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Then he got paid. In June, he finished his "Club Paradise" Tour, which happened to be the highest grossing worldwide tour of the year by a rapper. (No, Justin Bieber is not a rapper.)
And then he made history. In August, he guest-starred on "No Lie," passing Jay-Z - who released his first single before the Canadian star turned nine - to become the rapper with the most No.1 Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop songs in history. Yes, the 26-year-old Torontonian has more rap No. 1 hits than Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, and anyone else you can think of. (Hov' almost caught him with "Suit and Tie", but the Justin Timberlake collaboration peaked at second. So close, Jay.)And finally, he got his recognition, winning the Grammy for Best Rap Album, and earning nominations for two songs from Take Care.
Can October's Very Own follow that up? In a genre where so many names appear and disappear every year, and there's new music coming out every few hours, can Drake really maintain such prominence in the world, and dominance in the game, for another twelve months?
Apparently, he's trying to.
The rapper dropped "Started from the Bottom" in February, and the Mike Zombie-produced track has already climbed to second on the hip-hop charts. (That may be as high as it gets, as it's possible Macklemore's "Thrift Shop" will be the most popular rap song in the world forever, regardless of how tired you are of hearing it.)
Drake's verses on the song are nothing special - all that really matters is his refrain, and perhaps a couple lines leading up to it:
And though Drizzy is no longer "starting from the bottom" of anything, Nothing Was the Same will likely have to be even better than Take Care in order to get the Grammy nod. I think it's safe to say he'll have better competition than 2 Chainz this year. And if he does, his third album will need some megahits, much better than his first two singles this year. "Started From the Bottom" is catchy but lacking in its two short verses. What happened to the lyricist who killed it on "HYFR" and "Lord Knows?"
Maybe he overcompensated with the song he released Thursday. One of those spit-all-you-have-in-one-verse tracks that fits better in mixtapes than studio albums, "5AM in Toronto" is produced by Boi-1da and Vinylz and doesn't really stand out. Drake is a little too hyped in his delivery to match the chill instrumentals. It's interesting, once, to listen to what he's saying, but after that the song waxes dull.
Langston Taylor. More »