- Take Care
Take Care Studio album by Drake Released November 15, 2011 Recorded 2010–11 Genre Hip hop, R&B, pop, electronica Length 79:49 Label Young Money, Cash Money Producer Boi-1da, Cortez Bryant (exec.), Chase N. Cashe, Aubrey "Drake" Graham (also exec.), Illangelo, Jamie xx, Just Blaze, Kromatik, Lil Wayne (exec.), Doc McKinney, Gee Roberson (exec.), Noah "40" Shebib, Supa Dups, T-Minus, The Weeknd Drake chronology Thank Me Later
Singles from Take Care
Released: August 9, 2011
- "Make Me Proud"
Released: October 16, 2011
Take Care is the second studio album by Canadian recording artist Drake, released November 15, 2011, on Young Money Entertainment and Cash Money Records. It is the follow-up to his 2010 debut album Thank Me Later. Production for the album took place during 2010 to 2011 and was handled by Noah "40" Shebib, Boi-1da, T-Minus, Just Blaze, The Weeknd, and Jamie xx, among others. With the album, Drake sought to record a more cohesive recording than his debut album, which he viewed was rushed in its development.
Expanding on the sonic aesthetic of his debut album, Take Care features an atmospheric sound that is characterized by low-key musical elements and incorporates R&B, pop, and electronica styles. Drake's lyrics mostly eschew boastful raps for introspective lyrics that deal with topics such as failed romances, relationship with friends and family, growing wealth and fame, concerns about leading a hollow life, and despondency. The album has been noted by music writers for its minimalist R&B elements, existential subject matter, conflicted lyrics, and Drake's alternately sung and rapped vocals.
One of the most anticipated music releases in 2011, Take Care experienced several delays to its release date and subsequently leaked to the Internet nine days before its scheduled release. The album has produced two singles, "Headlines" and "Make Me Proud", both of which attained chart success in the United States and Canada. Upon its release, Take Care received general acclaim from music critics, who praised its expansive production, emotional themes, and Drake's songwriting.
Background and recording
The album follows the success of Drake's 2010 debut album Thank Me Later, which became a commercial success and was well-received by music critics. It also continued Drake's creative partnership with record producer and audio engineer Noah "40" Shebib, who had first introduced his distinct sound on Drake's breakthrough mixtape So Far Gone (2009). Prior to Take Care, Drake also expanded his repertoire as a live performer. For the album, he intended to have Shebib handle most of the production and record a more cohesive sound than on Take Me Later, which featured disparate production duties by Shebib and others.
In November 2010, Drake revealed the title of his next studio album would be Take Care. In comparison to his debut album Drake revealed to Y.C Radio 1 that Thank Me Later was a rushed album, stating, "I didn’t get to take the time that I wanted to on that record. I rushed a lot of the songs and sonically I didn’t get to sit with the record and say, 'I should change this verse.' "Once it was done, it was done. That’s why my new album is called Take Care because I get to take my time this go-round."  Drake mentioned after OVO Fest 2011 that Take Care could have up to 18 songs on it, and added that Stevie Wonder contributed to the creative direction of the album and will be featured on the album as well. Drake also revealed that the album was recorded mainly in Toronto. Debating whether to submit his final cut or not, Drake's preferred release date motivated him to create a Birthday Edition, much like a deluxe edition to be released on the iTunes Store.
Some producers that were revealed to be working with Drake on Take Care other than Noah "40" Shebib (who is the main producer of the album) include T-Minus, Jamie Smith from The xx, and Boi-1da (who is a long-time Drake collaborator). He had initially recruited 9th Wonder for the album. He even appeared on 9th's documentary The Wonder Year and expressed his desire to make a number one hit with him. However, in an interview about a month prior to the slated release date, 9th said that he was not on the album. 9th states that part of the reason was because he was going through an A&R and playing beats for them as opposed to the artist himself, which he is opposed to. Drake had also planned on having Q-Tip, DJ Premier, and The Neptunes produce on the album, but those projects fell through as well. Some artists that were confirmed to be collaborators with Drake on Take Care consist of Stevie Wonder, Kendrick Lamar, Chantal Kreviazuk, André 3000, Rick Ross, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna. He had initially reached out to Phonte of the former group Little Brother, who is a major influence on his career. A track was made for Take Care but it did not make the album due to an issue with the producer. Drake admits in an interview to "dropping the ball" on the project and is optimistic about a future collaboration with Phonte.
Music and style
Take Care expands on the low-tempo, sensuous, and dark sonic aesthetic of Thank Me Later. The album's languid, grandiose production incorporates hip hop, R&B, pop, and electronica styles. The music is typified by an atmospheric sound, muted textures, slow tempos, subtle chords, melodic synth tracks, low-end grooves, and sparse, ambient arrangements. Noah "40" Shebib contributed to most of the album's production with murky beats, dark synth layers, atmospheric keyboards, moody guitar sounds, smooth piano, muffled drums, dramatic flourishes, and low-pass filters. Although he is credited as producer for only eight of the album's 17 songs, Shebib also served as audio engineer and mix engineer on the album. His production for the album is characteristic of the Toronto hip hop scene, which experienced a mainstream breakthrough with Shebib's work with Drake, producers Boi-1da and T-Minus, and singer-songwriter The Weeknd, all of whom contributed to Take Care. Evan Rytleski of The A.V. Club comments that the album is "crafted primarily around the oblique production of Drake's native Toronto—all rippling synths, distant pulses, and purposeful empty space".
Music writers noted "late-night" and 1990s-era R&B in the album's music. NPR writer Frannie Kelley notes "minimalist reworkings of TLC's minor-key soul and [...] trancey rhythms that land somewhere between paranoid Sly Stone and smoked-out Maxwell". Ryan Dombal of Pitchfork Media comments that the music "breathes heavy somewhere between UGK's deep funk, quiet-storm 90s R&B, and James Blake-inspired minimalism", and interprets its subtle style to be "a direct rebuke" to the prevalance of European dance influences in mainstream music. Los Angeles Times writer Todd Martens views that the album's mood and style are modelled after Kanye West's 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak.
Other producers' tracks are more up-tempo and shift from the melancholic mood of Shebib's production. Songs on the album are lengthy, sonically expansive, and accompanied by playful interludes. Lauren Carter of the Boston Herald writes of the song structure on Take Care, "Musical themes vanish and re-appear, layers build upon layers and then strip down to bare bones as tightly wound tracks give way to gauzy, lush interludes. Most songs sound intentionally distorted and warped". Drake's vocals on the album feature emotional crooning, alto vocals, a guttural cadence, a melodic flow, and less rapping than on his previous album, Thank Me Later.
Expanding on his debut album's theme of ambivalence and conflicted feelings toward fame, Drake's lyrics on Take Care detail failed romances, missed connections, relationship with friends and family, maintaining balance with growing wealth and fame, concerns about leading a hollow life, the passage of young adulthood, and despondency. The album's slow jam-styled tracks explore themes of loneliness, heartbreak, and mistrust. The topic of women is prevalant on the album, with songs concerning past and potential lovers ("Marvins Room", "The Real Her"), and about revering ("Make Me Proud") and lavishing them ("We’ll Be Fine"). Juan Edgardo Rodriguez of No Ripcord denotes women as "the main force in his songs - he’s consciously aware about what it takes to love them, but simply decides to thrust aside the guidelines because he’s on an entirely different stratosphere from any female average joe."
The album's expositional content has been interpreted by critics in relation to contemporary society. Newsday's Glenn Gamboa views that Drake's "emotional self-doubt and realizations about [...] success", along with the album's melancholy mood, "captur[es] today's zeitgeist of uncertainty and diminishing expectations." Music journalist Ann Powers cites Drake's "predicament — the inability to locate oneself within everyday power relations" as "one that's afflicted existential antiheroes throughout modernity." She denotes his point of view as that of a "biracial upper middle-class kid [...] from a position of privilege that few rappers would occupy", and views his subject matter as culturally significant, stating "[H]is melancholia is that of the overly sated [...] But Drake's relentless focus on the point where money empties out happiness isn't merely autobiographical. It's emblematic of our moment of crashed markets and occupied streets, and it speaks to a generation beginning to question whether the All-American, celebrity-endorsed credit card lifestyle will make them anything but bankrupt." Ryan Dombal of Pitchfork Media compares his "unrepentant navel-gazing and obsession with lost love" to Marvin Gaye's 1978 album Here, My Dear, adding that Drake's "penchant for poetic oversharing" makes him "an apt avatar" for the Information Age.
Drake's songwriting is characterized by wistful introspection, existential contemplation, and minimal boasting, with lyrics that convey frankness, vulnerability, melancholia, and narcissism. Andy Gill of The Independent writes that he "eschews anger or threat for a weariness shadowed by wistful regret." Music journalist Greg Kot comments that Drake does not "indulge in the macho poses that have dominated mainstream hip-hop for decades, and blur[s] the line between singing and rhyming", adding that he "makes his rhymes sound conversational, matter of fact, like he’s talking to the listener one-one-one". Tim Sendra of Allmusic notes that his "introspective tone [...] is only rarely punctured by aggressive tracks, boasts, and/or come-ons." Drake's persona on songs shows traits of sincerity, self-doubt, regret, passive-aggressiveness, and self-absorption. Kazeem Famuyide of The Source explains his conflicted persona as being "arrogant enough to know his place as one of the most successful artist in hip-hop, and comfortable enough to realize his own faults in his personal life." Jon Dolan of Rolling Stone writes that Drake "collaps[es] many moods – arrogance, sadness, tenderness and self-pity – into one vast, squish-souled emotion." Kevin Ritchie of NOW notes "an overwhelming sense of alienation, and sadness" on Take Care, calling it "an idiosyncratic, aggressively self-conscious and occasionally sentimental album".
Release and promotion
The first track Drake released was "Dreams Money Can Buy" on May 20, 2011 through his October's Very Own blog. Drake mentioned this song was "A Story of Dreams, mixed with reality," and that this was not his first single off the album but that it would be included on Take Care. On June 9, 2011, a second track titled "Marvins Room" was released via his blog. Drake initially stated that the song would not be featured on Take Care, but because of the song's unexpected success, prompting it was released as a digital and radio single on July 22, 2011 and will be on Take Care. "Trust Issues" was then released shortly after on his blog, but is confirmed not to be on the album via Drake's Twitter. He explained that the song was an idea he had from I'm On One and made it "just for fun." However, in an interview, Drake stated that Trust Issues, along with Dreams Money Can Buy, will be included in the Birthday Edition of the album.
On September 10, 2011, Drake released a new song titled "Club Paradise" on his October's Very Own blog. "Dropping this for our boy Avery...this was his favorite sh*t during the recording process. 2 more songs coming tonight as well. ovoxo," he wrote on his blog. On September 11, 2011, Drake released another track entitled "Free Spirit" featuring Rick Ross and blogged that another was to be released that night, as well.  Later that night he released a remix of Waka Flocka Flame's "Round of Applause". On September 23, 2011, Drake released the official album cover to Take Care. On October 20, 2011, an unfinished version of "The Real Her" featuring only Lil Wayne was leaked online. The Club Paradise Tour was revealed to start in November on Twitter. However, It was revealed that the tour is delayed until after Christmas/New Year break so Drake could perform at more schools. On October 8, 2011, Drake announced on his OVO blog that Take Care would be pushed back until November 15th because of three sample clearances (Take Care, Cameras, & Practice). It was originally to be released on his 25th birthday, October 24, 2011.
"Headlines" was released via his blog on July 31, 2011 as the official lead single from Take Care. The song is produced by Boi-1da, and 40, and was released to radio and iTunes on August 9, 2011. The song debuted at number thriteen on the US Billboard Hot 100, and at number ninety-eight on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. "Make Me Proud" features rapper Nicki Minaj, and was released via Drake's blog on October 13, 2011, as the official second single. The song was produced by T-Minus, and Kromatik, and was released to iTunes on October 16, 2011. The song has peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100. "The Motto", featuring Lil Wayne, will be released to Rythmic radio on November 29.
Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating Allmusic  The A.V. Club (A–) Entertainment Weekly (C+) Los Angeles Times  The New York Times (favorable) Pitchfork Media (8.6/10) Rolling Stone  Slant Magazine  Spin (8/10) The Village Voice (favorable)
Take Care received general acclaim from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 81, based on 28 reviews, which indicates "universal acclaim". Rolling Stone writer Jon Dolan complimented its "luxe, expansive production" and stated, "Drake stretches out over languid, austerely plush tracks that blur hip-hop, R&B and downtempo dance music." Kevin Ritchie of NOW complimented the album's "beautifully realized mix of rumbling, low-end grooves and wistful introspective songwriting", and stated, "Drake succeeds at giving the disc a sound all its own". Slant Magazine's Matthew Cole called it "remarkably consistent" and noted an "immeasurably improved flow" by Drake. Brandon Soderberg of Spin called the album "an insular, indulgent, sad-sack hip-hop epic" and commended Drake for "mixing nice-guy vulnerability with wounded narcissism", commenting that he "finds ways turn the douche chills he elicits into a large part of his appeal." Pitchfork Media's Ryan Dombal found Drake's "technical abilities" to be improved and stated, "Just as his thematic concerns have become richer, so has the music backing them up." Chicago Tribune writer Greg Kot complimented the depth of Drake's "moral psychodramas" and stated, "the best of it affirms that Drake is shaping a pop persona with staying power."
However, Kyle Anderson of Entertainment Weekly panned its subject matter as "one overlong woozy monologue" and called the album a "total downer", adding that "Drake half-bakes his woozy rap-croon and glazes it with sluggish keyboard hums, stalling the album’s momentum". Alex Macpherson of The Guardian found his singing "insipid", his rapping "inert", and his lyrics "hollow", writing that "he doesn't seem to realise that introspection is only worth a damn if you're an interesting person." The Globe and Mail's Robert Everett-Green criticized Drake's lyrics as "drawling patter" and found the songs to "noodle around [...] aimlessly". Allmusic editor Tim Sendra viewed Drake as "a middle-of-the-pack rapper at best", but found Noah "40" Shebib's production work to "fit Drake’s voice perfectly" and denoted Drake's strength to be "his willingness to delve deeply into his emotions and the ability to transmit them in [...] a simple and real fashion". David Amidon of PopMatters praised the album's "wholly consistent audio template" and wrote of Drake, "Sure he’s corny, but he’s also an excellent songwriter, and he owns his quirks". Leon Neyfakh of The Boston Globe called the album "a mighty thing, every bit as turbulent and achingly defensive as Kanye West's 'My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy'", and elaborated on Drake's subject matter and progression as a songwriter, stating:[I]nstead of just stressing out about fame, Drake is now writing songs about accepting the consequences of time passing and friendships changing. [...] Some will insist it’s boring, listening to a young star complain about being a star. But 'Take Care' is not about that; it’s about a person growing into himself, and smarting at the sacrifices required of all of us - famous or not - as we leave adolescence behind and grow distant from people we used to love. It may be mopey, but Drake is finding new words for ancient kinds of pain, and it is captivating.—Leon Neyfakh
Evan Rytlewski of The A.V. Club described the album as "plenty downbeat, but it’s also gorgeous, an immersive headphone masterwork that's tender and intimate like little else in contemporary rap and R&B." Adam Fleischer of XXL commended its music for "creating a captivating and enveloping listening experience", and wrote that Drake "expertly juggles his singing and rapping, confirming his growing songwriting abilities." Andy Hutchins of The Village Voice commended Drake's pop sensibilities and "understanding of melody [...] his willingness to sound a little more sing-songy than most rappers to make a bar more indelible", calling the album "a carefully crafted bundle of contradictory sentiments from a conflicted rapper who explores his own neuroses in as compelling a manner as anyone not named Kanye West." Ann Powers of NPR found its music complimentary to the album's subject matter, stating "the artfulness of this music allows me an in to that experience. I can make that leap and identify with Drake, or at least be intrigued by multiple characters in the little dramas he designs." Jon Caramanica of The New York Times commented that "Drake has never sung as intensely as he does on this album", and called it "an album of eccentric black pop that takes" hip hop and R&B "as starting points, asks what they can do but haven’t been doing, then attempts those things. In the future an album like this will be commonplace; today, it’s radical."
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length 1. "Over My Dead Body" Aubrey Graham, Noah Shebib, Chantal Kreviazuk 40, Chantal Kreviazuk (co.) 4:33 2. "Shot for Me" Graham, Shebib, Abel Tesfaye 40 3:45 3. "Headlines" Graham, Matthew Samuels, Shebib, Adrian Eccleston Boi-1da, 40 (add.) 3:56 4. "Crew Love" (featuring The Weeknd) Graham, Tesfaye, Daniel McKinney Illangelo, 40, The Weeknd 3:29 5. "Take Care" (featuring Rihanna) Graham, Jamie Smith, Shebib Jamie xx, 40 4:37 6. "Marvins Room" Graham, Shebib, Eccleston, Jason Beck 40 5:47 7. "Buried Alive Interlude" (featuring Kendrick Lamar) Shebib, Kendrick Lamar, Dwayne Chin-Quee 40, Supa Dups 2:31 8. "Underground Kings" Graham, Tyler Williams, Shebib T-Minus, 40 3:33 9. "We'll Be Fine" (featuring Birdman) Graham, Bryan Williams, Tyler Williams, Shebib T-Minus, 40 4:08 10. "Make Me Proud" (featuring Nicki Minaj) Graham, Onika Maraj, Williams, Nikhil Seetharam, Shebib T-Minus 3:40 11. "Lord Knows" (featuring Rick Ross) Graham, William Roberts II, Justin Smith Just Blaze 5:08 12. "Cameras / Good Ones Go Interlude" Graham, Shebib, Tesfaye 40, Drake (co.) 7:15 13. "Doing It Wrong" (harmonica by Stevie Wonder) Graham, Shebib 40 4:25 14. "The Real Her" (featuring Lil Wayne and André 3000) Graham, Dwayne Carter Jr., André Benjamin, Shebib 40, Drake (co.) 5:21 15. "Look What You’ve Done" Graham, J. Woodward, Shebib Chase N. Cashe, 40 (co.) 5:02 16. "HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right)" (featuring Lil Wayne) Graham, Carter, Williams, Shebib T-Minus 3:27 17. "Practice" Graham, Shebib, Tesfaye 40, Drake (co.) 3:58 18. "The Ride" Graham, Tesfaye Doc McKinney, The Weeknd 5:51Total length: 79:49
- (co.) denotes co-producer
- (add.) denotes additional production
- "Cameras" on track 11 was co-produced by Drake, and "Good Ones Go (Interlude)" was produced by Noah "40" Shebib.
- Derek "MixedByAli" Ali – engineer
- Hyghly Alleyne – photography
- Bonnie Artis – choir, chorus
- Alyse Barnhill – choir, chorus
- Les Bateman – system engineer
- Divine Brown – background vocals
- Wado Brown – organ
- Cortez Bryant – executive producer
- Sean Buchanan – assistant engineer
- Adrian C – guitar
- Michael "Banger" Cadahia – engineer
- Noel Cadastre – assistant engineer, engineer, mixing assistant
- Becky Campbell – mixing assistant
- Noel "Gadget" Campbell – mixing
- Lyttleton "Cartwheel" Carter – assistant engineer
- Chase N-Cashe – musician, producer
- Ariel Chobaz – engineer
- Romy Madley Croft – guitar
- Adrian Eccleston – guitar
- Oliver El-Khatib – A&R, executive producer
- Alvin Fields – choir director
- Elizabeth Gallardo – assistant engineer
- Chris Gehringer – mastering
- Chilly Gonzales – Fender Rhodes, piano, synthesizer
- Aubrey "Drake" Graham – executive producer, producer
- Ricardo Gutierrez – mastering
- Rose Hart – choir, chorus
- Taylor Hill – choir, chorus
- Sam Holland – assistant engineer
- John Holmes – engineer
- Tammy Infusino – choir, chorus
- Ebony Jackson – choir, chorus
- John Nettlesbey – assistant engineer
- Erika Johnson – choir, chorus
- Just Blaze – mixing, producer
- Brent Kolatalo – engineer, instrumentation
- Chantal Kreviazuk – piano, producer, vocals
- Ken Lewis – choir director, engineer, instrumentation
- Lil Wayne – executive producer
- Roman Marshall – choir, chorus
- Doc McKinney – engineer, producer
- Carlo "Illangelo" Montagnese – engineer, producer
- John Morgan – choir, chorus
- Greg Morrison – mixing assistant
- Syren Lyric Muse – vocals
- Jon Nettlesbey – assistant engineer
- Nikhil – synthesizer
- Jawan Peacock – background vocals, piano
- Dwayne "Supa Dups" Chin Quee – producer
- Isaiah Raheem – choir, chorus
- Ruben Rivera – engineer
- Gee Roberson – executive producer
- Carmen Roman – choir, chorus
- Matthew "Boi-1da" Samuels – musician, producer
- Gil Scott-Heron – background vocals
- Travis Sewchan – assistant engineer
- Noah "40" Shebib – A&R, additional production, bass, drum programming, engineer, executive producer, keyboards, mixing, mixing assistant, musician, producer
- Evelyn "Bubu" Sher – background vocals
- Jamie Smith – musician, producer
- Static Major – background vocals
- David "Gordo" Strickland – mixing assistant
- T-Minus – musician, producer
- Lamar Taylor – photography
- The Weeknd – background vocals, musician, producer
- Bryan "Baby Birdman" Williams – executive producer
- Ronald "Slim Tha Don" Williams – executive producer
- Dylan Wissing – drums
- Stevie Wonder – harmonica
- Martin "Drop" Wong – artwork, design
- William World – choir, chorus
- Andrew Wright – mixing
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Drake Discography · Awards and nominations · Videography Studio albumsThank Me Later · Take Care Extended plays MixtapesRoom for Improvement · So Far Gone Singles Featured singles"The One" · "Digital Girl" (Remix) · "Throw It in the Bag" (Remix) · "Money to Blow" · "I Invented Sex" · "Fed Up" · "Say Something" · "4 My Town (Play Ball)" · "Un-Thinkable (I'm Ready)" (Remix) · "Right Above It" · "Deuces" (Remix) · "Loving You No More" · "Aston Martin Music" · "What Up" · "What's My Name?" · "Fall for Your Type" · "Moment 4 Life" · "Unusual" · "I'm On One" · "She Will" · "It's Good" · "Still Got It" · "Round of Applause" Other songs"I'm Goin' In" · "Fireworks" · "Up All Night" · "Marvins Room" Concert toursAmerica's Most Wanted Tour · Away From Home Tour · Club Paradise Tour Related articlesDegrassi: The Next Generation · Young Money Entertainment
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