Thursday, June 17, 2010
Thank Me Later (Revisited by J.I.)
Thank Me Later was... *pause for dramatic effect* .... amazing, a solid debut effort from Drake. I hate to play devil's advocate but I'm reading these reviews (including HHAL's very own A. Dre, love this girl!, and I feel like I'm in the twilight zone. Is everyone going crazy?!!!
Hip Hop fans are thirsty. They're ready for a new king to take his or her (yes, her, its possible no matter how minute the possibility) throne, to come up and represent progress. Drake's mixtapes led hip hop fans to believe Drake was that ice cold Gatorade on a hot summer day, but our thirsts weren't exactly quenched after hearing Thank Me Later. Does that mean it was anything from amazing? NO. Does it mean the hip hop game is dry? YES
Drake was supposed to be a savior of sorts and I believe that this is the reason why fans are so hard on him. We've been listening to his MIXTAPE tracks on HEAVY rotation for over year. Back then, he was something new, refreshing. We expected his album to be a revolution. and it wasn't. BUT, we seem to forget that this is Drake's FIRST album. What did the hell did yall expect? He put out a REALLY good album maaan. Did he take risks? He sure didn't, but I wouldn't either. Was it different from So Far Gone? Not really. Was it get good? Absolutely.
This album had amazing production ranging from Timbaland, Kanye, Boi1da, Swizz Beatz and many many others. Stylistically, it sounded perfect. His lyrics were smooth, well delivered, including those oh so lovely punch lines "Just like you said I avoided the Coke game and went with Sprite instead" who doesn't love that?! lol, and of course banging featured artists to complement. I really don't know what people are looking for, but if you're look for a really good album in 2010, that you can pretty much listen to all the way through, this is it.
Now to address some of the main points made by the opposition (yes hip hop politics ladies and gentlemen):
1. The Mixtapes were better: I agree. Does that make Thank Me Later bad? NO. I played the CD the whole way through one time and was not surprised, but impressed.
2. He can't sing: He actually can, heard him live in concert. Do I think he could have toned it down a little? Perhaps. But he can try different things in his SOPHOMORE effort. He put out records we would like, and I did.
3. Production was much better than the actual rhymes: We will argue to the death about this so lets suppose I agree. The beats were crazy and Drake's flow wasn't outstanding. However, I can't see anybody else rapping on these beats. Everyone seems to compare him to this new wave of rappers J. Cole, Cudi, Wale, B.o.B, Khalifa but I don't think they're judged the same. People raved about Khalifa's Kush & OJ and it was wack (sorry). If we were to criticize Khalifa, the same way Drake is being judged right now then that mixtape wouldn't have even achieved mediocre success.
4. All he talks about is fame and girls: Perhaps. He spoke about what he knew, what was comfortable and I applaud him for not trying to be something he's not. Remember people this is his FIRST album.
But enough of that, on to the actual album. I liked 12/14 songs Karaoke and Find Your Love being my least favorites. Unforgettable (dig the Aaliyah sample), Fancy, Light Up, Over, Shut It Down and Miss Me being my favorites.
I think as a hip hop community, we need to realize that in actuality we're mad at the hip hop game, not at Drake. We're mad at the lack of talent out at the moment. We're mad we can't have B.I.G or Tupac back. We're mad this lightskin pretty boy from the suburbs of TORONTO is representing the AMERICAN hip hop game. He's not even one of our own. But at the same time, we're mad he wasn't hip hop's savior. Should we crucify him though? NO. Thank Me Later was a GREAT album. We're harder on Drake because we recognize that he is in fact good, he represents so much more than we would like to give him credit for. Personally, I believe in him. I really think he'll be one of the greats by the END of his career because of his work ethic. He won't quit. Is he BIG or Tupac? Naah. Should we compare him to Jay-Z or Nas? Not yet. He has lot of time to grow, to get better. If I remember correctly, Wayne did. Let's see if Drake follows in his mentor's footsteps.