Album: Thank Me Later
Producer: Boi 1da & Al Khaaliq
Label: Young Money / Cash Money / Universal Republic
Genre: Hip Hop / Pop Rap
Notes: First single from 1st LP
Analysis: First impressions are interesting. My first impression of Drake was of just another Lil Wayne protege. I mean, I love Curren$y, but we saw where that got him. Months later we were all blindsided with a mixtape called So Far Gone that outweighed literally almost all other rappers’ official albums last year, and will most likely have more of a lasting effect, also. The tape was equal parts romantic, clever, and innovative, and it is one of the very few forward-thinking projects in a genre that produces not enough substance. Fast forwarding months, and what feels like eternities later, Drake, now one of the most popular hip hop artists in the entire world (yes, world), is finally pushing out his own official album called Thank Me Later. ‘Over’ is the first taste of it, and it is co-produced by the man behind Drake’s two biggest smashes to date (‘Best I Ever Had‘ and ‘Forever‘): Boi 1da. You can feel the pressure on the kid’s shoulders, and he kicks it all off with a hook that sounds like he’s trying to wake up from a dream:
I know way too many people here right now that I didn’t know last year.
Who the fuck are y’all?
I swear, it feels like the last few nights we been everywhere and back, but
I just can’t remember it all.
What am I doin? What am I doin?
Oh yeah, that’s right, I’m doin me.
I’m doin me, I’m livin life right now
and this what I’ma do til it’s over.
Til it’s over.
But it’s far from over.
Catchy? Ehhh. But if the theme of the track is Drake addressing his quick ascent to stardom, then it fits its purpose. The rest of the song switches on and off between that, and how long he expects his career to be, which if you haven’t guessed yet, is a long time. And I don’t disagree; Drake has a way with words like no one else and an unmatched star power that I don’t see burning out for at least a few years (save for overexposure). But the first thing he’s going to learn in this long career is that they all can’t be winners, and ‘Over’ just isn’t quite there. Aside from the beat, which is pretty decent party fare, the song is missing whatever it was that made So Far Gone so golden. Drake still has some quotables, but it seems wrong that his best verse (the second) is bitten from Dead Prez, and by the masses who’ve never heard the superior ‘Hip Hop‘ before, it is going to be attributed to Drake from here on out. He’s already impressed me alot with over a year’s worth of music, so I don’t see this as a reason to worry about the fate of Thank Me Later, but ‘Over’ is strictly a good-not-great lead single. Probably a hit single, too. And maybe in a few weeks or months you can catch me changing my tune about it. But a first impression comes from the gut, and this one is nothing to get too excited over.