Album I’ve Heard: Take Care

by cynthiarendon

This might be sort of mean of me to say, but . . . Men, boys, guys, whatever: I will question your masculinity if you quote Drake and/or post his lyrics as your Facebook status. Especially if they’re lyrics from his newest album, Take Care — which is an absolute ’emo’-fest.

I know, I know. This makes me sound shallow, superficial, what-have-you, but I can’t help it.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I really like the album. And I like the album for all the reasons most others say they hate it. “It’s too emotional.” “Not enough ‘bangers’.” “Too much singing.” I think it’s about time for quiet, ambient-music-type hip-hop album to break through.

But I sort of digress. Why would I question a guy’s masculinity if he likes Drake, or at least Take Care Drake? I’ll let these lyrics from “Shot for Me” (off the album) do the explaining: “Oh you mad cause nobody ever did it like me/All the care I would take, all the love that we made/Now you’re trying to find somebody to replace what I gave to you/It’s a shame you didn’t keep it”.

Uh huh, yeah. A bit, um, sentimental. And this is just one example. The rest of Take Care is riddled with tracks about lost love, exes, trying to fall back in love, being proud of his girl . . . and this is all coming from a rapper, not, you know, a boy band. And as much as I would probably judge a guy for really loving this album (as I can love it,  since I’m a girl, and it’s almost as if he’s rapping for chicks . . . maybe this is his schtick?), I would also appreciate his openness, his ability to confidently say to me, “Yeah, I’ve felt this emotional before.”

I love it when an album, any album, is vulnerable — where you can really hear the artist pour his or her heart into each and every track. And this is most prevalent in albums and music about, yep, love — usually the “lost” variety of love, the type that shakes you to your core. I think I could safely say that Drake has probably gotten his heart broken once or twice. Still, it’s a bit unusual coming from a rapper. Drake, the emotional rapper, will probably be his title from now on.

It seems, though, that Drake has cemented his niche with Take Care. Which artist do hip-hop heads run to after an earth-shattering fight or breakup with their girls? Us girls (at least me) have Lauryn Hill (see here) and other soul singers. I guess it was about time that the rap-loving men also had someone to relate to their pain. Take Care is revealing of men’s feelings. And of how people really feel about men who not only are expressive of their feelings, but who know how to feel something, anything for the women who have come in and out of their lives. It reveals, basically, that it’s not normal . . . yet.

As much as I’d like to believe that men direct their not-so-happy emotions toward women by doing something incredibly rugged and masculine like chopping down trees to build houses (The Notebook-style), I’m sure most men nowadays don’t. Take Drake, for example ;). This is the 21st century, after all, an era where men take time to groom their eyebrows . . . and it’s normal.

To provide a bit of context, here’s a very emotional track off Take Care.