Album Review: Drake "Thank Me Later"

"Point the biggest skeptic out, I'll make him a believer.  It wouldn't be the first time I done it, throwin' hundreds when I should be be throwin' ones." - Drake, "Over"

     It's rare that an artist can rap about the trappings of fame, the pressures of hip-hop, and being played by Rihanna on their debut album, but it makes sense for Drake.  He's a rare artist.  Drake took his own path to a Lil Wayne approved record contract after starring on the Nogin show Degrassi and releasing his own mixtape.  For a genre that demands credibility, Drake seemed to be lacking, yet he now releases one of the year's most highly anticipated rap records.  Welcome to the future of hip-hop.

     Not only is Drake's path to the top unlikely, he's doing it with what amounts to an emo-rap record.  On Thank Me Later, he raps about being a "pawn" to Rihanna on "Fireworks" and about feeling alone and alienated in a crowd on "Over".  It's 808s & Heartbreak sans ice-cold auto-tune.

     Kanye's foray into emo-rap didn't work quite how he envisioned.  It was partly the auto-tune overkill, partly his outburts; but Drake is proving it isn't dead.  The bravado and ego of so many rap tracks is fine sometimes, but humility and honesty is appealing.  "Don't be fooled by the money, I'm still just young and unlucky," he raps on "Karaoke".  Still, Drake has plenty of confidence.  "My 15 minutes began an hour ago," he raps on "Fireworks".  Can't argue with that.

Rating: 8/10
Must download: "Fireworks", "Over", "Find Your Love"


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