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Album Review: Drake – “Thank Me Later”

Thank Me LaterOnly a few months ago, there were doubts about the rapper, Drake. Last year, he was out promoting his mixtape, So Far Gone. Some hip hop critics dubbed it the album of the year. Drake recorded the mixtape by himself and it got him signed to Young Money. Instead of rushing into an album, Lil Wayne promoted Drake with the rest of the crew.

Good things come to those who wait. On the lead single from Thank Me Later, “Over,” Drake said he wanted to keep Young Money going. It is safe to say Young Money is in great hands with Drake. He worked with anyone who would take him when he first began rapping. In time, he became the focus.

Drake went from hoping to work with anyone to everybody wanting to work with him. Despite moving to the top of the game at a rapid pace, Drake did not forget the people who helped him when no one else would. Instead of using his collaboration with Swizz Beatz as the lead single, Drake used the Boi-1da-produced, “Over.” Because the song came from Drake, it became a hit.

But, the album proves how versatile Drake actually is. When speaking of his lyrical ability, Drake said he knows he is a good rapper, but he wants to be great. Outside of rapping, in general, Drake is actually a pretty good singer, too. His second single, “Find Your Love,” proves this. Drake shows he can do a little bit of everything on his debut album. Most rappers team up with singers to perform the hooks of their songs, but all Drake has to do is change the tone of his voice. Not too many rappers sing their own hooks and sound good doing it. 50 Cent said he is like a good-singing version of Ja Rule.

When speaking of influences, Drake said he has looked at the people who were on top of the game before him and he benefits from having Lil Wayne in his corner. The main reason Drake is sitting on top of the game is because of everything Lil Wayne has done for him. Lil Wayne spoke true words on the third single from Thank Me Later, “Miss Me.” There are few albums which can be listened to in its entirety without a single track being skipped over. Thank Me Later is one of those few albums which can be played without skipping a single second. On each song, Drake comes with a different style.

Despite coming with a different style on each track, Drake comes off in a strong manner. If his rhymes are not legendary, his singing is comparable to Usher. His performance on Thank Me Later is captivating as he tells his story of pain, rising, and triumph all over unique beats. Listening to the album will force people to laugh, cry, part, and dance. From track-to-track, Drake is able to change things up and the people will not miss a beat. Even as great as the album is, after listening to it, Drake feels as if he could have done better on the album. It is already the best hip hop album of 2010.

There may have been doubts about Drake at the start of his career, but there is no one who feels Drake cannot make it in the rap game. No, he is no longer the black kid in the wheelchair on “Degrassi.” Instead, the man once known for his role on the teen soap is a Canadian rapper with a New Orleans accent dominating the game. A day cannot go by without a Drake song being played on the radio. The good thing about this is there are so many to choose from. Thank Me Later is a must-buy and Hip Hop Vibe gives it ten out of ten discs.

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