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Tomatoes & Radio Wires
|Last year about this time those of us with an eye on the hip-hop world were for the most part preoccupied by what has generally come to be regarded as Kanye West's magnum opus, the best record of the still-new decade, and above all a new kind of hip-hop record, one that avoided categorization and held a much broader, but stranger appeal than the typical blockbuster hip-hop record. The album in question is, of course, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy--released a year ago late last month, but leaked a few weeks before that. |
As that record began to settle in the minds of fans and critics alike, one of the most prevalent questions that was being asked was, "How will this album change the hip-hop, or popular music landscape in the future?" We all seemed to think that it would, but I don't think anyone had a clear idea of how exactly.
Not included in the seemingly never-ending list of star-studded cameos on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was a certain Canadian whose rise to fame had seemed to culminate last summer with the release of his debut album. Drake recorded a verse for Kanye's smash "All of the Lights," but the verse was cut somewhere in the latter stages of Yeezy's manic-obsessive creative process. But Drake, like Kid Cudi (who was featured on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy but seems to be falling apart creatively as we watch), is obviously influenced by Kanye. Sure, calling Drake a "Kanye 2.0" is anything but fair or accurate, and Drake doesn't have the production capabilities Kanye does, just as Kanye doesn't have the smooth-toned R&B voice Drake does--but the similarities are evident.
Is Take Care further evidence of Kanye’s legacy? Yeah it kind of seems like it. Drake, like Kanye, has made an expansive record which prominently features a star of the indie world in The Weeknd, who is (to a certain extent) to Drake what Justin Vernon was to Kanye on My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. In said record, Drake somehow manages to make us feel sorry for him for being rich and famous and having lots of sex. Yes his persona may be different than Kanye’s in some ways, and Take Care may sound a whole lot more like 808s and Heartbreak than My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, but the comparison is valid nonetheless.
I don’t know what the fuck any of this means. I’m just making some observations. It seems like hip-hop is headed in a new direction in a lot of ways, and so far I’ve enjoyed it immensely. Take Care may not be receiving the unanimous applause that Kanye’s record got last year, but it’s still one hell of an album and certainly a step up for Drake. Stay tuned.
Currently Listening: Bon Iver – Perth
|Tags: drake, kanye west, take care, my beautiful dark twisted fantasy, hip-hop