Top 10 Drake Songs
Drake only appeared to be an overnight success back in 2009, but he was already three mixtapes in when the rest of the world discovered his talents. That year, no one could get away from his smash hit 'Best I Ever Had,' putting Drizzy at the forefront of rap's newest wave of young artists. The ode to natural beauties who do well in the sack was at the top of every pop and hip-hop playlist. By the time the video dropped, the rapper-singer had signed his name to a Young Money/Cash Money contract and prepared to release his debut album, 'Thank Me Later.' The days of Drake being a relative unknown were so far gone.
Since that first breakout hit, the man born Aubrey Graham has had countless others, from the hard-hitting 'Lord Knows' on his latest LP, 'Take Care,' to the breezy crooning on 'Find Your Love,' off 'Thank Me Later.' Within three years, even those most cynical of Drake's vulnerable tendencies displayed in verse had to, indeed, thank him later. Here, TheDrop.fm presents the top Drake songs that have left the music industry and consumers mesmerized.
When 'Best I Ever Had' dropped in 2009, the industry hadn’t heard anything like it in years. Drake had pulled off a trick that’s rarely attempted. Many wondered if this guy was serious, with the sing-songy melody of the first verse, followed by the cunning rhyme scheme the T. Dot native has become known for -- all without being too cheesy. Lines like, “You can have my heart or we can share it like the last slice...,” may incur a cringe or two but 'Best' is easily one of Drizzy’s, well, best.
The release of Drake’s third mixtape-turned-EP, ‘So Far Gone,’ kicked off a brand new kind of hip-hop emcee: the young multi-talented, hopeful, vulnerable one. 'Successful' was one of the best tracks on the up and comer’s project, the basis being a pledge to eventually cop “the money, cars, clothes and h--s.” Its ethereal production was distinctly minimalistic with a single wavering organ chord and persistent hi-hat. At that time, Trey was trying to find his way back into the industry and the demand for Lil Wayne was at fever pitch, the presence of both on 'Successful' personified Drizzy’s climb from barely known to household name.
By 2010, it was evident that Drake and Weezy had an incomparable chemistry on wax and the rapper took advantage of every opportunity to feature his mentor. With 'Miss Me,' Drake goes with the unbeatable trifecta, aligning himself with longtime producers Noah “40” Shebib and Boi-1da as well as Wayne. The track ended up being one of the biggest rap songs of 2010, just off the strength of Drizzy’s unshakable confidence. However, the icing on the cake was the speculation incited by this line: “I love Nicki Minaj, I told her I’d admit it / I hope one day we get married just to say we f---ing did it / Girl, I’m f---ing serious, I’m wit’ it if you wit’ it / ‘Cause your verses turn me on and your pants are mighty fitted...”
Drake shines brightest on songs dedicated to the ladies -- it’s almost a given. One gets the impression he’s always been in the background with a notepad, spying, as girlfriends chit chat about the things they wish boyfriends would appreciate. With assistance from Swizz Beatz and T.I., the Young Money rapper hits the nail on the head with 'Fancy.' “Hit the gym, stand on the scale / Stare at the number, said you losing 10 pounds preparing for summer / And you don’t do it for the men, men never notice / You just do it for yourself, you the f---ing coldest,” Drake rhymes.
Here, the Young Money rapper stunts about the finer things over a rumbling bassline and occasional handclaps, courtesy of Boi-1da and Matthew Burnett. Nicki Minaj makes a memorable appearance as Drake’s right hand on this salute to the YMCMB team. She raps with low-key intensity: “I’m a bad bitch, I ain’t never been a mixed breed / On a diet but I’m doing donuts in the six-speed.”
No one can pinpoint how Drake creates ladies’ anthems that are so spot-on. His intuition hits the nail on the head here. The masses seemed to think so as well -- the track secured a No. 9 slot on the Billboard charts. In March 2012, the track went platinum and Drizzy was even tighter with the ladies with lines like, “I wonder why the moon looks nice girl / Maybe it’s just nice for tonight/ You say, ‘N----s comin’ on too strong’ girl / They want you in their life as wife / That’s why you wanna have no sex, why you wanna protest / Why you wanna fight for your right / ‘Cause you don’t love them boys, p---- run everything / F--- that noise.”
By the time Drake released his second studio LP, ‘Take Care,’ in 2011, he had become a certified superstar with superstar friends to boot -- he recruited them when desired to add an extra punch to tracks. This track is a standout on the album, featuring tenacious production from Just Blaze and a well-structured verse from Rick Ross. Here, the rapper bares his trust issues developed along with his fame. Its one of those Drizzy songs that clear all speculation about his having skated to the top on the co-sign of his female fans.
'Crew Love' goes back to the delicious melancholy of 'Successful' in a way, only this time Drake is clearly past the point of success he wished for three years ago. On this track, he speaks on having love for his circle and the perks they all get to enjoy together now that he’s on top. The hook sung by October’s Very Own artist, the Weeknd, is almost haunting in its presentation. While Drizzy details vacations and blowing ends with his friends, the Weeknd croons about the downside of fame: “Take your nose off my keyboard / Whatchu bothering me for?/ There’s a roomful of n----s/ Whatchu following me for?”
This effort proved itself to be an instant club smash in 2010. Drake’s monotone coupled with booming production from T-Minus made the track a crowd favorite on Friday nights. Wayne’s feature only gave the song an even bigger response. Part of Drizzy’s winning formula is a catchy hook, preferably one to inspire hashtags. “Now she want a photo, you already know though/ You only live once, that’s the motto n---- YOLO,” he raps, turning the latter phrase into a pop culture staple.
'Hell Yeah F---ing Right (HYFR)' sounded like a celebratory track long before Drake released the video, which featured him experiencing a brand new bar mitzvah. The warped production by T-Minus compliments Drizzy’s flow on the first verse, where he speaks on a complicated relationship with a sometimes sweetheart. Weezy ties it all in with his own tale of a “female dragon." Somehow, the two emcees imply that these love stories are being told as a result of an interviewer asking incessant questions: “Are you high right now? / Do you ever get nervous? / Are you single? / I heard you f--- your girl, is that true?" To which the two respond, “Hell yeah, f---ing right, alright.”