‘Take Care’ remains to be the album. The one that takes you back to your first kiss, your first heartbreak, your first one true love. It glitters in its melancholic gold, providing the perfect amount of moody R&B and backbeat tempos to just hit you where nothing else can. It’s Drake claiming his Heartbreak King throne, succumbing to the contrast of his fiery ego and sensitive soul and building a genre that would come to be known as ‘Drake-rap’ for, possibly, ever. It’s his masterpiece, and it was only his second attempt.
Unlike the rush of Thank Me Later where Drake was desperate to prove he deserved a seat at the table, 2011’s Take Care is aptly named as it sees the star taking his time and moving through the motions of not only life but music making. The melodies are smoother, the lyrics are more heartbroken and Drizzy really is at his most introspective. He’s shooting into the world of fame quicker than he can grasp and while it has its fun (‘The Motto,’ ‘HYFR,’ ‘Under Ground Kings’ and ‘Headlines’), it’s only just separating Drake from Aubrey more.
If the cover alone is anything to go by, a pensive Drake surrounded in luxurious gold, mo’ money significantly brings mo’ problems. It’s hard to feel sorry for someone who’s crying over success, but with Drake it feels genuine. On the opening ‘Over My Dead Body,’ he makes a mockery of his success. He’s aware that he’s living the dream, but he’s pointing out the flaws hidden beneath the cracks. And on The Weeknd vocal ‘The Ride,’ he’s going through the stages of his success and his evolving outlook on the whole ordeal. “I hate when people say they feel me man. It’ll be a long time before y’all feel me, if ever.”
But the real Drake moment comes in the form of his trademark heartbreak. The classic “I miss you” texts and falling in love with simple hook ups. He could be at the greatest party in the world, a typical Tuesday night probably, but it doesn’t mean anything unless the right one is by his side. He writes an ode for an ex on ‘Shot For Me,’ admits he’ll stay in a toxic relationship to avoid being alone on ‘Hate Sleeping Alone,’ duets with ex-flame Rihanna on ‘Take Care’ (and basically directs all his words at her), drunkenly calls up an old love on ‘Marvin’s Room’ and gets vulnerable about a break up on ‘Doing It Wrong.’ He even dedicates an entire song to falling in love with a stripper (‘Practice’).
But until Drake can find his one true love, he’ll just have to seek the love he needs from his family. ‘Look What You’ve Done’ is a beautiful tribute to his mother, grandmother and uncle, featuring a touching voicemail from his grandmother at the end. And he signifies the importance of friendship on the explosive The Weeknd collab ‘Crew Love.’ With a killer lineup of features including Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj, Andre 3000, Rick Ross and mentor Lil Wayne, it’s safe to say Drake has got himself a pretty good crew. And that’s the strongest love in the world. But if Take Care has taught us anything, it’s that no matter how good he’s got it; Drake will always be the one sitting in the corner of the party drunk texting his ex.