Drake is the most recognisable rapper in the music industry right now. Even if you may not think he’s the best, there’s no denying that he is the king of the mainstream wave at the moment, dominating the charts with every single song he releases and selling a million copies on the opening week of his album dropping. He’s released eight projects in total and ordering them is really quite difficult given the variation in his voice between pop, R&B and outright hip-hop makes him difficult to pin down. One thing is certain, there’s obvious choices for the top spot and the stone dead worst; find out how I rank them here:
8: Views (Released 2016)
This project was such a drastic disappointment for me after all the hype that surrounded a Drake dominated music industry in the summer of 2016. Yes there are plenty of catchy radio-friendly songs on here but let’s face the facts; it is 20 songs long and of those 20, only 6 or 7 are genuinely enjoyable. To narrow that down even further, songs like Hotline Bling and One Dance are part of those 6 or 7 songs and they became old news by the time it was released because of how much they’d been played. Yes he sold a million copies in the first week but it’s by far and away his worst project; songs like Fire & Desire must never come into his mindset as acceptable ever again.
7: So Far Gone (Released 2008)
This his debut EP, Drake announced himself in a fairly solid way by stamping his style onto the songs immediately, letting people know exactly what they’d be in for throughout the duration of his career. Obviously this mixtape contained Best I Ever Had which became Drake’s breakout hit as well as a few solid tracks with Lil Wayne on the features, but really it didn’t hit the mark as a project. What followed was much more like it, however.
6: What A Time To Be Alive (Released 2015)
This collaborative mixtape with Atlanta rapper Future blew the charts up in the summer of 2015 thanks to the pair’s great chemistry on the tracks and the heavy production laid on mainly by god amongst men Metro Boomin. Jumpman is of course a standout hit but we also have tracks like Digital Dash (an absolute vibe) and Big Rings to enjoy from this. The project is certainly not without its faults however, with this project being the prime example and solid definition of a cherry picker album; meaning you have to dig through the mediocrity at times to find gems.
5: Thank Me Later (Released 2010)
Ah the debut album, the innocence of our little Aubrey on this project is bordering on adorable at times as he shows his insecurities and complexities as a man growing up around a lavish lifestyle, but it also shows him off to be a great artist too. We’ve got some more great features on this thing including Jay Z, Alicia Keys and Nicki Minaj yet Drake more than holds his own against the field he’s put alongside. Fireworks and The Resistance are personal favourites of mine from here and they left me so excited to see the direction he chose to go in next after this album.
4: More Life (Released 2017)
I loved this project, it would genuinely baffle me if these were his ‘throwaways’ from Views because it is unquestionably better as a project in every single department. Summer vibes, emotional turmoil and hard beat drops, this “playlist” as he liked to call it was simply a collection of great songs. Passionfruit is everyone’s summer jam while his new affiliation with Giggs and Skepta has made for insane listening. The features are top draw on this thing and even the minor details of samples is brushed up very well to give it a very modern sound. Shoutout to whoever picked the track listing for nearly making me cry with Sampha on 4422 to then making me simultaneously milly rock for about 4 songs after that (Gyalchester, Skepta Interlude, Portland, Sacrifices).
3: Nothing Was The Same (Released 2013)
This was the first Drake album I listened to on it’s release day, I had heard the singles and starting to hear his name get mentioned quite a lot so felt a level of intrigue to check his music out. This album did not disappoint and had a fantastic balance of smooth ballads and rich production on hard hip-hop tracks. It contains some of Drake’s best vocal performances in terms of flow and rap delivery, especially on songs like From Time and Tuscan Leather. The production is amazing from start to finish, with Pound Cake’s beat being one of the best I’ve heard this decade. It isn’t perfect, there’s still an air of cliché and cheesiness to this project but it’s very very good.
2: If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (Released 2015)
In terms of our rapping and being a hip-hop artist, this is Drake at his very best. His delivery is ice cold and he’s holding no punches with his bars, whether it’s making Tyga look like a massive loser on 6pm In New York, or schooling his featured artists on a regular occasion. It was technically released as a mixtape, but the success it garnered meant that Drake just couldn’t keep it as that so hard copies were released and it soared to the top of the charts, becoming his fourth successive platinum project. The 6 God lived up to his name in gigantic abundance on this release and he proved exactly why he’s at the top of the rap game. He’s not running through the 6 with his woes anymore that is for certain.
1: Take Care (Released 2011)
Is this really a surprise to anyone? In my opinion it is the only truly classic album Drake has released, it’ll stand the test of time and be remembered as one of the most important rap albums of this century simply because it got the ball rolling for this conscious rap vibe that has become a major talking point in the modern music industry. There’s a grand total of zero weaknesses about this album as Drake strikes the literal perfect balance between being in his feelings and dominating the mic as an MC. He follows Marvins Room with Buried Alive Interlude and Underground Kings, if that doesn’t sum up his variation then I don’t know what does. I don’t think Drake has got close to this album yet and I struggle to believe he ever will, absolute peak Drizzy.