Former Degrassi student, Jimmy Brooks, is back with his second studio release. Following up on his 2010 debut album Thank Me Later, Drake’s Take Care was (to me at least) one of the more highly anticipated albums that had me feeling both nervous and excited with each song released via underground mix tapes, leaks, and official singles on the radio stations. The first album came to me as an unexpected surprise, with each song freshly hitting my ears at the same time, but this time around I found myself actively looking for new samples of what was to come.
So how did it stack up? Well, in all honesty it was a far more grown-up album than what I had expected. Everything seems as though it was put together in a thoughtful and precise manner. The beats for the most part are mellow and low, often reflecting the mood of the mature content reflected in the lyrics. His flow is laid back on several of the songs, almost leaning more towards R&B than rap, but there are a few tracks in which he does speed it up to keep the more aggressive fan base amused (which I feel is not the direction he goes to by default). The words more than anything are the selling point for Drake. What he has to say is more important than how he does it. His words reflect an old soul who is weary on the fame but is hopelessly addicted to the power it brings at the expense of alienating loved ones and sabotaging any chance of a lingering love interest, past, present, and future.
Featuring guest spots from the usual suspects such as Rihanna, Nicki Manaj, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne, as well as others I have not heard much from if anything at all like The Weeknd and Stevie Wonder, this album does a nice blend of back and forth between Drake and the other musicians rather than engaging in a pissing match over who is the better lyricist.
All in all this album is a keeper for those of you who are more into a grown, down to Earth feeling album. While there are one or two potential banger tracks to fill the quota needed in today’s rap game, this album truly is more of a thinking man’s record. If you are looking for something to cruise around with or game to this is not the album you would want to put on, but I suggest you give Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV a spin, which also happens to feature two tracks featuring Drake. Plus, look at that album cover. Doesn’t he look like a depressed Columbian kingpin? Not bad for a former child actor from Toronto.
It’s that time again, boys and girls. Finish up watching the throne or whatever it is you are doing to pass the time and get ready for the long awaited and highly anticipated arrival of Weezy F’s latest flagship album, Tha Carter IV. Although this is his ninth studio release, Wayne has really found his stride with mainstream “suburban” fame after the release of Tha Carter III roughly three years ago with countless mixtape and underground releases between then and now to hold us over. So does the album hold up? In short, yes.
It is kind of hard for me to know what to expect when I go into one of Lil Tunechi’s songs blind. Some of the things I love about him can easily be some of the things that I absolutely hate if the beat is off or the flow just is not working for me. His style as a “punch line” rapper relying heavily on similes can be downright irritating at times while similar deliveries have me saying “oh sh*t!” out loud. Although this album is not lacking at all on that style they at least do not feel as goofy or undercooked as other material I have heard from him recently in mixtapes.
The guest spots on this album are a highlight all by themselves. Names I have not seen associated with anything mainstream in a very long time such as Shyne, Nas and Tech N9ne laying some serious tracks down along side modern favorites like Drake, Rick Ross and Cory Gunz as well as people I really want to hear more from like Jadakiss and Bun-B equals a very impressive line-up in my eyes. Well, guest spots might be the wrong term since Interlude (performed by Tech N9ne & André 3000*) and Outro (performed by Bun B, Nas, Shyne and Busta Rhymes) DO NOT even have Wayne on the tracks at all, which is fine. I am surprised though that we do not see more artists from Young Money or Cash Money but I am sure we’ll see more from them in a separate EP or mixtape soon enough though.
Highlighted tracks from the album are John, which is a current radio single featuring Rick Ross, and the future single It’s Good featuring Jadakiss and Drake but each track sounds like they are ready for airplay by design. Top notch producers such as T-Minus and Cool & Dre bring their all to these tracks giving us a range of beats from club bangers to slow rider songs but I feel that the album could have benefited from a single head producer giving us a body of work akin to a movie rather than all of these different guys bringing us a well crafted series of singles. The rhymes themselves are top of the class with more than a number of memorable phrases such as “Life is a choice, death is a decision”from Blunt Blowin’ and “Karma is a bitch but make sure that bitch is beautiful” from She Will. I look forward to seeing selected lines from these songs littering my twitter feed over the next few weeks as more people get into the album.
When it was all said and done I felt like this is the album we were all expecting. After years of delays and disappointing releases, such as the experimental rock album Rebirth, I was afraid as to what to expect when I pressed play. Was he going to be almost fully disconnected from the streets like Kanye is rapping about all of the upper class shit that he now has or was Weezy going to keep it real reppin’ the hood despite the money? I am happy to report that at least from where I am standing as a kid living in suburban Philadelphia that this release is very synonymous with the current voice of the streets.
Tell us what you think of the album in the comments below and check out Tha Carter IV Deluxe Edition when it drops Monday at midnight after the VMAs on iTunes for $15 and everywhere else on August 29th from Cash Money Records Inc.