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★★★★☆

“Drake releases 'Thank Me Later' as the rap hopeful of...”

Written on: 03/08/2010 by Ridg8 (4 reviews written)

Drake releases 'Thank Me Later' as the rap hopeful of the future and arguably the picture of where rap is going. A combination of singing and rap make up a clearly talented youngster, singing being a trend that has been attempted by fellow artists Kanye West and yes unfortunately, Lil Wayne; Drake can actually sing though. Intelligent rhymes, smooth 'synthy' sounds and a voice worthy of Ne-Yo have really given me hope for the future of hip-hop.

A soulful, trendy and classy Drake occasionally turns back to the hardcore rap genre which frankly is 'dead and gone' (excuse the pun), be it only briefly during 'over' and 'fancy'. Generally however, his class shines through with his intelligent rhymes and lines and his collaborations with Jay Z and Alicia Keys are telling of his important standing in 'the game'. His less than aggressive rapping style is a good break from Eminem and rap in general and when you finally acclimatise to his swagger-orientated voice, the largely love-based track-list is pleasant to listen to.

Having heard 'over' as the first released single, the 'here we go again' mentality sets in; we don't want to hear another rapper tell us how great he is at rapping when, lets be honest, the chorus barely rhymes. Thankfully, it is not telling of the album. Intelligent lyrics such as 'time equals money, well we will spend it together' really prove we haven't just got another Lil Wayne on our hands, despite their similarities. His ability in producing is clear by the time we reach 'Unforgettable'. For the little time we have experienced Young Jeezy, it's evident that he is far from the sharpest knife in the draw when it comes to his lyrics. And although he does include 'Snickers Bar' in his verse (probably received some kind of pay-off) his gravely voice really does fit a very touchy track when interplaying with Drake's singing; now tell me that isn't a good job on Drake's part.

It's inevitable on a 16 track album, but unfortunately for Drake there are a couple of faceless tracks on the album. 'Show Me a Good Time' and 'Karaoke' aren't bad tracks, but a week listening to the album and I still couldn't tell you what they sound like off the top of my head. Bar these tracks, Drake has done a very good job. Soul, trend, class: All the attributes hardcore rap lacks and the future of rap will bare. Even Eminem has given into trend, Jay Z has always been classy and Kanye West attempted soul, but it's good to hear rap without auto-tune. A main-stream friendly genre is nothing to be ashamed of, in fact we all know it was time to move on from 'bad-ass' rap by the likes of 50 Cent and Dr.Dre what was their last big track?