Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Thank Me Later for…uhh?

If you hang out around people who like good music, you've probably been hearing that Drake's new album sucks…wait…let me start again.

Today, Aubrey Graham (a.k.a. Drizzy Drake, b.k.a. Jimmy Brooks) released his debut EP entitled Thank Me Later *side-eye*. Surely you've heard the album's ubiquitous singles "Over," "Miss Me," and "Find Your Love" by now. Featuring collabs from most of hip-hop's A-List (Jay-Z, Lil' Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and T.I. among others), the album boasts 14 beautifully produced tracks, and if you're happy about the hip-hop that has sprouted in the wake of Kanye's 808s, then you will probably enjoy all 14 of them.

Early complaints about the album seemed to center around whether Drake knew he wasn't a singer (he isn't -- as he demonstrated on, the perhaps self-deprecatingly titled, "Karaoke"). Yet, I don't think that's this albums biggest issue. As I mentioned before, the album contains 14 beautiful tracks and the biggest let down comes when Drake opens his mouth to rap. I enjoyed So Far Gone. It was (somewhat) different when it came out. What Drake has demonstrated in Thank Me Later is that he really isn't comfortable outside his comfort zone and chooses to sing where others choose to switch up their flows. I think the potential is there; I enjoyed the energy in his verses on the Kanye produced "Show Me A Good Time" but he resumes his lethargic pace soon after.

Content-wise, don't expect anything outside of the bromides of So Far Gone "ahh, I'm famous; I get all these girls, but not the ones I want; I have all this money; fame is so empty." That's fine. Not many rappers in the game are gifted with the breadth and depth of good conversation. But what-would-be energetic tracks are hampered by Drake's listless flow. You could've probably called it languor in So Far Gone, but now it's just boring. I found myself wishing that Drake would stick to making cameos and hooks, but giving the tracks to other artists. I think Lupe, J. Cole, or B.o.B could've done most of these tracks more justice.

Overall, I guess it works as an album. Drake won't lose any fans from his freshman effort. If you like what he did in his last mixtape, he certainly delivered it again (about 14 times over), but frankly I don't think he lived up to the hype. Then he has the nerve (after calling it Thank Me Later) to demand that we pay homage and Thank [him] Now on the last track…yeah…about that.

But in the words of LeVar Burton, don't take my word for it.

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