8. Views (2016)
Promoted as the defining opus for both Drake and Toronto, Views became to be seen, by many critics, rather as Drizzy’s worst album due to its lackluster lyrics and slow tempo. While Views may have been hammered by many critics it did show some glimpses of hope especially in it’s story. The movement of the album from the grand drama of “Keep the Family Close” to the summery nostalgia of “Weston Road Flows” and the globe-spinning pop of “Too Good” gave it the potential to be a great album. Unfortunately, this album didn’t live up to the potential due to its poor trimming and mixing.
7. If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (2015)
Drake’s surprise “mixtape” If You’re Reading This Its Too Late was an absolute success among listeners and fans selling nearly half a million units in its first week and finishing in the top 20 of The Village Voice‘s crit-polling Pazz & Jop year-end survey. While IYRTITL was more tonally consistent that Views, it still lacked many of the great attributes of Drake’s music that many critics admire. Throughout the album, we see Drake playing into many of the classic cliches of Hip-Hop without making any attempt to try to innovate. Towards the end of the album Drake finally does seem to come into his own in songs like “Preach” and “Know Yourself”; however, it’s too little too late because right when Drake starts to find his voice again the album ends. While this album, like many of his other projects, did have a few a classics it still lacked the innovate and smooth Drake we know.
6. More Life (2017)
More Life contained the same coherency issues as Views, but was much more pellucid and open-eared. At its best, More Life pushes pop music into new avenues and radiates fun and excitement. However, like many fans know, after two thirds of the way through the album More Life starts to run out of gas. While in the beginning Drake produces some of the most influential songs in pop; in the end, Drake seems to just throw songs on to the album to increase streams. For example, “Since Way Back” and “Ice Melts” are lackluster songs that don’t contain the same level of quality as the rest of the project. Looking past the album’s shortcomings we see the innovation and determination of Drake which epitomize much of his music. Overall, this album like many before it wasn’t perfect, but did show many of the classic Drake qualities.
5. So Far Gone (2010)
A slimming of Drake’s breakout mixtape, So Far Gone shows Drake at his most raw. Few would argue that this album was Drake’s finest listen, but it remains an essential part of Drake’s discography. Songs like “Best I Ever Had” and “fear” demonstrated Drake’s massive potential as both a knockout hit-maker and a vulnerable, yet relatable songwriter. While songs like “Uptown” showed his ability to make street anthems and his god given talent for hooks. This album showed sides of artists that many listeners had never seen before and is what propelled Drake into the spotlight.
4. What a Time to Be Alive (2015)
After Meek Mill’s potentially career-ending shots at Drake, against all odds he somehow came out more bulletproof than ever. What a Time to Be Alive served as the perfect ending to Drake’s comeback season setting the Internet on fire and marking his second No. 1 album of the year. Many times when two major stars collobrate they have a hard time melding sounds and flows. In Drake and Future’s case it was the complete opposite. Rallying behind their sheer confidence and affluence, Drake and Future’s WATTBA oozes an intoxicating swagger that pulls every listener in. Even to this day this swagger has pulled listeners back to this album which has allowed it to be seen as a classic by many fans.
3. Thank Me Later (2010)
Largely forgotten by many fans, Drake’s Thank Me Later was a game changing album in both hip-hop and pop. Living up to what Kayne’s 808s and Heartbreak could have been Drake proved to every artist that they don’t have to be boxed into only one genre. Looking past the historical importance of this album, the songs have aged like a bottle of fine wine feeling more relevant than ever in this pop heavy Hip-Hop age. This album was also Drake’s most relatable due to it featuring a Drake yearning for success and wealth – which he has largely lost in his most recent albums. Even though Drake’s repertoire was very raw at this point in his career this album was heavily influential and successful in its experimental concepts. Because of this Thank Me Later came in as the third best album of Drake’s career (so far).
2. Nothing Was the Same (2013)
Nothing Was the Same lived up to its name by taking Drake from an up-and-coming artist to a world renowned star known for his immense talent. Songs like “Started From the Bottom”, “Hold On, We’re Going Home”, and “Worst Behavior” are absolute classics in not only Drake’s discography, but in the Hip-Hop genre. While this album may be known for these three songs it truly is so much more. This album was everything that his most recent albums failed on. Nothing Was the Same has a great concept, a consistent theme, and classic Drake flows. This album was also the last project he did where he seemed to not be motivated by maximizing streams. Overall, this album was a classic and once again showed why Drake is an iconic artist.
1. Take Care (2011)
The album that started it all, Take Care is the definitive project of Drake’s career. Featuring a fame hungry Drake willing to do anything to create ground-breaking songs, this album is chalk full of absolute classics in Drake’s discography. While I do admit it does have some consistency issues and may feel a little lumpy at times, this album still comes in at number one due to its influence on the whole of music. Artists in almost every major genre have taken influence from Drake’s craft and emotional honesty on this project. Drake single handedly changed the path of future music through the use of this project and because of this Take Care comes in as Drake’s best album of his career.