Rather than rant and complain about his album leaking on Sunday night, Drake accepts that it’s just a normal part of the record biz. After a nearly complete version of Take Care (“The Ride” and the LP’s bonus cuts seem to be missing) hit the Internet, Drizzy took to Twitter to address the early release.
“Listen, enjoy it, buy it if you like it…and take care until next time,” he wrote.
Although TC is officially slated to hit retail on November 15, the album has spawned numerous trending topics on Twitter and has dominated hip-hop’s social conversation over the last 24 hours. Rather than an overblown production befitting of rap’s fastest rising star, on Take Care, the OVO general scales back and puts the focus on his native Toronto and his relationship with the city.
The sophomore LP, recorded mostly in Canada with Drizzy’s right-hand producer Noah “40″ Shebib , is a deliberate toast to his town.
“That’s one of the biggest stories behind this album, it’s either my way or we’re not doing it — in everything,” Drake told MTV News back in October. “Every photo shoot, every video, every step I’m taking I feel like I’ve earned the right to do it my way, so part of doing it my way I want you to see who I am really around.”
And his TO crew may not be as clean-cut as Drake’s radio-friendly music may have led fans to believe. Opening with the melancholy “Over My Dead Body,” Drake sets things off with a shot to his detractors and tells how his success ultimately supports his people in the struggle. “Just performed at a bar mitzvah over in the States/ Used half of the money to beat my brother’s case,” he spits.
On “Crew Love,” Drake gives Toronto upstart the Weeknd a push. Despite the song’s calming melody, there is something rather menacing about it once the Young Money star begins to rattle off his bars. After going on about taking his goons on vacation, Drake threatens violence with the coyness of a mafia don when he rhymes, “I got a lot of friends to come up off the strip for me/ The same ones that will come up off the hip for me.”
It’s not unlike the sing-songy line in “Headlines” where Drizzy begs the haters “You gon’ make someone around me catch a body like that.”
By now, Drake’s story is well-known: Child actor from Canada drops a couple of mixtapes, one of which makes its way to Lil Wayne, who then invites the young MC on tour and signs him to his Young Money label. But on “Look What You’ve Done,” Drake takes his personal narrative and adds all of the necessary color. He starts off talking to his disapproving mother, “We argue about spendin’ money on bullsh–/ And you tell me I’m just like my father, my one button you push it.”
Maybe we’ve had Drake pegged wrong all along? Maybe it’s all just entertainment? Regardless, on Take Care, Drake shows a different side than we’ve previously seen from him. “I show love and get love back, and I think that’s very important for people to see,” he told MTV News. “Just know that’s our town, that’s our place, so that was important for me to really display that consistently on this album.”
“Underground Kings” and the Just Blaze-produced “Lord Knows,” featuring Rick Ross, finds the rapper planting his rap flag, while the Rihanna-assisted title track is a pulsating dance track that aims to take Drizzy past the confines of hip-hop and R&B.
Still, with all the sonic variations on Take Care, there’s one common thread. Throughout the LP, the Young Money virtuoso consistently puts on for the city that he’s from. Welcome to Toronto.
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