Kanye West is the man responsible for influencing and shaping this open-book era of hip-hop. Despite initial negative reviews, 808’s and Heartbreak, has been revered as one of the most original and influential albums of this generation. It is that influence that is increasingly apparent throughout Drake’s masterpiece Take Care. Take Care is a piece of art that is responsible for the genre or aesthetic that Drake developed and has influenced the hip-hop culture to what it is today. Drake ironically throws in Kanye’s notorious grunts while proclaiming “Jealousy is just love and hate at the same time.” on Take Care. It is an ode to his competition, a realization that he is the best at what he does. Nowhere else in hip-hop history will one find an artist who worked harder to imbue his tracks with a profound sense of emotional maturity and complexity. It is on this album that Drake’s aesthetic coherence takes a major leap forward. He is consistently able to mesh rapping and sing strongly, while also having production that feels all of a piece, and lyrics that are emotional introspection of a complex and sincere portrait of a young adult trying to hold onto semblance of genuine relationships.
The core concept of the album can be found on the albums first two lines on the opening track “Over My Dead Body” with Drake stating “I think I killed everybody in the game last year, man. F*ck it, I was on though/And I thought I found the girl of my dreams at a strip club, Mm. F*ck it, I was wrong though.” It is a concept of youth. One minute one can be on top of the world, then the next they are navigating through valleys of crushing doubt. “Marvin’s Room” is the high point of the album, the moment when Drake’s confidence and insecurities come into focus. As young adults we piss away our finest years, doing so by buying stuff we do not need, pining for lost loves we never really had, drunk dialing our exes, or pursuing sexual conquests just for fun. The beauty of Take Care is its illustration that regardless of fame, wealth, or power none of us have all the answers. We are all fumbling to figure out ourselves. “Look What You’ve Done” is a hard-hitting song, with Drake dedicating the verses to individuals who helped him become who he is now. The track is revealing and intimate, an inside peek behind a twenty-five-year-old who has the world at his feet but deals with everyday issues. Something that is lost in this era of fame, that these individuals are humans too… – G.