Toronto's actor and rapper
Drake (Aubrey Graham), a member of Lil Wayne's crew, became a star thanks to
Best I Ever Had, from the short mixtape So Far Gone (2009),
and thanks to the over-hyped album Thank Me Later (2010),
on which he delivered some of the most ridiculous self-analyzing
lyrics ever rapped/sung to humble atmospheric synth-laden arrangements (mostly
Noah "40" Shebib) usually reserved for r&b crooners
(a cross between James Blake and
Over (one of his smoothest transitions from pop singer to rapper and viceversa), the relatively upbeat and pounding ballad Find Your Love and
Miss Me (in which Lil Wayne steals the show) further increased his popularity.
Take Care (Cash Money, 2011), another slab of obnoxious juvenile
autobiography, features the eerie soul narrative Marvin's Room
and spawned a record number of hits, notably The Motto.
The rapper fails miserably to engage, but the production by Canadian producer Noah "40" Shebib, Jamie Xx and Just Blaze is admirable.
Nothing Was the Same (2013), mostly produced by Shebib, includes the
pop crossover Hold On We're Going Home
and Started from the Bottom.
Dacoury "DJ Dahi" Natche produced Worst Behavior.
The album was followed by
the mixtape If You're Reading This It's Too Late (2015).
Drake's mildly innovative and stylish pop-soul creations, littered with
pale imitations of grime and Afro-beat, on
Views (2016), with the Rihanna collaboration Too Good (produced by Toronto producers Paul "Nineteen85" Jeffries and Maneesh Bidaye with Jamaican producer Dwayne "Supa Dups" Chin-Quee),
and the more interesting One Dance (produced by Nineteen85, Shebib and South-african producer Themba "DJ Maphorisa" Sekowe, and featuring Nigerian singer Ayodeji "WizKid" Balogun),
Feel No Ways (with a beat crafted by Kanye West and Jordan Ullman), and
Nineteen85's Hotline Bling (another big hit),
More Life (2017), whose highlight Get it Together is sung by
someone else and whose Free Smoke is typical of how pointless his lyrics
make for an incredibly boring experience.
Drake finally lost any artistic ambition on the
25-song double album Scorpion (2018), but the hits kept coming:
God's Plan (2018), produced by Ronald "Cardo" LaTour, Daveon "Yung Exclusive" Jackson, Matthew "Boi-1da" Samuels and Shebib;
In My Feelings (2018), produced by Benjamin "TrapMoneyBenny" Workman and Adam "BlaqNmilD" Pigott;
Nonstop (2018), produced by Brytavious "Tay Keith" Chambers and Ernest "No I.D." Wilson;
Nice for What (2018), produced by No I.D., Nineteen85 and Shebib;
Toosie Slide, off Dark Lane Demo Tapes (2020), produced by Swiss producer Ozan "Oz" Yildirim,
and Laugh Now Cry Later (another collaboration with Cardo and Yung Exclusive) were the hits of 2020.
In 2020 Drake was the second most streamed artist in the world after Bad Bunny.
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