May 6, 2010

Drake, Best We Ever Had?

Print More

“I know way too many people here right now that I didn’t know last year, who the fuck are y’all?” So muses Drake in a line from his new single “Over.” The response? Until recently — Drake, who the fuck are you?It’s a fair question. Until skyrocketing to fame after gaining the attention of Lil Wayne (free Weezy?) and Young Money Entertainment, Drake (real name Aubrey Graham) was likely unknown to the average Cornellian. A year after his first mix-tape Room for Improvement, he released a second mix-tape called Comeback Season. It was this second tape that really got Graham, monikered “Drake,” noticed within the rap and hip-hop world. Though still unsigned, one of the tracks from the tape called “Replacement Girl” was turned into a single. The video, which featured big-name Trey Songz, played on BET as part of its “New Joint of the Day” feature.With exposure like this, by 2008 even bigger names began to take notice of the young rapper. After hearing Drake’s work, Lil Wayne got in touch with Drake and asked him to join his tour. This collaboration between Lil Wayne and Drake, and Drake’s introduction into Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment, are what helped him become internationally famous. His affiliation with YME got his third unofficial mix-tape, released in February 2009, thousands of downloads. Soon after, it started getting major airplay, especially the single “The Best I Ever Had”. His first full-length album Thank Me Later, also with Universal Motown, is set to hit stores on June 15 — over a month after his performance at Cornell. The album will include the already popular single “Over.”Drake has successfully made the transition from TV star to hip-hop star, but that he has not released a full length album means that Drake might have to scramble a bit to fill his set time on Slope Day — especially if he is hoping to perform only his most recognizable work. Judging by some of his recent shows, he’s likely to spend some of his set rapping over recordings of popular YME tracks like “Bedrock” or “Every Girl.”On the other hand, being an unknown quantity live may be an asset. Though Drake’s collaborations make his sound at times mimic the (auto-tuned) sound of worshipped Weezy, Drake sometimes steps outside of his comfort zone, remixing Santigold and Lykke Li. Moreover, his acting past may compensate for his relative inexperience as a live performer. If his role on the tortured teen drama Degrassi is any indication, Drake certainly has dramatics down pat. This Slope Day, with Drake as headliner, may just end up being the, ahem, best you’ve ever had.

Original Author: Hannah Stamler