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Review: Drake's "Take Care"

November 15, 2011|Ernest Wilkins, RedEye

*** (out of four)

Drake's inspired, you guys. The patron saint of the genre I like to call #promkingrap (tales of woe and world domination, live from the popular kid from your high school) has returned and boy, is he out for blood.

It's the first album in awhile that isn't afraid to be introspective all the way through, not just tucked in between faux-Ali boast raps. The album cuts like "Underground Kings" actually exist for a reason, and the whole piece is better for their inclusion. "Lord Knows" is both a concise song and a gentle tap on the shoulder from producer Just Blaze—as if he's saying, "Hey, so we're clear: I'm still not getting touched on this anthemic rap single tip, folks."

The features are eclectic, from Stevie Wonderwearing out a harmonica on "Doing it Wrong" to Andre 3000 and Lil' Wayne on "The Real Her" to Rihanna being shoved down your throat on "Take Care" (the sole track on the album that feels solely included to carpet bomb radio playlists).

Drake even manages to do an impressive homage to "Back that Azz Up" from the original Cash Money millionaire, Juvenile, with his song "Practice."

"Take Care" is the most concise rap album I've heard this year, and worth a listen. Just make sure you approach it with an open mind.

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