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Drake - Thank Me Later Album Cover

Drake - Thank Me Later

Reviewed by
8.5
DrakeThank Me Later
Release Date: June 15, 2010
Record Label: Young Money/Cash Money/Universal
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
Well, it’s here. Drake’s official debut, Thank Me Later is ready to be loved and hated, ready to be analyzed and critiqued. Not only is it one of the most anticipated hip-hop albums of 2010, it’s probably the most anticipated debut since Kanye West’s The College Dropout. Sure, other freshman rappers like Wale, Kid Cudi, Charles Hamilton, and B.o.B. had hype, but none of them match the anticipation for Drake’s first official full-length.

Originally known as the kid in the wheelchair from Degrassi, Drake made a name for himself in the hip-hop universe with his critically acclaimed mixtape, So Far Gone. It also doesn’t hurt that he caught the ear of superstar Lil Wayne, who signed Drake to his Young Money imprint. After many guest spots, a re-released EP of choice cuts from So Far Gone, and appearing on a Young Money comp album (in which he was one of two rappers to drop legit verses), Drake is ready to take the spotlight for himself. A title like Thank Me Later is a loaded one; Drake already knows this is going to be a grower. A polarizing album that you’ll appreciated later, an album you’ll thank him later for. For those expecting an album full of beats like the summer hit “Forever” and “I’m Goin’ In,” you’ll be sorely disappointed.

Instead Drake enlisted some of the best producers to help created a chill album to slow your roll to. The simple kick of opener “Fireworks” serves as the perfect backdrop for Drake to spit a few bars about his rise (Alicia Keys provides the hook, and she’s just the beginning of a cameo list full of stars). In fact, simplicity is a recurring theme, whether it’s “The Resistance” or the panty-dropping “Shut It Down,” which features The-Dream’s silky vocals over delicate piano keys. But simple doesn’t mean weak, as “Light It Up” goes hard. Drake is one of the few artists who can transition between a R&B croon and a hip-hop flow, and he does it well on this track.

Another thing that separates Drake from most of his counterparts is how relatable his rhymes are. He exposes plenty of personal information, mainly on the relationship side of things. Tracks like “Karaoke,” the aforementioned “Shut It Down,” and the Kanye-produced “Find Your Love,” are all evidence of Heartbreak Drake.

But don’t get it twisted. Just because Drake shows his vulnerable side doesn’t mean he's lost his swagger. Prime examples include the hypnotic “Over” and “Miss Me.” Drake lets everyone know it’s his time now on the former, while he outshines his mentor Lil Wayne on the latter. And despite the obnoxious beat, Drake shines on “Fancy.” Closer “Thank Me Now,” is the ultimate though. Backed by an understated Timbaland beat, Drake wants you to forget about later and more about offering your congratulations now.

Yes, there are a lot of misfires on Thank Me Later. “Up All Night” had a chance of being a good track until Nicki Minaj showed up and killed the mood. Also, some of the slower jams don’t hit as hard as they did on So Far Gone. So while it’s not as pristine of a debut as say The College Dropout or Illmatic, it’s an album that will be appreciated over time and proves that Drake has the talent to create a classic album in this genre. The criticisms will be there his whole career – he’s too soft, his voice is too monotone, etc. – but the fact of the matter is Drake is one of the few bankable acts in hip-hop today. And if any rapper is going to carry the torch for the future of hip-hop, it’s going to be this guy. With its laid-back atmosphere and relevant lyricism, Thank Me Later is a hip-hop album that successfully balances commercialism with art. Don’t hold your applause, you can thank him now.

Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Fireworks (feat. Alicia Keys) (Produced by Crada and 40)
2. Karaoke (Produced by Francis and the Lights)
3. The Resistance (Produced by 40)
4. Over (Produced by Boi-1da and Al Khaliq)
5. Show Me A Good Time (Produced by Kanye West)
6. Up All Night (feat. Nicki Minaj) (Produced by Boi-1da)
7. Fancy (feat. Swizz Beatz & T.I.) (Produced by Swizz Beatz)
8. Shut It Down (feat. The-Dream) (Produced by Omen and 40)
9. Unforgettable (feat. Young Jeezy) (Produced by Boi-1da and 40)
10. Light Up (feat. Jay-Z) (Produced by Tone Mason and 40)[
11. Miss Me (feat. Lil Wayne) (Produced by Boi-1da and 40)
12. Cece’s Interlude (Produced by 40)
13. Find Your Love (Produced by Kanye West, Jeff Bhasker, No I.D.)
14. Thank Me Now (Timbaland)

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Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 130
09:56 AM on 06/14/10
#2
jgareth
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So Far Gone >>>>>>>>>> Thank Me Later
09:58 AM on 06/14/10
#3
Rynaldo
Dr. Octagon
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im undecided wether i should lsiten to it or not. i hate all the artists on young money and "the best iv ever had" was one of the most annoying songs i have ever heard in my life, but this album is getting tons of good reviews
09:58 AM on 06/14/10
#4
Keagan Ilvonen
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Shut It Down is my new sex jam.
09:59 AM on 06/14/10
#5
desiguerilla
You Gon' Get This Work!
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its a great cd but it goes without saying that recovery eats this cd alive
10:00 AM on 06/14/10
#6
Keagan Ilvonen
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im undecided wether i should lsiten to it or not. i hate all the artists on young money and "the best iv ever had" was one of the most annoying songs i have ever heard in my life, but this album is getting tons of good reviews
I don't think any songs are like that on here, but then again, that was my jam.
10:01 AM on 06/14/10
#7
brenByah
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I like very few hip hop artists. There's a couple I listen to here and there, but not many have much long term play for me, I took a chance on this album and absolutely love it. I'm more of fan of laid back, simple songs like these, without the huge synthesizers and auto tune over load. He has some great guests on the record, but I'd be satisfied just hearing him rap verses and sing the hooks. Drake's album, "it goes there." (lame joke, I know)
10:01 AM on 06/14/10
#8
Nick Le
Yeezy taught me.
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Quote:
Instead Drake enlisted some of the best producers to help created a chill album to slow your roll to.

Loved this line, haha. Well put. This album is very chill, I agree. I like this album a bit, but I think I still need to listen more and maybe it'll grow more on me.
10:04 AM on 06/14/10
#9
Keagan Ilvonen
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Loved this line, haha. Well put. This album is very chill, I agree. I like this album a bit, but I think I still need to listen more and maybe it'll grow more on me.
It's grown on me with every listen.
10:04 AM on 06/14/10
zachff
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Nicki Minaj is getting hated on all over the internets these days
10:06 AM on 06/14/10
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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I like Nicki Minaj in doses, but she doesn't fit on this album at all.
10:07 AM on 06/14/10
falloutpanicboy
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I enjoyed this album more than I thought I would. But still.....

Recovery > Thank Me Later
10:14 AM on 06/14/10
IceAge/HeatWave
Jesus rides beside me
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Shut It Down is my new sex jam.
haha this.
10:15 AM on 06/14/10
IceAge/HeatWave
Jesus rides beside me
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I enjoyed this album more than I thought I would. But still.....

Recovery > Thank Me Later
that would be true if eminem was still good.
10:20 AM on 06/14/10
SteveD
It won't snow where she is going.
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that would be true if eminem was still good.
He is still good... Recovery is outstanding.

This album was such a let down. A very boring album.

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