Despite there being some weaker songs, this compilation album features some songs which were instrumental to Drake's rise to prominence. These classic songs have allowed him to become one of the best known artists out there.
Finally! Gone are the days when Drake fans had to trawl YouTube and Soundcloud to find bootleg uploads of these songs! On the 2nd of August Drake dropped Care Package, a collection of 17 songs from the early stages of his career which are finally gracing streaming services. He announced the release on Instagram: “some of our most important moments together, available in one place”. Many of the songs in this release were absolutely instrumental to Drake’s rise to prominence.
There are some highlights of the release which I want to draw your attention to:
‘5am in Toronto’ is an iconic song, featuring relentless aggressive bars delivered one after another, with no chorus to interrupt the flow and slow the pace of the song. Drake talks some big-boy talk, boasting about his influential and unique position in hip-hop, claiming that he gives fellow rappers “the look, the verse and even the hook, that’s why every song sounds like Drake featuring Drake”. On the track, there’s an amazing aggression in his voice which we don’t hear often, he sounds hungry. This makes the song so unique, and as a result it will always be one of, if not my favourite Drake song. I like it so much that, when in Canada last semester, I made a pilgrimage to the filming location of this song’s video!
‘4pm in Calabasas’ is in a similar bracket to the last song. Drake takes subtle jabs at Diddy (or Puff Daddy), and takes a boastful, braggadocios approach. Compared to the former song, this track is more melodic and catchy, and features some singing Drake which is a breath of fresh air!
‘Paris Morton music’ shows Drake’s multifaceted approach to music perfectly – both singing and rapping on songs, sometimes doing both on the same track, as in this case. This ability gives Drake’s music a unique depth and diversity to it. The lyrics transition from talking about living the high-life and success, only to pour his heart out for a girl in the chorus. It showcases some of my favourite lyrics on the release:
“It take a certain type of man to teach, to be far from hood but to understand the streets, I never threw away that paper with my grammy speech, because I haven’t hit the pinnacles I plan to reach”.
I love this because Drake does receive some flak for having a more privileged upbringing compared to many of Rap’s brightest stars, and he turns it on its head and turns it into a character strength. The latter part of the lyric shows his confidence and determination to make it to the top, which admittedly sounds different now that we’ve seen just how much success Drake has had.
In ‘How Bout Now’, Drake reminds an ex about all the things he did for her, such as playing his songs for her only to be shut down and leaving him feeling like he had no future in rap. He boasts about his now elevated status in the hook, asking her “How bout now girl, what about now girl, how bout now?”. He clearly thinks that if she’d known he was going to be successful, she would’ve stuck around.
Drake’s softer singing side comes out on several of the tracks on Care Package, some of which have an extremely similar style to The Weeknd. ‘The Motion’ is one of these songs, a melodic track on which Drake talks about how things are changing, talking of people who only phone him asking for favours. ‘Trust Issues’ is a slow, melodic, atmospheric track on which Drake’s likeness to the Weeknd is unmistakeable. It made a whole lot more sense when I found out that he wrote it for Drake!
Finally, ‘Girls Love Beyoncé’ is an interesting track which mimics Destiny Child’s “Say my name” chorus. Drake exposes vulnerability, talking about his desire to have someone else in his life who he can put first. It’s a slow, romantic song which couldn’t be much more different from other tracks on the project like ‘5am in Toronto’. This illustrates one of the best things about Drake, his many different styles.
I would strongly recommend listening to Care Package (especially the track’s I’ve mentioned). It provides much insight into Drake’s career, and the reasons why he became so popular. The project might not make too many waves since all the music was already released, but I’m sure people will be surprised when they hear the diversity of styles on this project, since we are used to getting music targeting commercial success from Drake nowadays.
Drake’s ‘Care Package’ is out now via OVO sound.