If Drake's brand of hyper-detailed rap-meets-loverboy-R&B turns you cold, it's time to step away from the Internet for the rest of the month.
Late last night — hours after Drake hosted a two-hour radio stint on his hometown's Flow 93.5 and premiered his collaboration with the Weeknd, "Crew Love" — "Take Care" leaked, almost in its entirety. (We still don't have the closer "The Ride" or all of the bonus tracks.) But it's safe to start dissecting the record as a whole, or at least as a substantial preview to the retail version.
I'm on my third spin and it's an album worthy of the discussion and, somehow, the immense hype. The production stands out first — "Take Care" is sonically dynamic, full of skittering patterns, less-mined routes, soul and even a "Back That Azz Up" flip that nods to his boss, Lil Wayne, and the record label he represents. Each feature (from Kendrick Lamar to Andre 3000 to Rick Ross to Weezy) feels necessary. To Drake's credit, he never allows "Take Care" to fall back on generic rap album tropes. Most of the songs balance boasts with girl-talk, self-doubt, survival and paranoia so well that it's impossible to peg them to a single theme or to trap them in a box. It works to his benefit every time.
Drake says he plans to hit the road early next year for his Club Paradise tour. He recently cancelled his Nov. 15 show at the Patriot Center. No new dates have been announced.
You'll have to find your own link to "Take Care," but you can listen to "Crew Love" at the top of the post. If you've heard the leak or just want to talk a little Drake, leave it in the comments.