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Take Care

by Drake

Released November 15, 2011 via Young Money / Cash Money / Republic Records

Reviewed November 19, 2021

Top tracks (based on community voting)
Marvin’s Room (51%), Headlines (42%), Take Care (25%)

Take Care is simultaneously a masterpiece and the reason people are so overly critical of Drake’s music. Over a decade ago, Drake gave us the anthem of “Headlines,” the banger of “HYFR,” and the pre-anything song of “Under Ground Kings.” I could go on and on when describing the emotion each song brings, but what we need to discuss is the hunger that Drake brought to the studio with Take Care. Nothing was phoned in, and every verse is full of passion. This album is the personification of Drake striving for greatness and we were down for the ride. He bathed in success, kept his friends close but his enemies closer, and poured his heart out on tracks like “Marvin’s Room.” At the time of its release, Take Care established Drake as a premier artist in the hip-hop world. It set the stage for Drake to become the record-breaking and social dynamo that he is. Nobody can take that away from him. – Daniel (9.6/10)

In 2011, Drake was an up-and-coming star that had crossover appeal, emulating a mixture of Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne. However, he’d yet to produce an album that lived up to the hype, not yet reaching his peak until his second studio album, Take Care. Despite an hour-plus runtime, it feels brisk, thanks to Drake’s ability to switch styles; few artists can segue from “The Real Her” to “Look What You’ve Done” to “HYFR” like he did. The production (primarily handled by 40), maintains a rich atmosphere and even comes off as downtempo R&B at certain points. The entire album is very R&B-esque, even though some of Drake’s best rap songs are on Take Care. All in all, Drake matured artistically through this record. His voice and themes deepened, his confidence skyrocketed, and yet the hunger remained. Take Care is Drake at arguably his peak, representing the beginning of his prime. – Alan (8.5/10)

Easily the pinnacle of his career at the time, Take Care was the album that solidified Drake as a hip-hop heavyweight. Not only did this album combine the sounds of Toronto, but even took a turn down South as he infused the anthemic gospel stylings of Houston. Though the idea of vulnerability in hip-hop was catalyzed by Kid Cudi on Man on the Moon, and later Kanye West on 808s and Heartbreak in 2008, Drake combined early stylizing of trap, drum’n’bass, and chopped and screwed production, putting his emotions on the line for all to see. The result is arguably his most honest and satiating album. Take Care is the mashup of R&B and hip-hop in a way that was only hallmarked by rapped verses and sung chorus before this project. Though long and not perfect, Take Care changed the landscape of hip-hop. – Pablo (8/10)

Pablo: 9/10 | Pax: 9/10 | Alan: 8.5/10 | DeVán: 8/10 | Henny: 7.8/10 | Dominick: 7.5/10

Hadley: 7.5/10 | Cam: 7.3/10 | Jared: 7/10 | Ben (Synth): 6/10


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