Drake's Take Care: A First Listen

Funny thing about Drake: I'm forced to care. This goes beyond my duties as a music writer; rap now is in a state where someone like Drake or Rick Ross becomes the sun and everyone surrounding becomes an orbiting satellite. I'm a huge fan of co-Money Youngins Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj, and I'd like to keep up with Andre 3000, The Weeknd, and Rihanna as well. And many of those folks are likely to be on the next big rapper's album, too. That's just how it works; if I want to hear the newest Wayne verses, I've gotta hear this guy. If I sound like I'm shrugging, you're right. Not really a Drake fan. But I'm not much of a 2011 fan, either. So I'm open to anything that gets people excited before I get my year-end lists in order.

“Over My Dead Body”

I could barely make it through Thank Me Later, which had a six-minute opener and lots of soft-focus beats and self-pitying rhymes. So this is already better: it's only four minutes and he fuck-yous the haters early on. The beat is closer to Deerhunter's shimmering Halcyon Digest.

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