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G&B: Apologies to Sting

It's been a blast, folks. The Worlds Most Popular Podcast is signing off. Truth to be told, there's not enough hours in the day for ...

Friday, November 11, 2011

take care, drake. it's been real.




I'm an indie guy. I admit that and if you have been a reader of this page for a good chunk of time, you'll know that.  I'd rather listen to an independent artist rather than a pop artist any day. Much like I'd rather watch an indie flick than a Hollywood movie. But I also give credit where credit is due. All in the name of good art, right? I just feel some artists get unnecessary shine due to their big pushes by the big companies when more talented artists are out there who are giving out a  better product and not heard. So cries the song of the Canadian Hip Hop scene. I have repeatedly spoke about my detachment to Hip Hop in recent years but still can say they're artists out there who are making great music. Heck, my top 3 releases this year were from Hip Hop dudes. What the problem is is that most only focus on what they hear on commercial radio and think that's the only Hip Hop that's out there. There's much better material out  rather than the regular Top 40 joints that you hear a dozen times a day. Is this what caused my detachment to the culture? Maybe. I know it has to be part of it. It's the frustration of it all.

Getting back to my point of giving credit where credit is due. I have no problem giving the shine to the good artists on the charts. Heck, I play a few of them on my podcast every week. But at a minimum. I believe in the philosophy that for every current pop track a station (or in this case, a podcast) plays, we (as in radio programmers and podcast hosts) should play  three independent tracks or older tracks to educate the listeners. Edutainment while evening out the odds. 

Before I continue ranting, Let me end it there and get to the point. I got the new Drake drop. Take Care.

As a beat guy, the first thing I hear is the production and it's the production that really got me into this album. It seems like Drake has become comfortable with taking his beats to a new level and trying new things with his art. The beats aren't really that new. If you're a fan of James Blake, Flying Lotus or Toronto based outlet, The Weeknd, you will know what I'm talking about.  With more of an underground texture to it, I'm surprised Drake went there. It's something I was happy to hear. Being surprised of where Drake went on this album art. His frankness in his lyrics, like on the first track, Over My Dead Body, and closer, The Ride, brings depth. Depth without going deep enough.

What?

This is what I mean. Take Care confuses me at some points. As much as I respect Drake in parts for pushing the envelope, he still ends up at the end of the day being that pop star. Same formula that's riding each pop sound that's not progressing the culture or showing any individuality. Overuse of the N word, complains, money bragging. He's cemented in that tired box that makes me miss lyricism and word play in Hip Hop. Blame my music snobbishness or high regard to Hip Hop, but Take Care is just another album on the charts. Maybe few listens here and there for the beats but nothing to check out if you need wizardry on the mic.

While I go back to my Indie records, it was an interesting listen, for sure. Take Care, Drake. It's been real.