What – Take Care – Could’ve Been

take care couldve

The other day Aubrey ‘Drake’ Graham won his first Grammy when Take Care took home the award for Best Rap Album (an award that should have gone to Good Kid Maad City, which wasn’t even nominated).  For all intents and purposes Take Care was a very good album, but by no means, no matter what others may say, is it a “classic.”  There is too much filler, too many extraneous features, and the last third of the album is almost completely unnecessary.  And in the hip hop world, were a classic or bust mentality is starting to develop, that’s important.

Every great rapper needs a “classic” album to be considered truly great.  Without a “classic” you fall into a level of rap with the likes of Ludacris, Nelly and Mase, never completely respected and often cast aside as a phase or a trend.  With Drake’s third album slated to come out this year and no “classic” on his resume (remember, rapper’s best material usually come early in their career, not late), he is in danger of becoming nothing more than a fad, something we look back on and wonder “what were we thinking?”

The only reason I bring this up is because I honestly think Take Care had great potential to be a “classic” and I still think somewhere in there lies a “classic” album.  So, I’ve taken it upon myself to classic-ify Take Care.  Scraping redundant tracks, remedying puzzling song choices and rearranging the track list.

What Take Care Could’ve Been

1.  Over My Dead Body
2.  Shot For Me
3.  I’m On One (feat Rick Ross, Lil Wayne)
4.  Crew Love (feat The Weeknd)
5.  Take Care (feat Rihanna)
6.  Marvins Room
7.  Buried Alive Interlude (Kendrick Lamar)
8.  Dreams Money Can Buy* 
9.  Lord Knows (feat Rick Ross)
10.  Camera / Good Ones Go Interlude
11.  Doing It Wrong
12.  Look What You’ve Done
BONUS:  HYFR (feat Lil Wayne)
BONUS:  The Motto (feat Lil Wayne)

KEEP Over My Dead Body and Shot For Me, they both are nearly flawless in kicking off a Drake album.  “I think I killed everybody in the game last year, man. Fuck it, I was on though.  And I thought I found the girl of my dreams at the strip club (mm-mm).  Fuck it, I was wrong though”, is the prefect start to any Drake album.  Also calling out Alisha on Shot for Me, so necessary.

SCRAP Headlines, although the first four bars are exceedingly amazing, any song that has Drake talking about catching bodies has to go.  

ADD I’m on One, I know this is a supposedly a “DJ Khaled track”, but c’mon this is a Drake track and everyone knows it.  Drizzy has to grow a set and tell Khaled to “suck it.”  This may have been the best hip-hop song of 2011 and DJ Khaled has nearly nothing to do with it.  

KEEP Crew Love, Marvins Room and Buried Alive.  Obligatory Weeknd feature has to be there.  Marvins Room is sooo Drake it’s not even funny.  Buried Alive is on the fence, Drake doesn’t even appear on the track, but Kendrick is too good to bump.

SCRAP Under Ground Kings, We’ll Be Fine and Make Me Proud.  Non of these songs are even remotely needed, I don’t even feel like going into detail.  

ADD Dreams Money Can Buythe Jai Paul sample alone should have qualified this as an uncuttable track, plus lines like “I feel like lately I went from top five to remaining five.  My favorite rappers either lost it or they ain’t alive” is exactly the kind of sass this album needs more of.

KEEP Lord Knows, Camera/ Good Ones God, and Doing it Wrong.  The Just Blaze beat on Lord Knows is too triumphant for words.  Camera/ Good Ones God is one of those sleeper tracks that breaks up the album and grows on you with repeat listens.  Doing It Wrong is basically Drake’s dissertation on the “hook up generation,” so generation Y.

SCRAP The Real Her, Practice and The Ride.  Sorry Andre, but there is no reason for Doing It Wrong and The Real Her.  Sorry The Weeknd, but there is no reason for Crew Love and The Ride.  Redundancies.  As for Practice, if Drizzy could have coaxed Wayne into reprising his role from the original, this may have been a different story, but really why re-invent a song that needs no re-inventing?

 KEEP Look What You’ve Done.  This album needs to end with Drake’s grandmother’s voice mail.  How did Drake not see this?

 BONUS:  HYFR and The Motto.  Okay the “official” album ends with Look What You’ve Done, but HYFR and The Motto are too infectious to end up as leaks or mixtape fodder.  They get tacked on to the end as bonus tracks.

There you have it.  Classic Album.  Credits.

*(note Dreams Money Can Buy is not available on Spotify)

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