Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Thank Me Later
So today Drake's album leaked to the net and the way I do things with albums is unless your name is Kanye West, Jay-Z, Eminem or Lupe Fiasco, I listen to the leak and that determines whether or not I'm gonna pick up your album once it drops in stores because money just ain't the same as it used to be. Now unless you've been living under a rock in the most remote location in the world you know who Drake is and if you know who Drake is then you know how much hype there is surrounded damn near everything the guy does. Ever since So Far Gone dropped Drake became a phenom literally overnight and he hasn't stopped riding that wave of impossible hype ever since. Now this is both a very good and a bad thing because while he's doing very well for himself, one wrong step and it could all be over. Because of this Thank Me Later is either going to catapult his career to a level even higher than it already is at or it'll cause to nose dive directly into the ground. With all eyes on Mr Aubrey Drake Graham is he able to deliver or was his overwhelming hype and expectation simply too much to live up to? Well after listening to his album as a whole in my honest opinion he delivered and THEN some. This album is one of the most complete sounding debuts since Kid Cudi's fantastic Man on The Moon and most definitely one of the best albums to drop this year, in my top 5 as a matter of fact. Not once did i hit the skip button because the songs cohesively mesh together so it almost feels like the songs were made to play out like a movie and it forces you to listen all the way through. On this album Drake doesn't sound like a rookie at all, but then again in my eyes he hasn't sounded like a rookie since So Far Gone. Speaking of So Far Gone, I will go ahead and say that Thank Me Later really needed So Far Gone to come out because it wouldn't have made as much sense stylistically if it hadn't come b4 it. So Far Gone provided the prolouge and the platform for Drake to step up and take his story to the next level. In many ways Thank Me Later is the sequel to So Far Gone. Where on So Far Gone we saw a unsure, insecure and emotionally confused Drake, on Thank Me Later we see that he's risen above that fog and shows a more victorous and confident side while still maintaining the relatable vulnerability that made So Far Gone such a hit. While there are a solid amount of features from outside artists on the album this is still very much a Drake album, none of the features take away from Drake's musical journey which is what a lot of people worried about once the tracklist leaked. Lyrically Drake still showcases his signature punchline heavy stop and go flow, you can tell that he's been working hard to stepping up his game to hang with everyone. He's continuing to grow as an emcee and it shows. But if you ask me I'm most impressed with Drake when he comes up with these great melodies that we've come to know him for. He shows a lot of growth as a singer on the album and does a lot of experimenting with his vocals throughout each of the songs. You can tell that he took notes and ques from Sade and other smooth jazz artists because there are times where the beat will just keep going and he'll just be singing as if he was in a trance. It's almost like when they were in the studio, they just left the beat and his mic on and let him vibe out until he was finished. Sonically this is one of the strongest albums that I've heard all year. Sticking with in house producers Boi-1da and 40 for most of the beats on the album (Two beats from Kanye, and one from both Swizz Beatz and Timbaland), each beat on the album caters perfectly to Drake's melodic rapper style and he never once sounds out of place. The landscape of the album is very large without being overwhelming and solemn but not enough to be considered dark. I could compare this album to dawn rather than the night that was So Far Gone. The thing that I appreciate the most about this album is that it feels like Drake all the way through. Not once does it feel like he's trying to be something that he's not. He's not your typical rapper so this isn't your typical rap album. You can hear his appreciation for indie rock, jazz and even orchestra in the musically diverse beats on the album but it still remains very hip-hop by the end of the day. You can tell his label really gave him full creative control on this album and really trusted him to bring forth something great. While this may not be the straight up hip-hop album that fans of Comeback Season would be hoping for I feel like once people really take time to sit down and listen to the content on the album they will find themselves as impressed as I was. Thank Me Later is what you get when the underdog get's unsuspectingly thrust into the spotlight and has to deal with the sometimes overwhelming accolades and responsibility that come with the fame. Like a lot of the up and comers in this new school of hip-hop, Drake has let us into his life with his music and shares his fears, dreams, pain, happiness, losses and successes with anyone who will listen and if you ask me that is what true artists are supposed to do. In my book you can add Drake to the list of rappers that made impressive debuts along with Cudi, B.o.B., Kanye, Jay-Z and several others. I'm not very sure how people are gonna receive this one once it drops because of how different it is than anything else out right now but then again that's why it's called Thank Me Later now isn't it ;). Do yourself a favor and check out Thank Me Later when it drops because it's definitely worth a listen. Till next post, Rock on from Krypton.