Approximately one week prior to the official release of Drake’s sophomore opus Take Care, music aficionados and fans found themselves indulging in the LP’s leaked records. His growth on the album was immediately apparent. The arrogance on "Headlines," the vulnerability on "Marvin's Room" and the chemistry on "Make Me Proud," all culminated an eclectic record that will undoubtedly free the Young Money prodigy of the dreaded sophomore slump--but it’s not like we expected any less. Take Care is a mix of R&B and hip-hop, seasoned with airy instrumentals and Drake's seemingly effortless crooning. He couldn't have done it alone, however, recruiting some top-notch assistance for an end result that is undoubtedly satisfying. Collaborators Kendrick Lamar, Boi-1da, and T-Minus recall their Take Care features and share details on how it all came together.
Feature credit: “Marvin’s Room”
“Drake called me and said he had a beat that 40 did and wanted me on it, told me to do what I feel on the record. The first thing that came to mind was my first time meeting dude,” Kendrick told RapFix. “Me being a fan and following his music, I kind of had an idea of where he was at in his career. He's in a space where vanity can be a definite crutch if you’re in denial."
“But [Drake’s] honest, he acknowledges his vices and faults. I wanted to speak from a standpoint of being a new artist watching everything that's killing him and wanting to die. We all want a taste of vanity. I seen a taste of it the night I met homie; black Maybach, white waitress, private dinner with crew, 40 pulling up, jeep with no doors. All he needed was Aaliyah [laughs]. All of this was in the homie’s possession that night, and in that moment I wanted it. The conversation that night was real. ‘Am I ready to accept this lifestyle…’ is where I end the verse. I sent it back and drake called me back with a simple "thank you…"
(Drake Talks Recording Take Care)
Production credit: “Headlines”
“To be honest, the creative process for “Headlines” actually came from me goofing off. I wasn't really in the mood to make a beat, but I forced myself to,” he told RapFix. “It was very simple melody wise and I just put some nasty drums on it and sent it over to Drake, as I do with all the beats that I make. I had no idea he would like it, even for a first single. The beat knocks yes--but it was definitely made in a very carefree atmosphere.”
Production Credit: “Underground Kings,” “We’ll Be Fine,” “Make Me Proud,” “HYFR”
“Drake hit me up asking for a record for him and Nicki. He had a certain energy in mind, so I tried my best to emulate the idea he had,” T-Minus told RapFix, of creating, ‘Make Me Proud.’ It might have taken me an hour to come up with the beat. He let me know it was a single days after he recorded it. I've been constantly contributing to the album since late last year, so I was going in with the intent of producing more than one record. I sent him beats like “I’m On One” and “She Will” with the intent of it being on Take Care, so we had plenty of records in the works.”
T-Minus also described the way he felt knowing that Drake’s in-house producer Noah “40” Shebib would be adding his own touch to all of the productions. “When Drake would ask me to send files for 40 to mess with, I [was] anxiously waiting on the other end to hear the crazy shit he comes up with. He’s a beast! Over the course of the album he taught me a lot about other aspects of production.”