Rap superstar Drake is back with his second studio album. It’s been really hard to miss him seeing that he’s released several viral hits and has been featured on  some of the biggest tracks since his debut album Thank Me Later.

Drake’s sophomore effort, Take Care, is an extension of the musical persona he has created since becoming the biggest Young Money artist to hit the airwaves. Each song cleverly blends his soft, soothing, raspy voice with some of the most poignant lyrics I’ve heard to date. Drake has the ability to make one reminisce about the past big rappers with his socially conscious rhymes while still sounding fresh and new.

Track after track, Drake seems to be in the middle of a therapy session that includes self discovery, friendship and relationship issues. The title track, “Take Care”, features the oft collaborated Rihanna and is just what the doctor ordered. The two make sure not to sound the exact same each time they record together. I get the sense that he’ll be on her next release and am anticipating yet another instant classic.

Drake’s most notable tracks are the heavy hitting intro “Over My Dead Body”, the soft “The Real Her” and both singles already released. All of the tracks blend R&B and Hip Hop perfectly. You can really just sit back, get a glass of Jack, and let the sounds take you on a journey.

I have two criticisms regarding this album. Firstly, the songs seem to sound a bit too similar after listening to them a few times. I found myself having to mention a line in the song to remember which one it was because they all sounded the same. This isn’t too much of an issue seeing that I love the sound of them, but I will definitely want more from him the next time around.

The second criticism is small but irked me more than anything else. At the end of “We’ll Be Fine” (Drake’s most “hood” offering) Birdman comes on to do some sort of interlude just yelling “this that Uptown gangsta shit!” “Take care of the business Nigga” “Give this Niggas the business Niggas” for nearly 45 seconds! It disappointed me more than anything else. Drake is not a gangsta or thug and I love him for it. So this random rant full of expletives for no apparent reason just screams “PLEASE GIVE ME STREET CRED!” You already have it Drake! Most hood dudes give you respect because you get them laid! Stay in ya lane boo!

In closing, this is definitely a great follow up to Thank Me Now and I’m sure he can come out with any of these songs and find himself on the top of the charts yet again. Case in point his song “Practice” is literally a remake of “Back That Ass Up” which sounds horrible. Yet, it will probably make any girl (and some boys) slowly grind their asses on something. OK! Drake definitely has another hit on his hands!

Check out my favorite three tracks here:

Take Care ft. Rihanna

Over My Dead Body