Man, that second album is always that tough one. You know, can you duplicate or exceed the expectations of a successful debut album? On “Take Care” the kid tries to keep it close to his hometown, Toronto, as possible. The album opens with “Over My Dead Body” featuring Chantal Kreviazuk on vocals, piano and co-production credit, and of course Drake’s right-hand man Noah “40” Shebib produced this track. Chantal’s voice angelically marinates on the track while Drizzy delivers the message that he’s not going anywhere anytime soon and takes a couple of shots at some non-believers.

Right now I’m going to have to get at the title track “Take Care” featuring Rihanna and produced by Jamie “xx” Smith and “40.” First and foremost I have to give props to the fact that Drake spit AND sang on a House track. I’m also a House Head so I can appreciate it, he took a risk and it paid off. It’s not so much of a surprise that Rihanna subtlety kills the hook on a House song along with vocals from Gil Scott Heron and the use of the sample from “I’ll Take Care Of You” written and performed by blues guitarist and singer Buster Benton. I can definitely hear this playing at The Shelter or Pacha in New York City and Club Paradox in Baltimore. It gives me that feel of back in the day at Zanizbar, Paradise Garage, The Tunnel or Club Fantasy’s (B-More) just to name a few. You can’t deny the kid is versatile.

“Under Ground Kings” is a banger payin’ homage to UGK and them southern MC’s while at the same time proclaiming himself as an underground king, shoutin’ out Weezy lines produced by T-Minus and 40. “Headlines” and “Marvin’s Room” have hit the web well before the album dropped creating a worthy buzz but the “Marvin’s Room” Interlude “Buried Alive” featuring Kendrick Lamar produced by “40” and Dwayne “Supa Dups” Chin-Quee is the icing on the cake of what went down in “Marvin’s Room.” On the track “We’ll Be Fine”, featuring Birdman, Drizzy is straight forward with it

“Let’s be real about this s**t, can I take you home?/Or come to where you stay? Do you live on your own?/I heard you got your ways, I never would have known/She said, “You’re such a dog”, I said, “You’re such a bone”.

As Just Blaze fires only the way he knows how on the track “Lord Knows”, featuring Rick Ross, Drake goes in on a few. The emotional tag he’s been appointed with he wears as a badge with:

“I’m hearing all of the jokes, I know that they tryna push me/I know that showin’ emotion don’t ever mean I’m a p***y/Know that I don’t make music for n***as who don’t get p***y/So those are the ones I count on to diss me or overlook me.”

I will say on this CD Drake pulled out some heavyweights such as Stevie Wonder blessing the ballad “Doing It Wrong” with the harmonica as only the icon could. The song basically explains what’s wrong in a relationship and not falling back into an unhealthy cycle that needs to be rectified. Produced by 40 as well as co-produced by Drizzy, “The Real Her” features Lil Wayne and Andre 3000 about that genuine honey every dude wants. The Outkast member drops jewels like:

“Quote unquote bad b******s work the whole floor/Those that get laughed at sit off in a corner/Like a lab rat nobody want her/N****s that are married don’t wanna go home but we look up to them they wish they were us/They want some new trim we lust for some trust.”

Fellow Canadian, The Weeknd, lends his voice and production to “Crew Love” and “Good Ones Go” Interlude. Drizzy gives love to those ladies doing their thing on “Make Me Proud” featuring Nicki Minaj. “Cameras”, sampled “Calling On You” by Jon B., is a funny joint about a female he’s been seen with on tv and magazines but they only look like she’s a star, he might look like he cares and they’re in love but only on camera. Paying homage to Cash Money, “Practice” is somewhat of a 2011 Juvenille’s “Back That A** Up” but letting shorty know that her past relationships were just practice.

Let me close out with the Chase ‘N Cashe produced “Look What You’ve Done” featuring Playa including vocals from the late Static Major and piano by Jawan Peacock with the “If U Scared, Say U Scared” sample. The song is Drizzy’s reflection of his relationships with his uncle, mother and his aunt. From getting into arguments where he’s told he’s just like his father, which is a hot button, to he thanks his family for all they’ve done while still believing in him. The MC, labeled emotional, gives you a closer look into his family and the recording of his Grandmother at the end of the track just touchingly seals the deal. I’m really feeling this one. And just like the Cowboy riding off into the sunset, the kid ends with the “The Ride” featuring The Weeknd who also produced the track. Overall I think Drake took care of business on his sophomore effort and the numbers agree. Sold over 600,000 units first week a bit lower than projected but still charted at #1 on Billboard. So yea, he did it his way so cop it and give it a listen. Uno.

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