Drake's Debut Album

After much anticipation for Lil’ Wayne’s protégé, Drake’s debut album finally is leaked onto the internet. This album, it starts with a bang, maybe not a big bang but a bang nonetheless.

1. Fireworks (Feat. Alicia Keys)

A sample of fireworks is used in the opener of the album (Fireworks) a

nd the opening lyrics remind fans of a fan favorite “It’s funny how money can change everything.” (Fear), “Money just changed everything” (Fireworks). To me, the drums and the depth and reality of the song reminds me fully of Fear, as a sequel, a continuation. The end of each verse starts with one sentence followed by the word, fireworks with the word fireworks being acapella. The beats drops and leaves, and all you hear are the word. “I should have looked up at the sky at first / now I can see it in her eyes / Fireworks.” The hook, gives me chills, mostly Alicia Keys section, “All I see is fireworks / every night is fireworks / it’s taking off like oohh.” The beating of the drums, and the slowness of the music and the calm singing of the hook by Drake and Keys, makes this song such a great opener to a CD. Ironically, something typically loud, was made to be slow and simple and not to mention, just downright brilliant.

2. Karaoke

This song is too short, and should have been longer, in my honest opinion. The song is over 3 minutes, but there aren’t enough lyrics in this song. The beat, which is so smoothly calming and amazing, I loved it within the first minute. For almost the first two minutes, he’s singing (greatly, must I add). He then drops a rap verse, filled with amazing memorable lines, such a short verse. “I hope you don’t get known for nothing crazy / cause no man ever wants to hear that about his lady / I know they say the first love is the sweetest / but that first cut is the deepest.” If this song was followed by more verses, this would be my favorite song on his album. “I was only trying to get ahead / but the spotlight makes you nervous / and your looking for a purpose.”

3. The Resistance

To begin, this beat screams out “Lust For Life” and “The Calm” which are classics on his So Far Gone mix tape. Those songs have such memorable lines; it makes sense this record will too. The hook on the other hand, has nothing special. “You promised me you would never change / oh, huh huh / oh, huh huh.” The first verse, does not have anything that stands out exactly, but the second verse has about 5-6 lines of greatness, excuse the huge quote coming up. “I heard that they just moved my grandma to a nursing home / and I’ll be acting like I don’t know how to work a phone / but hit redial you’ll see that I just called some chick that I met at the mall that I barely know at all.” It’s songs like these, when Drake spills his guts, and shows that he’s not perfect. Not only is he not perfect, but he’s human, and he knows what he’s doing is wrong; he’s not saying it’s right, but its life. People can relate to him, and he’s not just some person that just wants money. “This women that I mess with unprotected / text us saying she wish she coulda kept it / the one I’m laying next to just looked over and read it / I couldn’t tell you where the fuck my head is / I’m holding on by a thread.” Without quoting ALL of the final verse, all I have to say is, he comes out fully and announces that he knows he’s changed and he never noticed. “The other day Lissa told me she missed the old me / which made me question when I went missing / and when I start treating my friends different.”

4. Over

This is the first single off the album and good or not, these lyrics are memorable to only one that hears this song and actually pays attention: “What am I doing, what am I doing? / oh yeah, that’s right, I’m doing me.” This song is something different, that nobody’s really used to, and it is good, but not the best off the album. Some of the wordplay, and metaphors, and analogies that Drake is known for, it’s not all there, and it’s not the same compared to everything else he’s doing. It does do exactly what needs to be done for a debut single. It builds hype – crazy hype. It pulls you in, and makes you want to hear more, and better. In the first verse, there’s a section where he pulls a “U-Turn” type of effect that makes me think “Where did that come from?” “I shouldn’t have drove, tell me how I’m getting home / you too fine to be laying down in bed alone / I can teach you how to speak my language Rosetta stone.” Quickly after, he brings a Thriller reference. “Got to go thriller Mike Jackson on these niggas / all I need is a fucking red jacket with some zippers.” Drake is better then this, and does not meet any standard for Drake.

5. Show Me A Good Time

This song had major hype building up because of the producer alone: Kanye West. He is known for having samples, as are most producers, but he takes unusual things, and samples it, and loops it, and adds insane drums and the outcome; an insane beat that leaves you in awe and have a “double-u-tee-eff” effect. (See also: “Power” – Kanye West) Reading comments about Drake having the same flow, over and over, he switches his flow in this song. New faster flow, and a crazy beat together, the outcome; A good time. (Pun intended) He sings the intro, and halfway through he seems to rap the hook. “I live for the nights that I can’t remember / with the people that I can’t forget.” (The word oxymoron seems to be the first word to pop to my mind) The verse comes, and quickly goes without much notice. Maybe I pay attention to much to the beat rather then his lyrics, or there’s another reason not coming to mind, but after the verse, the hook kicks in again “How did I end up here with you? / after all the things I been through / spend money these days / we try and forget about / take the shot and let it out / let’s get right, now that I’m here baby.” Out of the second verse, the only lyrics that pop out to me are the end of the verse. “Call me over rated or creative or too jaded because any way you put it bitch I made it, YUUP.” Yes, the “YUUP” is a reference to his “best buddy” Trey Songz.

6. Up All Night (Feat. Nicki Minaj)

Without warning, without introduction, Up All Night begins, with Drake’s verse. “Kush rolled glass full, I prefer the better things / niggas with no money act like money isn’t everything.” After the listener gets past another crazy flow, they might lose the lyrics like myself, and pay attention to the different, but just another brilliant production on this track.  “I got the money in these jeans, so they fit me kinda snug, plus the game is in my pocket, nigga this is what I does,” and with that, Drizzy kicks in with the hook, witch might be the best hook on the album, or the top three. “All up in your face man, I hate to put you through it I be up all night.” He explains within the hook that he loses people from year to year, and possibly even day to day with his lifestyle. “I don’t really know who I’mma lose this year, man I love my team, I love my team, I would die for these niggas.”  Nicki typically, (for me at least) kills whatever verse she gets on, and she eventually does, except for the beginning. “I get the kind of money that make a broke bitch bitter / I got that kind of… Wait, wait, fixate!” She seems to stumble over her own words, which is normal for any human, but to keep that into a song, it seems kind of slow to me at least. She doesn’t kill much more, brings up some idiotic lines, “I look like yes, and you like no.” The best line she gets, “I collect 100 thou at the venue, and pop bottles with my team, Young Money till the death of you.” Next comes the chorus, and then the song ends, thus concluding one of the two Young Money collaborations on the album.

7. Fancy (Feat. T.I. & Swizz Beatz)

This song upsets me because I can’t decide where I stand on this song. I’m by far, not a fan of Swizz Beatz, his rapping or his actual production, and I was disappointed that the song Drake has with T.I. (I am a fan of the Grand Hustle CEO) had to be produced by none other, but Swizz. He kicks off the song with a “grower” of a hook.  “Oh, you fancy huh / nail done, hair done, everything done.” At first, this hook isn’t that well, but listening to the song continuously is making me change my mind. Drake begins rapping, with a quicker flow then usual, and his lyrics and wordplay isn’t that strong compared to others, nothing really pops out except for “They got a little class like half days.” Drake’s verse ends and the hooks starts again. After Swizz is done with his hook, T.I. kicks in, “Well, aren’t you a breath of fresh air from all the superficial gold digging bitches in here.” His verse begins with a great line, and the verse continues to be brilliant, and includes a reference to his Grand Hustle label-mate B.o.B. (“You play these suckers just like B.o.B. plays the guitar.”) T.I. lists tons of brands that happen to be about the “gold digging” women that want to be famous by having sex with famous people. He ends his verse, over being acapella.  Swizz does his hook, and when Drake comes in for his next verse, the beat is different; it slowed down, and got far much greater. He begins his own type of hook, and the hook is far greater compared to the original one that Swizz did for the beginning of the song. This is when the song becomes brilliant. Drake’s lyrics and wordplay are far greater compared to the first verse, with lines such as “Better late then never / but never late is better. They tell me time is money / well let’s spend it together.” After his verse ends and the chorus is in again, and this two-part song is finally over, but slowly it turns into unfortunately over.

8. Shut It Down (Feat. The-Dream) / Lay You Down

Fancy’s slow calm beats slowly transitions you into the next slow song on the album, Shut It Down, and the second part, Lay You Down. The slow beat and the song begins with Drizzy on his verse, “I had to mention that if you were a star, you’d be the one I’m searching for.” This song is intended, to pump up girls who are ready to go out. Proof of this: “Got this little song for you to get ready to.” Drizzy verse when he’s is typical Drake, its calming and nice, nothing too special, but not exactly average. The chorus kicks in with nothing too special, lyric wise: “you be the baddest girl around, around, around, and they notice, they notice.” The “American Dream”, as he calls himself sings his verse, which his lyrics, like Drake’s voice, are nothing special. In a way, he repeats himself. “Girl you’re the greatest, and if he says you ain’t. Girl he’s out his mind. You’re the finest, and if he says you’re not, that boy done lost his mind.” His next line, I’d like to call a flop: “Shut it down, like computers.” One of my favorite moments out of the song, (actually, the entire album) is the end of Dream’s verse. The chorus kicks in with a strong beat, and with both Drizzy and The-Dream on the hook, and I just find it absolutely powerful. Dream’s next verse, or possibly a bridge comes next; the structure of this song is like nothing I’ve seen before so I’m not sure what to classify his next few bars. He makes another “tongue-in-cheek” line like his computer line: “Ice cream conversation, they all want the scoop.” Scoop, as in ice cream scoop. It’s corny, and pretty lame but it can’t help me laugh a little on the inside every time. Next, Drake begins rapping, and his set of bars, are pretty good, at least with the smooth and soothing background music. A memorable line is when he talks about feeling the time stop when his eyes see this girl (“I feel like when she moves – the time doesn’t” the last three words, being in acapella to match the “no time movement.”), talking about the girl’s “fine” cousin, and comparing her to the said “fine” cousin. “You’re finer then your fine cousin, and your cousin fine but she ain’t got my heart beating double time.” The double time is a reference to music and a faster beat, which also goes hand-in-hand with Drake’s flow at the moment because he speeds it up for a split second. The verse ends with Drake and Dream both singing, “You shut that thing down!” and enter another strong beat and strong chorus. The song slows down, and stops for a second before it picks right back up again and Dream singing, “You looking good girl go go go get ‘em girl!” The song seems to end, and for a strange surprise, it seems as if the song begins to rewind. It seems to have this rewinding effect for a couple seconds, until the beat is set in, and Drake begins his third verse, it’s a nice calming verse, and he changes Shut It Down to Lay You Down. He’s trying to convince a woman into sleeping with him, “Girl, I don’t want you to leave, you tell me you’re just not the type, and you wanna do this right.” I think Drake is really into this woman, “Nothing is what I can picture you in, I swear you won’t forget me, you’ll be happy you let me lay you down, down, down.” This almost seven minute song is what makes this song a classic to me, and one of my favorite off the album.

9. Unforgettable (Feat. Young Jeezy)

This song begins, with the voice of the memorable and unfortunately deceased Alliyah. Her intro to her song, “At Your Best” is sampled and on a loop during the song. The intro she’s singing, “Let me know, let me know.” More of her voice should have been in the song in my opinion. Drake begins rapping, “Yo, this is really my dumbest flows ever.” In all honesty, I don’t know what those lyrics are supposed to mean in relation to his flow. The next line, he says, “Me and my latest girl agree to go are separate ways, so I’m single.” The line reminds me of Lil’ Wayne’s “Single.” His flow is really stupid in this song, stupid meaning good. (I think I just realized what dumb flow means) An unfortunately short verse of Drake’s part, but filled with crazy lines such as: “Since you can’t escape me, do I ever cross your mind?” “All this shit is new to me, I’m learning to behave and spending every dollar they encourage me to save.” The chorus comes in with Young Jeezy, (honestly I am not a fan of him, and when I first heard about his feature, I wasn’t ecstatic about it.) and Jeezy is on his game, and the beat and the speed of the song fit perfectly with him. “I’m just riding around the city with my hood on, and my windows down.” Jeezy raps a line, and Drake sings back, “I just really hope that (you think of me cause I’m trying to be unforgettable)” My favorite line by Jeezy, “When I say for life, y’all say forever.” Though Jeezy’s lyrics aren’t that great, but his rough flow and are beyond perfect for this beat. I can’t imagine any other rapper on this beat with Drake, except the snowman himself. Once again, the late Alliyah sings, and takes out of this “unforgettable” song. Can this song be unforgettable? No, but it does not compete with other songs on the album, especially not the one previous, and for damn sure, not the next song.

10. Light Up (Feat. Jay-Z)

A slow piano begins and before you know it, the drumming kicks in and the highly anticipated collaboration with Hova has definitely began.  “I’ve been up for four days, getting money both ways, dirty and clean.” That’s one heck of a line to start your verse. Something that had to run through Drake’s mind was “I have to kick it up a notch, because I’m working with Jay-Z.” Whether or not, he thought that, it seems to me that he did. In his one verse, he brings out strong lines, and he’s real about who himself which is always a bright side. “Cause while all my closest friends are out partying, I’m just here making the music that they party to.” One great line in this: “I got these rappers nervous, prom night nigga.” The rapper line is a wordplay trick, rapper sounds like wrappers, which is code for a condom and every one knows how some couples always have sex for the first time on prom night. His last line before passing the mic to Jay, “I gotta feel alive even if it kills me, I promise to give you me – the real me.” The hook, just about the catchiest hook kicks in, “Who would have thought I’d be caught in this life? Let’s celebrate with a toast, and make it all light up.” Jay, the man filled with entendre’s, begins his verse with a triple entendre, and even mentions it too. “Ow, Hov’s turning head’s like owls, I’m the man of the – hour. Triple entendre don’t even ask me how.” Ow, owl, and hour sound similar, and they mean absolutely completely different things, but give it up to Hov, to make it sound right. A reference to his smash hit with Rihanna and Kanye West (“Run This Town”) “I don’t do much blogging, I just run the town, I don’t too much jogging.” At this point, let’s face it; Jay-Z already did better then Drake. The next and last couple bars of this song, is just over kill. “Drake, here’s how they gon come at you, with silly rap feuds to distract you.” Jay-Z gives Drake a lecture, in Drake’s own song. “To these niggas, I’m like windows 7. You let ‘em tell it, they swear they invented you.” A reference to both the Windows 7 commercial of ordinary people saying they invented windows 7, and also Jay’s song “Lost Ones.” The intro of his song, the first thing he says is, “I heard these motherfuckers say they invented Hov, made Hov say okay, so make another Hov.” The last lines are crazy, without describing them and just listing them you will know, no explanation needed. “These bright lights turned me to a monster, sorry mama I promised that they wouldn’t change me, but I woulda went insane had I remain the same me. Fuck niggas, bitches too. All I got is money and this’ll do.” The chorus kicks in, but it’s unnecessary, people would love the song more if the song ended when Jay said “This will do.” Everyone ignores the chorus anyways, they’re too busy picking up their jaw or saying “Damn.”

11. Miss Me (Feat. Lil’ Wayne)

The beat begins and the collaboration with the Young Money CEO begins. I believe that this song was one of the first songs he recorded after he went for his surgery, “Gone for surgery but now I’m back again.” The story behind the Bun B (member of UGK) un-named feature is that Miss Me (“Drake, you got ‘em right? Yeah, I got ‘em Bun”) was originally All Night Long which was intended for Bun B’s album Trill OG (his third album, and read it fast, it says: trilogy. Bun’s clever.) Drake’s verse is good, but absolutely nothing stands out from the first part, but once he tells us what his name stands for (meaning his real rap name is “D.R.A.K.E.”) it gets better. “Drake just stand for Do Right And Kill Everything.” Next, he admits his love for Nicki Minaj, “I love Nicki Minaj, I told her I’d admit it, I hope one day we get married just to say we fucking did it.” When this song first leaked onto the internet, it had the All Night Long hook, was catchy but it’s got nothing on this one. “I just hope that you miss me a little when I’m gone.” The hook seems more for Wayne and his time in jail am I the only one who thinks this? Weezy comes in with his verse, which is about the most swearing I’ve ever noticed. Proof,  first line: “Ooh, shit. Motherfucker god damn.” The rest is typical Wayne, a line that makes me laugh: “I am Weezy, but I ain’t asthmatic.” (Wheezy, as in, out of breathe for someone who didn’t get it.) Something kinda dirty, “She masturbate to me, that’s how she learn every song.” The beat changes up and goes slower, “I’m a love machine, and I won’t work for anybody but you.”  Lil’ Wayne next talks about about how he’s gone until November, but he’s got nothing to worry about. Drake is here, and Drake is ready to take Young Money on his shoulders, and kill the rap game. Wayne’s verse ends, and the chorus begins, and everything slows down. Into a type of interlude, it makes sense, because of the next song.

12. Cece’s Interlude

Similar to Bria’s Interlude from his mixtape So Far Gone, it’s a little short song dedicated to a women either named or nicknamed “Cece.” The song is just him singing, and the second verse is where it starts getting better. Lyrics-wise. “I wish I wasn’t famous, I wish I was still in school so I can i have you in my dorm room.” The shortest track on the album, and honestly I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this, including the guitar solo at the end of the second verse. The beat, is so slow and this guitar solo comes absolutely out of nowhere.

13. Find Your Love

Just about the catchiest, and simplestic beat as well. It is the second song produced by Kanye West, and it shows. The beat reminds many people of Kanye’s last album, 808’s and Heartbreak. (808 referring to the machine that he used to produce) There’s nothing much to say about the song. On the plus side, it screams out: single. It’s a great “party” type song that pumps you up. On the down side, the lyrics are absolutely disgusting. This time, it really means bad. Drake says about 5 words, and then says, “Hey, Hey, Hey.” Is it catchy? Yes. Does it fit the song? Yes. Can Drake do better and absolutely rip this beat apart? You betcha. It’s a great song, especially mostly for the ladies, who can complain?

14. Thank Me Now

Produced by Timbaland, and honestly, I wish it wasn’t. Timbaland, lately has been a “Hit or Miss” with his beats. The chorus kicks in the song, “You could thank me now. Thank me later, yeah I know what I said, but later doesn’t always come so it’s okay, you could thank me now.” The “it’s okay” reminds me of Bobby Lee’s (from Mad TV) character when he would say, “Uh-oh, hot dog!” The first line is proof about where the album is recorded, Hawaii. “Mahalo from the hardest act to follow.” Timbo’s beat, is not that strong, not that great. Not what is needed for a finale to what’s supposed to be (and most likely will be) a classic. Drake’s line’s are not that strong in this, except for the occasional ones, such as: “Drink up because everyone that’s here is good for tonight, except the niggas  that I came with, they good for life.” Honestly, the finale drags on, and was a disappointment in my eyes, I can barely finish the song all the time.  With one last shout to Toronto (“Shout out to my city, though I be hardly in town.”) The album is sadly over.

Fireworks 8 / 10

Karaoke 8.5 / 10

The Resistance 9 / 10

Over 7 / 10

Show Me A Good Time 7.5 /10

Up All Night 8 / 1o

Fancy 7.5 / 10

Shut It Down 9 / 10

Unforgettable 8.5 / 10

Light Up 9 / 10

Miss Me 7 / 10

Cece’s Interlude 7.5 / 10

Find Your Love 8 / 10

Thank Me Now 6.5 / 10

Thank Me Later 8 / 10