I’m a pretty consistent Drake hater, but I always go through the time and motion of a new project.
We are a mere two days away from the release of Drake’s highly anticipated album, Scorpion. This is the perfect time to write another piece on the great Drizzy Drake. My intense Drake fandom is well documented, both on various social media platforms, as well as in some of my previous pieces on Mid-American Culture. In my opinion, Mr. Aubrey Drake Graham is the greatest hip-hop artist who has ever lived. His discography has produced a countless number of classics which span multiple genres. There are also a number of hidden gems mixed in that never received the critical acclaim or commercial success that they deserved. The latter is what this piece will focus on. Here are some of what I consider to be Drake’s most underrated tracks:
Upon listening to Nothing Was The Same for the very first time back in 2013, I immediately identified Wu-Tang Forever as one of my favorite tracks on the album. It wasn’t until much later, however, that I realized just how good it really is. Wu-Tang Forever serves double duty, both as an emotional and reflective track about a former love interest and as an introspective metaphor for Drake’s journey through the rap game. The song is both a great storytelling piece and a sonically pleasing song. In short, Wu-Tang Forever is classic Drake at some of his finest.
Find Your Love
In my earlier piece, Ranking Drake’s Major Projects, I boldly stated that if Find Your Love were to have been released today at the height of Drake’s popularity, as opposed to his first years in the spotlight, it would be his most successful song ever. I still firmly believe that. This is not to say that the song did not receive its fair share of acclaim. However, it could have and should have been infinitely bigger. This song has the credentials required to be a chart topper in multiple different genres, being Pop, R&B, and Hip-Hop. It beautifully fuses the three in a way that only Drake can. I don’t think I will ever stop raving about just how good this song really is.
I think what makes Drake truly great is his ability to create music that feels as if he is consistently flexing his superstar lifestyle, while still being honest, deep, and relatable. Cameras is a perfect example. In the song, Drake uses a very passive, almost uninterested flow to try to calm the concerns of a certain woman about his glamourous and public lifestyle. He argues essentially that the man, Aubrey, is different from the superstar, Drake, portrayed by the media, particularly by the paparazzi. My favorite part of the lyrics is that while Drake acknowledges a number of his suspect behaviors, he never once apologizes for them, instead portraying them as an unfortunate side-effect of his fame and lifestyle. This is a brilliant commentary on popular culture, and a huge part of what makes Cameras so brilliant.
Can’t Have Everything
In recent years, Drake has transitioned further away from rap, opting instead to focus on musical experimentation. With Can’t Have Everything, he reminds the world that he is still a dominant force in the rap game, willing to go toe-to-toe with anyone and everyone. Drake replaces his generally emotional tone for one of aggression and utter disgust at the criticisms placed on him by some of his peers. Drake essentially spends an entire song flexing the hunger he still has while still citing his status on top of the music world. The song concludes with a voicemail recording of his mother, in which she addresses her son’s recent spat with Meek Mill, and asks her son to let go of his resentment and return to his more positive tone. She concludes by paraphrasing Michelle Obama’s famous “when they go low, we go high” line. This is some of the most brilliant contrasting we’ve ever seen from Drake and only adds to the aura of this song.
5 A.M. In Toronto
5 A.M. In Toronto is the song that Drake haters love to pretend doesn’t exist. The song is nothing but pure greatness. It is 3 minutes and 30 seconds of Drake at his absolute best. However, this is certainly the most controversial entries on this list. Most major Drake fans rank this song among his best. However, the more casual fans very well may have never heard this song. It doesn’t appear on any major albums and it doesn’t appear on Apple Music or Spotify. The lack of availability of this song is an utter travesty because I consider it to be the best track of Drake’s career. For me, 5A.M. In Toronto is the song that cemented Drakes status as one of the all-time greats. With it, he put to rest any claims that he is not a superb rapper who deserves a place on music’s Mount Rushmore. It really doesn’t get any better.
While there are any number of underrated tracks I could have added to this list, these are the 5 that I felt most needed to be shared. I have been listening to more than my fair share of Drake lately in preparation for Scorpion. Next week, I will do a My First Impressions article on the album, and will likely provide a full, in-depth review of it the following week. Prepare for an abundance of Drake content from me in the coming weeks. Until then, check out some of the other great content on Mid-American Culture. Thanks for reading!
My Twitter: @BigRedAFerg
M.A.C. Twitter: @M_American_C