Promise to always give you me. The real me…
This is the day Drake has been anticipating for a long time. His career has been a charmed one, and his debut album hosts a roster of hip hop giants that a newcomer could only dream of. According to him, Drake is the acronym for “Do Right And Kill Everything.” Hip hop listeners have been trying to define him since his first mixtape surfaced. It’s not usual for a rapper with teen television roots (he had a recurring role on Degrassi) to be accepted on the street and on MTV. For all the time spent trying to answer the question, “Is it really ok to like Drake?” It seems like the person most consumed with his identity is the man himself.
On his debut album, Thank Me Later, Drake created a space of self awareness. He tells us who he is right now. His attention to detail and flow on a stacatto beat makes him a prime muse for Timbaland. He rhymes about love lost. The difference between him and the Al B. Sure rappers is that he doesn’t boast about his good looks and swag. He’s actually quite self effacing. He turns the camera lens inward, reflecting on life’s lessons and past regrets.
Thank Me Later is full of guests appearances. Alicia Keys returns the “Unthinkable” favor with the reflective “Fireworks.” Jeezy joins him on “Unforgettable,” featuring a beautiful ode to Aaliyah. And the dream of a lifetime for a newcomer, Jay-Z blesses “Light Up.” Women will love that he speaks to them, especially on the Swizz Beatz produced track “Fancy”. It’d be difficult to find a woman who wouldn’t love the hook, “Go Cinderella, go.” Definitely not this lady.
On the album’s closing track, “Thank Me Now,” Drake proves that he knows exactly who he is, and where he stands in this moment. He is aware that this may not last forever. But right now, Drake Aubrey owns the moment.
Will Drake have longevity? The consensus is still out on that one. The great thing is that he has people on talking. But he’s going to need that verdict to come in soon. Although he doesn’t have the passion and intensity of Kanye West and Lil Wayne, he is a well learned student. If the tide turns against him, he will still be remembered, but as this decade’s Mase. And no one wants that.