Toronto native Drake probably doesn’t belong in an American Hip-Hop/Rap genre. Although his debut album and mixtapes are categorized as hip-hop, he shouldn’t be placed there. Not anymore at least.
Drake can flow and rip a track with hip-hop’s biggest contenders but his albums are void of the brash rhyme scheme and delivery of rap artists. Instead, he settles for honest and expressive bars for the majority of his new album ‘Take Care,’ which shifts more towards contemporary R&B than Hip-Hop.
Drake’s right-hand man and producer, Noah “40” Shebib said R&B was their first musical connection. He’s produced the “soft” tracks such as “Successful,” “Shut It Down,” and “Marvin’s Room,” which is featured on Take Care.
Heartbreak Drake is only two studio albums in but his mixtapes, ‘Room for Improvement,’ ‘Comeback Season’ and ‘So Far Gone’ created a wild buzz for him. Many laughed because he was the kid in the wheelchair on the teen television series, Degrassi: The Next Generation turned rapper.
Drake, the rapper sung too much and Drake, the singer was corny. Then he signed with Lil Wayne’s label Young Money. This move cued hip hop lovers to give him a chance while pop listeners were already nodding.
‘So Far Gone’ was well received and his debut album, ‘Thank Me Later’ was thought to follow behind its footsteps.
While selling the most of any artist at the time of Thank Me Later release, Drake still received negative reviews. Hip-hop critics called the album sensitive. But Drake’s delivery is not what critics are accustomed to.
He put his experiences in each verse. He croons over tracks in masculine, wronged voice. It’s not that he’s being soft; he’s bringing a gentle Canadian touch to meet an abrasive American hip-hop scene.
It’s not that Drake doesn’t stand up to the hip-hop credentials; he just doesn’t belong in their brackets. —— By: Johnell Smalls
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