As it stands currently, Canadian hip-hop artist Drake has cemented himself as one of hip-hop’s most prominent stars, recently coming off his latest album Certified Lover Boy and his Billboard’s Artist of the Decade award in 2021. Along with him producing a large catalogue of songs that have captivated people across the world, it’s time to look back in the past at what a fair share of people calls Drake’s magnum opus.
On November 15, 2011, Drake released his second studio album Take Care. With the cover of Drake looking down on his golden cup surrounded by remarkable candles and canvases, the album is considered to be one of the best albums that he has created. Even after more than 10 years from the initial release of the album, many of Drake’s recent albums such as Certified Lover Boy and Scorpion have been continuously compared to the hits that were found in Take Care. With the album now being 10 years old, let’s take a look at the album itself and why many consider it to be one of, if not the most, crafted art form produced by Drake.
The first song, “Over My Dead Body”, helps bring the listener into the world Drake has created. The song begins with a sample from Canadian artist Chantal Kreviazuk. When Kreviazuk says “They’re trying to take you away from me”, it can be interpreted as one of two things. On one hand, it can represent the situation of someone and their lover discussing the current state of their relationship. But on the other hand, it could refer to Drake’s place in the hip-hop community at the time of this album. In a way, haters were trying to take the position of hip-hop away from him, but Drake would not easily let them take it.
The overall song feels very melancholic while telling the story of someone who feels as if they are not valued in life and have too much lust for a past lover. No matter how much that person tries to forget about the past relationship, their love for that person is too strong and it cannot leave their head.
Eventually, the album reaches its peak with four classic hits from the album that has some of Drake’s best work.
This starts with the third track on the album: “Headlines”. Arguably one of Drake’s most famous songs for everyday music listeners, it is a fast-paced song that goes into Drake dealing with people who criticize him. Lines such as “I had someone tell me I fell off, ooh I needed that” or “You better do what you supposed to do” represent the song title and how there have been multiple headlines that Drake has to deal with but due to his massive rise in confidence as an artist, these headlines do not bother him as much as before.
Moving on, two Toronto natives collide as Drake teams up with pop and R&B superstar the Weeknd for their first collaboration in “Crew Love”. The song creates a haunting atmosphere with a piano tune playing ever so gracefully. The eerie yet heavenly vocals of the Weeknd grab the listener’s attention right away and create a haunting atmosphere. It’s a song that shows both artists’ rise to fame and thanks the people who have been with them on their journeys.
Afterwards, the next two songs are ones that can hit a thousand times harder late at night. “Take Care” talks about the sacrifices of being in a relationship. Rihanna (who is featured on the song) and Drake generate a wonderful singing combination filled with lyrics such as “Cause you don’t say you love me/To your friends when they ask you” which portrays the situation of handling feelings.
Furthermore, “Marvin’s Room,” being named after the song was recorded in the late music legend Marvin Gaye’s old studio, is an essential song to Drake’s overall career. The song is emotional and plays to the theme of the hardships of moving on from a relationship. The amount of music fans who say that this is their jam at 3 am in the morning speaks volumes of how popular this song is. It starts out with Drake having some “cups of the rosé” and realizing he’s “been in [the] club [for] too long”, showing he’s going through an immense level of emotional pain after his past love life has vanished.
There is also the hit song “The Motto” (from the deluxe version of the album) which spawned the term ‘YOLO’ or ‘You Only Live Once’. This phrase alone has become a staple in several social media posts and content for the majority of the 2010’s. Nobody could escape it at that point. Collaborating with rapper Lil’ Wayne, the song with its steady tempo tells the listener that they have one life and that they should live it wisely.
There are also a lot of other classic hits from the album that were not fully mentioned, including “Make Me Proud” (featuring rapper Nicki Minaj) and “HYFR” once again featuring Lil’ Wayne. It comes to show the amount of incredible work that was created for Take Care. Hence, the next time someone wants to listen to Drake’s most polished work, I would highly recommend looking at this album. It’s filled with several emotional pieces and clever rap lyrics that will surely impress any music listener.
D. Gary, Take Care Album Cover. 2011.