About That Drake Leak….

The Champ is Here?

So hip-hop’s latest Jesus had his album leak this week, almost two weeks shy of the official drop date. And no, I’m not giving you a download link, you all are an industrious lot, you can find it yourself if you want it that bad. Besides, he doesn’t seem to mind if you take it anyway, and I’m pretty confident he’ll be fine.

So I figured I should stop listening to the new Kanye single long enough to let you know how Mr. Graham’s first official full length stacks up. Because you value my opinion, dammit.

And what’s my opinion? In short, he was telling the future on ‘Best I Ever Had’:

When my album drops bitches’ll buy it for the picture and n**gas’ll buy it too and say they bought it for their sister.

You don’t need to be hardcore no.1 Drizzy superfan to know there are two Drakes: Crooner and Rhymer. Crooner Drake sings lightly autotuned melodies over spacey synths and drums that sound like they were programmed in an echo chamber. Rhymer Drake shoots hot fiyah over thudding midtempo kicks and snares that slap you in the face, usually with a string sample or piano chords backing it up. He does both well, and how you feel about Thank Me Later is purely dependent on which Drake you prefer. I’d call the tracklist about 51% Rhymer Drake, but that’s probably being generous given how laid back most of the beats are and the fact that he sings his own hooks anyway.  From a flow standpoint, he’s still the king of the incomplete rhyme from track one [“This time I’m really going off…Fireworks.”]. All the usual suspects you’d expect to find are present behind the mic or the boards [Kanye, Jay-Z, Jeezy, TI, Swizz Beats, Alicia Keys {awesome!}, etc].  It’s a weird album just because it is so subdued.  Even Rhymer tracks like ‘The Resistance” or “Show Me a Good Time” aren’t exactly built for getting buckwild and throwing ‘bows. But they’ll sound damn good coming out of your system as you cruise the block with the windows down this summer, which pretty much guarantees you’re gonna be hearing these songs until school goes back in session.

Highlight? For me, I see ‘Fancy‘, the track with TI and Swizz being a monster.  Solid beat for the fellas, but lyrically all for the ladies, with the request to ‘let me see your hands, wave ’em at them bitches hatin on you with their friends…’  Yeah, those guys know their market.

So get used to it now, people. It’s a solid B++, could’ve been a near classic if he’d swapped out a couple more Crooner jams for some Rhymer bangers. But he’s still going to make buckets of money and you’re still going to hear ‘Find Your Love‘ every day for the next two months at least [hey, hey, hey].  May as well hang back and enjoy, because I don’t think hating is a fight you can win on this one.

And really, can anything that knocks a few Kesha spins out of the rotation be a bad thing?

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