Apple Music 100 Best Albums

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Take Care



Vulnerably rap-singing his way into cultural ubiquity.

As the title suggests, Take Care is a testament to the theory that the best art requires time. After his studio debut Thank Me Later—an album Drake himself felt was rushed—he enlisted musical savant Noah “40” Shebib to draw on the very Toronto sound they’d pioneered—the sweet spot between rap and R&B that had defined the acclaimed 2009 mixtape So Far Gone.

It worked. Even though he was just in his mid-twenties, the child actor turned rapper had mastered his identity. Rather than exuding a manufactured image of what a rapper “should” be, Drake is fully himself on tracks like “Marvins Room,”a hit that became known as the drunk dial heard round the world.

“We got a standard we gotta live up to. And we got a track record of the legacy we got to always protect.”


On “Headlines,” one of Take Care’s standout pop moments, he cops to being motivated by some of the response to Thank Me Later: “I had someone tell me I fell off/Ooh, I needed that.” It was this honesty that allowed Drake to rap-sing his way into cultural ubiquity, ushering in a wave of commercial hip-hop draped in vulnerability.