First off, I listen to all genres of music. But I only purchase hip hop albums if they are truly good. I remember when Drake went from being a Degrassi character to a so called rapper. Many thought he was gonna be a Nickelodeon type rapper that wouldn't be taken seriously at first. How often does an actor become a successful rapper? Well his debut album "Thank Me Later" proved many wrong. It was one of the best rap albums of 2010. His sing-rap style isn't original, but he makes it sound so new and fresh. His voice is a trademark now. Then he released the highly anticipated "Take Care", which was a step up from his debut, but kept the same vibe thanks to continued help from producer "40". That album was great, but I admit I got a little tired of some of the songs. After the very good "Take Care" it was debatable whether this was Drakes peak or just the beginning of a long career. "Nothing Was The Same" is the answer. This might be Drakes new peak. Not only is he the biggest rapper not named "Eminem" or "Kanye West", but he is very introspective in his lyrics. The long awaited album was well worth the wait. Here is a track by track review.
1. Tuscan Leather: The album starts up with a Kanye/Passion Pit type sample of Whitney Houston. There is no real hook or chorus. This is pure rapping for nearly 6 minutes. But it still sounds radio friendly at the same time as stated in the lyrics. The song picks up the beat more 2 minutes in turning into a club track. Then it comes back to down tempo toward the end relaxing you then fading out with a sample of "When Seasons Change". Perfect song to listen to while driving around a city like Miami! This is one of my favorite Drake songs. 10/10
2. Furthest Thing: This song expands more on the production style "40" is known for with Drake. Very relaxing beat with Drakes sing rap style. 2 and a half minutes into the song it turns into an irresistible old school hip hop song with beats that will again remind you of older Kanye material! Great song for guys to listen to while thinking of that 'ex'! 10/10
3. Started From The Bottom: I used to hate this song when it came out as the lead single months before the album even had a title. I almost gave up on Drake when this song first came out. Like most people it was because Drakes 'bottom' was still pretty good. But now I love the song! Its my jam. Still not one of Drakes best songs, but still really catchy. It latches onto you and grows on you like a parasite. A really catchy song parasite. The chorus will be stuck in your head I promise. 9.5/10
4. Wu-Tang Forever: Many hardcore Wu-Tang Clan fans hated on this song violently when it leaked online. They thought it ruined a classic Wu-Tang song. At first I just thought it was okay. But like most great songs it really grew on me. The "Its Yourz" sample sounds perfectly placed in the song. Drake shows off some of his fast rap style among his sexual lyrics for women. Great song to listen to with that special girl around. 9/10
5. Own It: Very explicit sexual song but never profane. Its a sweet song again to play around that special girl. Typical soft Drake song done well. Drake does show off more of his superior rapping abilities over more atmospheric "40" instrumentals, something very common in this album. 9/10
6. Worst Behavior: I'm getting redundant, but there is another slight Kanye sounding sample in this song. Very well done! The chorus is really explicit, but wow its infectious! I'm sure many will find this a great song to work out to. Drake is angriest he's ever sounded in this song, and I love it! 9.5/10
7. From Time: The song starts off with a peaceful beat and piano riff! Jhene Aiko gives a great singing performance in this song. I never heard of her prior to this, but wow her voice is beautiful. After the very peaceful hook, Drake again shows off his very quick rapping style with very personal lyrics. The best type of lyrics for a rapper! Just sit back and let this track sink in. Light some candles if you need to. Best line in the song "She said I'd never be as big as Trey Songz/Boy was she wrong!" 10/10
8. Hold On, We're Going On: This song. I don't care how corny it is! This song is golden. This is Drakes best poppy song since "Find Your Love" and its even better than that song in my opinion. Great backing vocals from the newly discovered "Mijad Jordan" as well! This song really makes you wanna just save a girl from something negative in her life and just hold her hand. 10/10
9. Connect: A new sound for Drake musically. Close to the 3 minute mark the song starts to sound futuristic a bit before turning down tempo again, something Drake songs are now known for! Though again there isn't a real hook to this song, its Drakes trademark delivery that sticks with you! 9.5/10
10. The Language: Musically this sounds like it could've been included in Kanyes "Yeezus". Yeah, another Kanye comparison. The chorus reminds me of Drakes appearance in the 2 Chainz song "No Lie". But this is better of course. Honestly, Birdman ruins the ending of the song a bit for me. 9/10
11. 305 To My City: The guest vocals from Detail remind me of The Weeknds breakthrough appearance on Drakes "Take Care". But this is again, better! Very atmospheric song with more great lyrics. The sample reminds me of something Timbaland would make. Drake is a good rapper "I get it!", you'll get it after listening to this song. 9.5/10
12. Too Much: Very personal and emotional song. Sampha provides some very beautiful vocals for the hook. Kudos again to "40" for providing a beautiful beat. The lyrics are just great. Great storytelling song about life and family. 10/10
13. Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music: I will say it again, another instrumental comparable to Kanye! The song starts with a narrative and the song takes off with a great great great instrumental. The main sample is from an Ellie Goulding song and it goes beautifully with Drake and Jay Zs rapping. There is also another perfectly placed Wu Tang sample in the mix! Jay Z provides a great guest appearance, certainly better than his recent albums material! Then suddenly the song changes pace into what sounds like a completely new song over 4 minutes in. This is probably the "Paris Morton Music" portion of the song. The piano is so beautiful as it glides around in the background of Drakes lyrics. 7 minutes long, but it goes by so fast. I wish this wouldn't end. Great track to end this new hip hop classic. 10/10
So this is arguably Drakes best album so far. This might even be one of best rap albums of 2013. It's almost in the league of the critically acclaimed, but also hated "Yeezus" from Kanye West. This album really is a step up for Drake. It will be very difficult for him to top this near hip hop masterpiece. I think Drake is the only rapper on YMCMB worth listening to. He is definitely the best and most talented of the bunch. This could gain Drake his first Album of The Year Grammy nod, hopefully. Drake went from a rapper many thought would fall off quick, to possibly the biggest rapper of the 2010s decade. This is a very mature and well executed rap album. The album gets better with each listen, like most great albums. You will discover new things in the songs each time I promise. Other rappers of today can learn a thing or two from this album. This is real music. Even if you don't normally like rap, this album could win you over if you give it a chance. New Hip Hop Classic.