Album: Thank Me Later
Release Date: June 15th 2010
Producers: Boi-1da, Timbaland, Swizz Beatz, Kanye West, No I.D., Omen, Crada, 40, Tone Mason, Jeff Bhasker, Francis & The Lights, Arthur McArthur and Al Khaliq.
Guests: Alicia Keys, Nicki Minaj, Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne, Young Jeezy, T.I., Swizz Beatz, & The Dream. (Bonus Tracks feature Bun B, Lil' Wayne, & Trey Songz).
Like when Eminem took over the game in the late 1990's, and the hype around 50 Cent in 2002, the Hip Hop industry's richter scale has been sizing up another possible tremor to hit over the past year.
Despite his debut album only dropping this summer, in the ast year, Drake has already had artists no bigger than Lil' Wayne, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Mary J Blige and of course Eminem recording music for him, as well as rumours persisting last summer of an on/off relationship with Rihanna, and a mixtape that many claimed was better than most albums released in 2009. You sort of get the impression that something perhaps Drake might sell quite a few records.
Having already has major acting roles on US and Canadian TV shows, including Digrassi: The Next Generation, and Blue Murder, plus a role in the next Batman movie, Drake has now switched his talent towards making music. The Toronto born star soon found his way into Lil' Wayne's Young Money circle where he featured on their recent album, outshining all of the other artists in many opinions. Even Jay-Z was unsure whether to put Drake's verse on his Blueprint 3 album, but instead opted for just Drake featured on a chorus - a move leaving many fans wondering why, since Drake had recorded an entire verse for Timbaland to put on the CD, but perhaps Jay learned his lesson from Eminem's presence on Renagade.
Lasy September, Drake released an EP entitled 'So Far Gone' which included 6 tracks inclusing 'Best I Ever Had' which became a hit in the states, and 'Successful' with Lil' Wayne and Trey Songz. The EP has so far sold over 450,000 copies, something I cannot possible envision another new artist to do before the release of any debut material. In fact, to kick start any discography off with a bang like that only suggests monumental things for the future. Weeks later, Eminem has recorded a verse for his song 'Forever'....which he soon used on his 'Relapse: Refill' album.
So finally it is here. 'Thank Me Later' has been simmering for months, with various songs leaked online - some making the final cut, some not. There was even rumours of a mega collaboration with The Kings Of Leon, although this has not meterialised.
The album seems to have an alternative sound to it. Drake comes from a softer direction, in terms of ballad beats with an 'old skool' style rap over it. This seems to be a problem I found with the CD - much of the album sounds very much the same, with not a lot of variation. Most of the songs fail to excite, and often get forgotten once skipped onto the next one. However, 'Up All Night' is very heavy, although features a below average verse from Nicki Minaj. 'Light It Up' is one of my favourite tracks on the CD, and seems like a battle of best verse between himself and Jay-Z, as both are at their best lyrically on this track - I will give Jay bragging rights on this one since Drake easily owns Lil' Wayne's feature.
'Shut It Down' is a song emotionally driven with The Dream, as are most of the songs on the album, but the best track has to be 'The Resistance', which is produced by 40. The song represents everything that the album is about - emotional rap with an alternative sound.
I was not as impressed with the Swizz Beatz produced track, 'Fancy' as I thought I would be. I was hoping the uptempo Swizzy style would elevate into the next single from the album, but I doubt the average hook will enable this to happen.
Overall I was impressed with Drake, who has set a new bar level for new artists simmering in the rap game, but will the fans of Drake's mixtape material feel it? I dont know, but I know there will be thousands for every listener that doesn't.