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Drake albums ranked

With Certified Lover Boy coming out soon, let’s take a look at everyone’s least favourite rapper and champagne Papi: Aubrey Graham Note: I haven’t included his first two mixtapes because they aren’t available commercially and also because they apparently suck eggs

Best: Hotline Bling
Worst: U With Me?

A mainly boring set of playlist filler tunes with some standout singles. Drake sounds like he’s on autopilot 90% of the time and the hellishly long runtime doesn’t do it any favours. Dancehall Drake is a popular punching bag but funnily enough, those are the best tracks here. I remember reading somewhere where someone said about this album ‘When the beat is shit, Drake is good and when Drake is good, the beat is shit’. I’m inclined to agree
Dark Lane Demo Tapes

Best: Chicago Freestyle
Worst: Losses

A mostly boring set of cloud rap songs with nothing much to stand it out against the tidal wave of similar sounding tunes clogging up the charts. ‘Toosie Slide’ is clear Tik Tok bait but at least it’s fairly catchy. Still, it’s got a decent atmosphere for the most part, expect when Drake tries to do drill near the end and the album sort of implodes. It also wastes what could’ve been a killer Carti feature. Thankfully, it’s one of his shortest projects at 50 minutes (which is still too fucking long!)
More Life

Best: Madiba Riddim
Worst: Since Way Back

The first half of this “playlist” is actually fantastic, with laidback, vaguely tropical dance songs and airy trap setting up the record as one of Drake’s best. Then it just sort of collapses into itself and becomes another lengthy and boring collection of half assed and forgettable songs with a couple of solid tracks here and there. Worth the price of admission for tracks 1-7 and 20-22 tho. Why are these god damned albums so long?

Best: Summer Games
Worst: I’m Upset

Drake’s commercial peak and also one of his most hated albums. Regardless of the negative attention surrounding it, its needlessly long runtime and it being crammed down everyone’s throats, ‘Scorpion‘ is actually a pretty good album, with Drake experimenting with a variety of sounds and styles (including gospel, bounce, ambient and quiet storm). While the rap half is mainly hit or miss, the kinda moody second disc is the real star of the show, with the incredibly fun ‘Nice for What’ and the three in a row trail of gems that is ‘Blue Tint’ to the posthumous MJ collab ‘Don’t Matter to Me’. With a little trimming, this could be one of Drake’s best works. C’est la vie.
Thank Me Later

Best: Find Your Love
Worst: Unforgettable

Drake’s first album hasn’t aged well, with the pop rap synths in particular aging like milk in the sun. Drake hasn’t reached full ‘808s and Heartbreak’ worship yet, and here he sounds like he’s trying to pull a ‘Graduation’. It’s still a pretty charming album though, and the album’s hook heavy and universal sound make it a pretty fun listen, especially the middle section (if you can ignore Young Jeezy’s hilarious awful verse on ‘Unforgettable’). A nice listen, and one that hints at his developing sound to come.
Take Care

Best: Over My Dead Body
Worst: Practice

Drake’s major breakthrough. Often credited as helping paved the way for the generation of emo rap and moody rnb singers that make up most of the game now. ‘Take Care‘ is a delicate little album, full of heartbreaking ballads and big singles. Basically what Drake does best. Stripping back the big synth hooks and going for a more moody, intimate sound, Drake pleases both fans of his angsty rnb songs while also pleasing those who hung on enough to hear him rap. Influential, catchy and personal and one of the hallmarks of the early 2010s.
If You're Reading This It's Too Late

Best: Used To
Worst: Madonna

Pulling a pretty massive 180 from his previous works, ‘If You’re Reading This-‘ finds Drake in full MC mode, blasting through 17 icy 808 heavy beats with a surprising amount of fire and passion. While at the time it divided listeners with its lack of ballads and more bar heavy sound, it’s aged incredibly well, sounding as fresh as ever and demonstrating that Drake could in fact rap and be placed alongside “serious” rappers instead of being a starry eyed rnb singer who made music for girls. While it becomes a little samey in places, Drake’s energy and cold simplicity of the beats are super effective, making this one of his most bar heavy and influential records
Care Package

Best: 5AM in Toronto
Worst: Free Spirit

Released out of the blue and with a comically bad cover, ‘Care Package’ served as a compilation of unreleased and rare songs from across Drake’s catalogue. Harkening back to his sounds on ‘Take Care’ and ‘Nothing was the Same’, ‘Care Package’ has very few misses and is crammed full of trademark cold rnb with occasional bursts of aggression and intensity. Man needs to do another one of these, because damn it’s actually great.
So Far Gone

Best: Let’s Call It Off
Worst: Unstoppable

Prior to the release of ‘So Far Gone’, Drake was known primarily as an actor who also happened to make music on the side. With the release of this mixtape, that changed and suddenly the kid from Toronto who was in Degrassi suddenly became a star. While it wasn’t until ‘Take Care’ that Drake became a major player in the music business, ‘So Far Gone’ is what got momentum going and made Drake known as a musician. Crammed full of fan favourite deep cuts and seeing Drake bow down to his trademark angsty, ambient rnb sound, ‘So Far Gone’ still sounds fresh and welcoming, despite being released in a period where massive pop rap singles and the dying breath of Crunk still ruled the roost.
Nothing Was the Same

Best: Hold On, We’re Going Home
Worst: 305 to My City

Lacking in huge singles (bar the funky ‘Hold On, We’re Going Home’ and the braggadocios ‘Started From the Bottom’), ‘Nothing Was the Same’ is Drake’s crowning moment. Oddly experimental in places, with lengthy tracks and stabs at glitch hop of all things, Drake finds a balance with both commercial and catchy tracks and more dense and difficult songs sitting side by side together. It pleases everyone, with Drake at the height of his artistic powers, finally able to make an album that could be embraced by both hip hop heads and the audience of millions that he’d already built up for himself. Commercial, yet at times oddly abrasive, pretty and catchy, yet dense and lyrical. In short, Drake’s finest hour.
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