Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, April 15, 2024

Power ranking Drake's albums

If you are Aubrey Drake Graham, it really is a great time to be alive. The Toronto rapper’s recently released surprise collaboration album with rapper Future, “What A Time To Be Alive," debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 Chart.It was Drake’s second No. 1 album in 2015, following the success of February’s "If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late" and was his fourth chart topper of all time. Drake’s recent run to the top has produced an impressive catalog, and, with his fourth official studio album “Views from the 6” set to drop soon, this is a perfect time to look back at Drizzy's career.

1. "Take Care" (2011)

The work that was put into developing this catalog -- called “Take Care” because Drake felt his debut album was too rushed -- is evident. The album includes chart toppers (“Headlines,” “Take Care”), ubiquitous vintage Drake phrases (“HYFR”), vulnerable and emotional moments (“Marvin’s Room,” “Doing It Wrong,” “Look What You’ve Done”) and flawless collaborations (“Crew Love,” “The Real Her”). It is, from top to bottom, classic Drake and flows together magically.

2. "Nothing Was The Same" (2013)

Nothing was the same after Drake dropped this collection of hit after hit after hit. If his first two albums introduced the former “Degrassi” (2001 - present) star to the mainstream hip-hop community, then it was this album that vaunted Drake into the best rapper conversation and set the stage for his 2015 takeover. Of course, the album is littered with smashes (“All Me,” “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” “Started from the Bottom”), but there isn’t even one simply decent song: they’re all knockouts.

3. "If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late" (2015)

“If I die, I'm a legend,” raps the 6 God on the first track of this surprise mixtape, and he isn’t wrong. "If You're Reading This It's Too Late" marked Drake as an unprecedented cultural phenomenon; the internet very nearly broke when the superstar dropped this fiery, lyrically-sound and intense collection. It was a sharp turn from previous records that featured Drake’s sing-songy sensitive side. Here, Graham raps on every track in a brash manner, full of bravado.

4. "Thank Me Later" (2010)

Drake’s official debut album, with hits like “Find Your Love” and “Over,” was released to commercial and critical success. The album was a great accomplishment in 2010, but since then Drake has expanded and perfected the themes of heartbreak, fame and self-doubt, carved out a signature sound and flow that “Thank Me Later” just touches on and become much more confident in himself and his abilities. The first three albums on the list basically sound like a more polished version of this offering.

5. "What a Time to Be Alive" (2015)

It is still far too early to see what the ultimate legacy of "What a Time to Be Alive" will be, but I have difficulty seeing it surpass “Thank Me Later.” The collaboration project -- recorded in just six days -- was good fun, and the record flows well and features great moments -- but Metro Boomin's production and even Future himself outshine Drake. It almost seems like Graham, riding high on the colossal success of 2015, phoned in this album, as he appears less focused and polished than he is on his solo records. Hopefully, Drake finds his element again before the highly anticipated “Views from the 6” drops.