For all of you following me on Twitter or Instagram, or if you know me – you’ll know that my favourite artist is the boy, the Toronto native, Aubrey ‘Drake’ Graham.
I’ve followed him ever since So Far Gone, when I first fell in love with “Best I Ever Had”, one of his first ever hits. Then, when I heard “November 18th” and it gave reminiscence of old Houston tracks – I was there. He was the man in 2009 and still is now. Since then, he released his debut album (as SFG was considered more as a ‘tape’) Thank Me Later. What songs do I like most off that album? “Miss Me” is one of my favourite songs by Drake, ever. That song still gives me a euphoric feeling EVERY time I press play; “Drake just stand for (D)o (R)ight (A)nd (K)ill (E)verything”. “Light Up”, with HOV is also one of the best tracks from the album. When I saw him (Drake) for the first time at Hammersmith Apollo in January 2011, that’s what he came out to, it then faded into “Forever”. The album overall is amazing as a debut album, Drake shows how versatile he is, with songs like “Up All Night” leading onto tracks like “Cece’s Interlude”. “Find Your Love” was the main single from the album, Drake was a chart climber as well as a rapper. Insecure, ‘huge’ rap fans get all up tight about Drake singing. Why? Because he can sing as well as rap his ass off? Come on, man. Be serious.
Drake’s sophomore album, Take Care leaked, yeah, I got it. But I also downloaded the album twice from iTunes and got a hard copy, it was a great album – what can I say. If you don’t like the album, whatever. It went double Platinum in the US and Gold in the UK so it can’t be that bad. Oh, and it won a Grammy for ‘Best Rap Album’. In my opinion, you should respect talent regardless. Drake is a talented RAPPER. Charlamagne Tha God (from the Breakfast Club) is probably the most famous hater of Drake, because he sings, but he’s not afraid to say that when he raps, he’s easily one of the best in the game. Anyhow, coming to Take Care: the album is almost flawless; from the first track, right the way through, the musical talent of himself and his very close friend and producer, Noah “40” Shebib, stands out like a sore thumb. The production, the lyrics, the stories – they all add up and create this incredible album. There were some huge chart hitters from the album, like “Take Care”, featuring Rihanna; “HYFR” featuring his Young Money boss, Lil’ Wayne; the lead single, “Headlines”; “The Motto” which branded the phrase ‘YOLO’ and “Make Me Proud” featuring YMCMB signee, Nicki Minaj.
His career has been immaculate; his work ethic is unquestionable and in a few years time, we (as a hip-hop culture) will be able to establish him as a legend. Why? Because he came into the game and changed it, he introduced new flows, people copied. He sings and raps like no other, he’s the most versatile rapper (maybe the most versatile rapper to ever live). Don’t believe me? Okay, listen to “Girls Love Beyonce”, then listen to tracks like “Versace” or “5AM In Toronto” – then you’ll believe me.
In 2012, not a single piece of individual piece of music was dropped and he was still awarded ‘Best Rapper Alive In 2012’ by Complex. Why? Because on every collaboration he blessed, he had the hottest 16 bars in the song. Some of the best collaborative verses came in tracks: “Amen” (Meek Mill); “F**kin Problem” (A$AP Rocky), “Fo Real” (Future); “Diced Pineapples” (Rick Ross); “Poetic Justice” (Kendrick Lamar); “No Lie” (2 Chainz) and “Round Of Applause” (Waka Flocka Flame).
How promising is his new album, Nothing Was The Same looking? Very. Free releases such as “The Motion”, “Jodeci Freestyle” and “Versace” has shown us just how capable Drake is – those are free releases, imagine the talent we’re gonna witness on the album. The songs already dropped from the album are brilliant; with massive hit “Started From The Bottom” recently hitting double platinum in the US, “All Me” being played everywhere and “Hold On We’re Going Home” taking over the radio, taking over clubs and taking over iTunes. The tracklist has been released and man, it looks promising. Just wait on it. September 24th. OVO SOUND.
It’s not just the music that I like about Drake, that’s not the only reason he is my favourite artist. Him as a person, him as a performer, him as an artist. He is probably one of the most reserved rappers in the business when it comes to social networking and I deeply admire that. I thrive to hear new things about Drake and that’s what makes his fans so strong. Because he doesn’t post things every hour giving us an update on the album or new songs, we all wonder and we’re on the edge of our seats just waiting and praying for new things. Then, when we get a glimpse of promise, the excitement is uncontainable. The way you can tell Drake is so relevant is because whenever he drops a new track, he shuts the whole internet down. Sites and down because of so much traffic due to the news that Drake has dropped something new.
Another thing besides his music and social presence that I admire is his OVO clique. The crew consists of a group of guys from Toronto that have been with Drake for such a long time. They all rep 416 as hard as Drizzy. Everyone takes “No New Friends” in the wrong way; yeah, he’s made new friends, everyone has to – BUT, if you look at his closest friends, his ‘brothers’, they’re the people he grew up with, they’re the people that believed in him from day and that’s why I respect that. Plus, OVO isn’t just revolved around Drake, it’s a movement, man. It’s a good movement.
I don’t believe that you’re a big fan of someone unless you really dedicate something to them, to the movement or something along those lines. From the moment I began to like Drake and listen to his music on the regular, I’ve seen him every single time he’s been performing in the UK. When the Europe dates drop for the new tour, I’ll be going again.
I’ll name a few of my favourites for you real quick.
Favourite songs (I have a lot, I can’t pick one – this includes feature tracks):
– “All Me”
– “The Motion”
– “Paris Morton Music”
– “Asthma Team”
– “Hold On We’re Going Home”
– “Put It Down”
– “It’s Been A Pleasure”
– “November 18th”
– “Started From The Bottom”
– “Underground Kings”
– “We’ll Be Fine”
– “The Real Her”
– “The Calm”
– “The Ride”
– “Comeback Season”
– “City Is Mine”
– “Going In For Life”
– “Do What You Do”
– “Enough Said”
– “Look What You’ve Done
– “Miss Me”
– “5AM In Toronto”
– “Poppin Bottles” (T.I track)
– “Versace” (Migos track)
– “Made Men” (Rick Ross track)
– “Stay Schemin” (Rick Ross track)
Hope you’ve enjoyed my vent and my reasoning behind the admiration. Just wait on September 24th and thank me.