This album made it clear that Drake was starting to fall out of his prime element, and hasn’t fully been able to recover yet. It was also the project where he began experimenting and expanding his sound with his new jamaican, dancehall vibe which is honestly what worked best with songs like “One Dance (feat. WizKid and Kyla)” and “Childs Play”. His rapping didn’t seem to be entirely there, and when it was, he was that unconfident Drake that makes us all roll our eyes.
Scorpion has only been out for about a week, but it was clear after the first few days that it wasn’t up to par with the best of Drizzy. He divided it into two sides, showing his Rap and R&B sides respectively, but it felt like he didn’t put his all into either. The album is extremely long at an hour and thirty minutes. There is certainly good songs where Drake comes in hot like “Mob Ties” and “Is There More” but it is mostly fillers and it should have gone through a stage where he cuts tracks and refines them rather than throwing it all together and calling it a day.
5) Thank Me Later
Thank Me Later was the album that really put Drake’s rapping career on the map during the peak of YMCMB’s empirical rise during the 2010 era. At the time it was phenomenal and showcased Drake’s versatility of singing and rapping with classic 2000 style production, but looking back, it doesn’t age so well. It definitely works, mostly from the nostalgia effect associated with it and I still find myself listening to “Over” and “Find Your Love” to relive the hype they had during the time.
4) More Life
This is technically a “playlist” curated by Drake, which to most, is a weak excuse at putting together an album that doesn’t entirely create a purpose behind it. However, I think that this project is a better version of Views where his jamaican dance sounds are much more defined and give the listener a better feeling of what he was trying to achieve on songs like “Passionfruit” and “Madiba Riddim”. He also has a few bangers on here where his rapping is braggadocious and classic amongst great features such as “Portland (feat. Quavo & Travis Scott)” and “Sacrifices (feat. 2 Chainz & Young Thug)”.
3) Nothing Was The Same
This is where it gets tricky, as all of the top 3 are phenomenal. Nothing Was The Same was another staple in Drizzy’s career where he made it clear he was certainly one of the best in the game. The whole theme is very introspective with his head in the clouds on the album art but not in an annoying, overly emotional way. Some of his hardest, yet simultaneously popular tracks come from this project in the form of “All Me (feat. 2 Chainz & Big Sean)” and “Started From the Bottom”. As a project, it feels like there isn’t a whole lot of filler and every song has its purpose, while also being unique enough to be distinguished from the others. The only thing holding it back from the #1 and #2 spots is how great the other two are.
2) Take Care
Drake is at his peak artistry and external appearance to the world with this album. Compared to albums like Views and Thank Me Later where he seems to mindlessly complain about his internal love struggles, he is much more composed and self aware to these lost loves and uses it as fuel for this work of art, which in turn creates a phenomenal album, if not a classic. Drake seems grown and luxurious while telling the stories of his life. His rapping and singing ability are both at some of their best simultaneously, supporting the other rather than contradicting. Songs like “HYFR” and “Headlines” show this triumph at its best.
1) If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
I like to think of this album as Drake getting released from his label ensued chains and showing his fullest potential, especially rapping. If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late literally has no bad tracks and is back to back of the hardest hitting Drake verses I’ve heard. It has a clear theme, showing that you don’t want to fuck with Drake or get in his way, because of his legendary status and his ability to not care what anyone thinks (a thought process that he has definitely lost over the recent years). Production is some of the darkest, yet hardest we have heard on a Drake album, and a lot of the tracks instantly give me chills when the baseline hits such as “Madonna” or “Legend”. He gives us taste of that Drake R&B sound too, but only in small increments in between getting verbally assaulted by the verses, giving him a sound that I think works at its absolute best, making this an easy choice for his best career project.