Thank him later or thank him now — 23-year-old Aubrey “[artist id="2545682"]Drake[/artist]” Graham is confident you will be saying “gracias.” The long-anticipated, much-hyped Thank Me Later has finally arrived in stores. Now everyone has the opportunity to digest the body of work, and we’ll see how big an impact the LP makes on the SoundScan charts next week. Here is our guide to the album:
1. “Fireworks” (featuring Alicia Keys)
With A. Keys helping out on the chorus, Drake sets the tone of the album, thinking aloud with candor. He hopes success and fame never lead him and Lil Wayne to have conflict. He also speaks on a brief relationship with Rihanna and expounds on family strife.
Can’t-Miss Lyrics: “Everything’s the same, but it feels different/ My dad call me up, knowing that I still listen/ And he still got his foot out, guilt trippin’/ It’s been years/ I just learned to deal with it.”
Produced by tourmates Francis and the Lights, the second track on the album goes down light, like a cool glass of chardonnay. Young Drizzy sings for the most part on this one, with a brief rap at the end, about a relationship frayed by his career.
Can’t-Miss Lyrics: “I know they say the first love is the sweetest/ But that first cut is the deepest/ I tried to keep us together/ You were busy keeping secrets/ Secrets you were telling everybody but me/ Don’t be fooled by the money/ I’m still just young and unlucky.”
3. “The Resistance”
Drake proclaims that the hip-hop game needed life, so he put his heart in it. This track may be the album’s most revealing, as he deals with friends saying he “changed” and getting robbed at gunpoint. The crime was apparently orchestrated by a girl he was close to. The 23-year-old also sheds a little light on almost becoming a father.
Can’t-Miss Lyrics: “This woman I messed with unprotected/ Texted and said she wish she would’ve kept it/ The one I’m laying next to just looked over and read it/ Man, I couldn’t tell you where the f— my head is.”
The rumbling first single completes Drake’s transition from breakout mixtape So Far Gone to Thank Me Later. Up until this point — both in sound and topic — his debut has served as an extension of last year’s set. On “Over,” the stakes are bigger, from the production to Drizzy’s introspection, as he paints a picture of paranoia mixed with euphoria.
Can’t-Miss Lyrics: “Y’all know them?/ Well f— it, me either/ But point the biggest skeptic out/ I’ll make them a believer/ It wouldn’t be the first time I done it, throwing hundreds/ When I should be throwing ones/ Bitch, I run it.”
5. “Show Me a Good Time”
Young, rich and out of control — well, maybe not too out of control. As the album progresses, Drake settles into one of the LP’s feel-good anthems. He laughs in the face of haters and puts some of that hard-earned money as one of hip-hop’s new kings to good use. Shots on Drizzy.
Can’t-Miss Lyrics: “Call me overrated or created or too jaded/ Because any way you put it, bitch, I made it.”
6. “Up All Night” (featuring Nicki Minaj)
Drake takes it to the clubs for this Nicki Minaj collabo, on which the two Young Money titans talk so much ish, their breath stinks. They pledge allegiance to their crew, pop bottles and clothing tags and leave losers in their wake.
Can’t-Miss Lyrics: “Cap on, brim bent/ Denzel every time/ She ain’t tryna pop that sh– for pimp/ OK, well, never mind/ I-I-I-I tried to told you: Drizzy still ain’t nothing nice/ Bracelet saying you should quit/ Car saying f— your life.”
7. “Fancy” (featuring Swizz Beatz and T.I.)
A sure shot to become a women’s anthem. If this were the 1990s, we would say the ladies the fellas rap about here “got it goin’ on.” Their hair is did, their money is looking right, nails painted like an old-school Chevy in Houston. The triumphant trio salute the independent gals who have their own.
Can’t-Miss Lyrics: “Mature women with more than me were the first to tempt me/ And Jason had this girl Tammy with a purple Bentley/ How she got it, I ain’t never get to ask/ I just know she was fine like a ticket on the dash/ Yeah, but shout-out to the home-owners/ Girls who got diplomas and enough money to loan us.”
8. “Shut It Down” (featuring The-Dream)
Drake channels his inner lothario on this slow-burner with his spiritual R&B mentor, The-Dream. The two trade verses on the swoon-inducing duet before Drake closes things out with a rap.
Can’t-Miss Lyrics: “Say, baby, I had to mention/ That if you were a star, you’d be the one I’m searching for/ Other girls they got attention/ But I just always feel like they’re in need of something you got/ It’s obvious you’re pretty/ Heard that you’re a student/ Working weekends in the city/ Trying to take you out, girl/ Hope you’re not too busy.”
9. “Unforgettable” (featuring Young Jeezy)
A sample of Aaliyah’s angelic voice blesses the beginning of the record as Drizzy and Young Jizzle give insight as to what it means to be on top. They want their impact to leave a lasting impression.
Can’t-Miss Lyrics: “Yeah, I remember I used to have to sneak the car/ Now my insides are lookin’ like a Snickers bar/ Yeah, I’m talking caramel leathers/ Damn right, so fly I need feathers/ Same sh– in them streets, so what’s the dealy?/ I done everything in the A but f— Chilli.” — Young Jeezy
10. “Light Up” (featuring Jay-Z)
The young upstart and the veteran MC square off on this track, which Drake called a second “turning point” of the album after “Over.” A defiant Drizzy taunts his detractors, firing off lyrical salvos before Hov lays out the blueprint for how the Toronto lyricist’s enemies will target him.
Can’t-Miss Lyrics: “And I’m just filling up this daily planner/ Getting busy ’cause I’m a star, no spangled banner/ Jealous dudes get to talking in their music/ And I just say I wrote it for your girlfriends, Kelsey Grammer.”
11. “Miss Me” (featuring Lil Wayne)
The horns are blaring, Drake is stunting hard. He admits to a crush on Nicki Minaj and even mentions nuptials. Later, Wayne comes in and plays Albert Pujols as cleanup hitter, with another unorthodox but decidedly dope verse.
Can’t-Miss Lyrics: “Turn you to a vegetable like you laying in soup/ And when I’m in the booth, bitch, the lion is loose/ Man, I got so many styles, I am a group/ Damn, I’ll be gone till November/ But f— it, I ain’t trippin’/ I know Drizzy gonna kill ‘em.” — Lil Wayne.
This serene interlude matches the one Drake delivered on So Far Gone, “Bria’s Interlude.” The two-minute number is an intimate and blunt testimony — no wooing, just Drake pouring his heart out.
Can’t-Miss Lyrics: “I wish I wasn’t famous/ I wish I was still in school/ So that I could have you in my dorm room/ I would put it on you.”
13. “Find Your Love”
It’s sexy, it’s energetic, it sounds like nothing else on the radio right now. Drake puts all his cards on the table, telling a woman he’ll give her all his love and she better do the same in return.
Can’t-Miss Lyrics: “I’m more than just an option (hey, hey, hey)/ Refuse to be forgotten (hey, hey, hey)/ I took a chance with my heart (hey, hey, hey)/ And I feel it taking over.”
14. “Thank Me Now”
The LP opens dark and closes on a high note. The Toronto blue chip gets in his b-boy stance and throws darts, solidifying his spot as one of the best MCs in hip-hop.
Can’t-Miss Lyrics: “I could relate to kids going straight to the league/ When they recognize that you got what it takes to succeed/ And that’s around the time that your idols become your rivals/ You make friends with Mike but gotta AI him for your survival/ Damn, I swear sports and music are so synonymous/ ‘Cause we wanna be them, and they wanna be us.”
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