, fully-dope feature from the Harry Houdini of Hip-Hop, Andre 3000 (“Sitting here sad as hell/ Listenin’ to Adele, I hear you baby”). And “Crew Love” begins with a harmonized verse from The Weeknd, but ends with Drake spitting, “That OVO and that XO/ Is everything you believe in, I know.”

As the album goes on, the lines begin to blur between which songs are ‘Rapping Drake’s, and which are ‘Singing Drake’s. This is a review, not a defense. It used to be that Drake fans had to defend his singing ambitions after a fully rapped song of his captured his naysayers’ attention. But the two styles have become one in the same. Flowing in and out of choruses and verses, Drake creates a solid groove on Take Care that deviates when necessary, but reigns back just when you think he’s about to spit something like, “Last name ever, first name…”

Sure, the track with Rihanna is pretty bubble-gum, the Juvenile interpolation on “Practice” is sort of corny, and the Stevie Wonder feature is really more for decoration. But Take Care is intriguing, filled with top-tier production and emotional lyrics. It will give Drake fans more material to love and Drake haters more ammunition to gripe about his crappy singing and girl songs, per the usual.

But he does have Kendrick Lamar as a feature, so they won’t be too upset.

 

  • RickJamesSon

    on point! going to pick up this and gambino today!

    • Jarrett Gallman

      Yo the album is ass. I understand he doing different shit but because its different doesn’t make it hot. It’s too soft beats are weak but Just Blaze did his thing. He needs better production cause he has good lyrics but the album doesn’t move me. I cant ride around and play that in my car.

  • D Von

    look what you done is about his aunt

  • Addam

    That was a wack review. I wish I had more time to dissect it, but I don’t. This album represents an Illmatic moment for HipHop. Why not talk about where you see this album when compared to other great albums of the last year(s). Why not talk about the Indy influences and what this means for the genre. Talk about the samples. On sales alone this album will be one of the top releases of the year not to mention that Drake is arguably the hottest artist in the world right now. Why write a review that basically brushes over Drake as a 2nd or 3rd tier artist and then, almost unexplainably, award the album an 8 of 10. I hope this isn’t your full time job. Jon Garcia, when you lay down to go to sleep tonight, just know that you put up a brick. I love Allhiphop but I wish you guys would put some of that ad money into better writers, which would not only yield better content but more visitors. What a hack.

    • RickJamesSon

      tell them how you really feel man

      • Addam

        sometimes you have to squeeze the juice out of the headphones, you know?

      • RickJamesSon

        give it your own shot then, dont speak about it, BE ABOUT IT

      • Addam

        i feel that and i would like to but don’t have the time or the platform.

    • Addam Stine is on point. What are we supposed to take away from this review? What is the quality of this album lyrically? We all know Drake likes to sing. Assuming we aren’t buying the album for the singing, how ’bout the content of what he’s saying..?  Instead of debating which songs are “rapping drake” vs “singing drake” why not tell us about the quality of his words?

      Sounds like a review for 50 Cent’s Massacre. Did you give that one 8/10 also?

      • Please don’t compare Drake to 50 Cent. Two totally different artiest with a
        different impact on hip-hop. If it was considered a classic album with out the
        production value & plastic value people would respect him more but its all
        production with Drake.

      • “Picture 50 at the show and he don’t come out singin…” 

        I’m comparing the reviews not the artists, David. My whole post is about the review, not the artists.

        What is good or bad about 50 has very little to do with the singing itself…same goes for Drake. They both get/got clowned on for singing.  I used ‘the massacre’ specifically as the example for a reason. 
        It’s like spending time talking about Kanye the rapper vs the producer. Why does there need to be a dichotomy? And no I’m not “comparing” kanye with anyone here either, nor am i stating what his impact on hip hop is or isnt…haha… peace

      • Wow I have never heard anyone consider the massacre to be a classic album, and remember 50 got hot when he start using beats by dre. In the club lyrics was a 4 at best but the beat was classic. I am a HIP HOP head and Drake will rap circles around 50, I like fif but he rely heavy on production.

    • Hottest artist in the world right now!? HA! Look! Addam are you okay? I’m not
      sure if your working for this dude or his label but I hate to tell you this but
      he is not the hottest. He may influence the younger kids or the girls that like
      that R&B stuff but not the real hip-hop community. Granted that being said,
      he has his place in hip-hop but don’t make fulse claims because most people wont
      pump that album in the streets. He’s pure pop-hiphop. 

      • Addam

        David I feel what you are saying. That’s why, if you check my comment again, I said “arguably” the hottest artist in the world. There are many metrics one could apply to arrive at that conclusion. 

        I don’t necessarily feel that way. To be honest, I basically haven’t stopped playing “The Wonder Years” since it dropped. That’s where I’m coming from on some hiphop shit. Stunts, Blunts, and HipHop, I still play at parties. 

        I really felt the review was lacking and (among many other things) didn’t address the level of anticipation leading up to the drop of this album and didn’t do so in the context of other highly anticipated albums in the hiphop community. 

        Also, the writer was stuck on this which Drake shit and ignored a lot of the production value that i think will define the genre over the next year or so and also makes up for a lot of the album that we in the hiphop community could use less of– specifically the R&B stuff you mentioned.  I mean did you not think that SWV sample was incredible?  The production was crazy. The sound is a signature sound that you’re going to hear coming from “your favorite producer’s favorite producer” for years to come. 

        Yea, Drake could probably sing less but I really don’t feel like that defines this album. I feel like this albums is way bigger than “Drake wears sweaters, cries, and sings too much,” I feel this in the same way that Blueprint wasn’t defined by the “Girls, Girls, Girls” and Jay-z going mainstream and selling reeboks. Do you remember how much hate was out there when that dropped? People have been saying that about jay forever and can’t we look past that? 

        Hiphop is selling albums. Its a hustle. So drake sprinkles the album to keep the cash registers jinglin… why hate?

      • Where in the Hell have you been, you  a breath of fresh air on this blog, thank you for telling folks about listing to the sample listen for the production and understand HIP HOP is a hustle game. Why hate.

      • solo15

        dude not arguebly he isa the hottest artist of them all one step down from eminem

    • Mitchell

      Why do ppl always want to compare shit that is like 15 years old. If music never evolved, it be boring and redundant. I love my illmatic and reasonable doubt as well as wutang and gangstar. But come on music has to change and grow, and listeners need to keep and open mind and instead of this narrow minded mentality 

    • Mosa

      “This album represents an Illmatic moment for HipHop.” Say WHAT?? Wow Ok, that’s a bit over the top don’t you think! This shit represents a dude who needs to find himself. Drake is lost in this music, he don’t know what the hell he wants to do. Any sane person looking at the kid can tell he js out here. . .tsk f**king around. . .

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  • Aaron Davis

    i’m gonna need more time on this but im not feeling after first listen..Too much singing (even tho I predicted it) and the critics are right, Drake (is now and has become) a “pop rapper”. If u wanna sing, do like Nelly did with Sweat/Suit albulm but tryna mix it up jus makes a confusing albulm…Thank me Later is way better than this

  • Drake never said he was a rapper or a singer. Drake is an ARTIST! He wanted to make hip-hop more “musical” & hes def done that. I dont see how ppl dont like real music! If u were expecting the album to be different or ‘hard’ or whatever then thats your own fault, drake cant be labeled so forget whats ‘hiphop, rnb, pop” & just enjoy the album. If u dont like it, dont listen. I swear ppl spend more time & energy hatin on ppl than showin love to the ppl they like. Its cool tho, ‘jealousy is just love & hate at the same time’. For the drake haters, keep listening to wiz/gucci/bigsean & stay in your tiny simple-minded box. To music fans, go get ‘take care’, its TRANSCENDENT!! Takecare=9.5/10

    • Addam

      Thank you.

    • solo15

      your welecome just keepin it real niggas neeed to stop hatten on drezzy this album is another platium and who ever thinks different(not includin you ) can go suck something

  • Drake is a breath of fresh air for hip hop ….hope people actually go out and buy this album it will be exciting to see.

  • Thank God Kendrick Lamar and Andre 3000 made some appearances on here… Drake still needs to find himself. The switching from singing and rapping threw this album off. Good album though. Thank Me Later was better mixed and overall better. 3/5

  • Name me King

    this bitchin the while album, yall saying he being rela, this wigga being a bitch…. This shit so soft , withno value 

  • Bluenova1914

    Definitely felt this album better after the second listen.

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  • Somebody is paying these cats to review dudes music. This album is probably a 6/10 on the high side. And that’s because of Kendrick Lamar and 3 Stacks. I’ll be a Drake hater if it means being honest about the bullshit he puts on wax. And someone please remind him that he’s a canadian jew…he drops the N-Bomb a little too much 

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  • I dont have no use for an album like this, I gave it a listen and outside of a few incredible beats this is something I would buy for my lil sister as opposed to bump myself, dude is way too Emo for me, he’s like a G Rated, Disney World version Of Joe Budden with better hooks and less depth, I understand why its succesful but this is the kind of rap we use to make fun of back in the day, dude’s we use to call out for being soft in the 90’s look like NWA standing next to Drake, but what else can you expect from a guy who started his career on nickelodean…….. It just goes to show you how diffrent things are from ther 90’s, back then we ran stuff like this outta town and kept rap as a hardcore art form, today’s rap is on Par with Nsync in terms of being watered down and having no backbone, just isnt my style…….

    But I’ll give it credit for what it is………. When it comes to G Rated, disney World, Kindergarten friendly Rhymes and Sappy/Cliche R&B flavored love songs, drake is the king of the hill

  • This album is weak, need to sell 3 copies to get my money back. 

  • simondimes

    WOW……you sucked dick on every song in this review jon boy,there wasnt one song that was wack to you huh?no mention how disjointed and unfocused the albums sounds,how it sounds like they just threw a bunch of songs together huh,.uncohesive as hell.every album in a review is either illustrated as bad good or great,which one is it to you????

  • 8/10? wow not even

  • This that Leopard print snuggie music…it’s like i’ve heard all of these songs by him already…nothin fresh @ all….

  • Two of my friends bought it and I told them I’ll buy my copy Friday.  They both told me don’t bother if I wanted it I could copy it because it wasn’t that good and that they was disappointed.  They predicted $625-& $750.00 in sales.  But anyway my friends wish they download it for free and this will be on CD that will be in the closet then being played.

  • Also they give the CD a 4 1/2 – 5

  • Mosa

    This album is depressing, thank god I didn’t buy it!! You can mix rapping and singing but to me he falls short when trying to do them both himself, it’s like he is talking to himself. The slow lazy flow sounds, well, Lazy and uninviting. I want to listen to music and get inspired, get hyped, not cry in corner holding a damn pillow pet! No Thanks Drake. . .Take Care Homie!!

  • Not really feeling this album. I DO like the Cameras joint. Love the Jon B. sample!!! Minus that. . .he couldve kept this one. . .

  • solo15

    drake haters need to stup up singing or rapping drake i love them both and i love them all he’s a rapper who sings and a singer who rapper what the difference the album stilln rocks for all those people who wanted a hard album to bad for you drake does it again with another platium album in my opion and who ever don’t like it to bad i agree with you derke brown drake deff  did it again