It seems like it was just yesterday when So Far Gone came and set a blaze on the underground, and eventually mainstream, hip-hop scene. We rarely knew much about the guy, but only to later find out he was from Toronto, half Jewish and starred on a show called Degrassi. Who would’ve thought that would be the background for one of today’s top rappers? Now on his sophomore album, Take Care is a story about a kid who became a king and the ups and downs of a man’s journey with various women. With no filler tracks and something for everyone, Take Care is worth your $9.99. Here are a few reasons why.

1. Instant Replay Value

From the first time I heard Take Care, it has yet to leave my ear. Whether it was the Just Blaze-produced “Lord Knows” to the sneaky diss to track his exes on “Shot For Me,” the album is hard to take out of your car, iPod or home surround sound. Drake gives you 20 songs including the bonus tracks to vibe, converse over and listen to over and over. Clap for him.

2. Impeccable Production

If you were to ask me who are the five biggest hip-hop producers of 2011 the answer would include T-Minus and Noah “40” Shebib (Others: Lex Luger, No I.D. and Kanye West). The two account for 16 of the 18 songs on the album. With 40 covering the smooth section of the album with tracks like “Doing It Wrong” and the internet smash “Marvin’s Room”, T-Minus took a different approach. With the fast-paced “HYFR” featuring Lil Wayne and bass-booming “We’ll Be Fine”, T-Minus delivers. Let’s not mention the hall of fame producer, Just Blaze possibly giving Drake the beat of the year with “Lord Knows”. Musically, Drake’s ear does wonders.

3. More So Far Gone than Thank Me Later

After Thank Me Later was released many critics and naysayers said it didn’t have the So Far Gone feel to it. Even Drake openly admitted that TML felt rushed and forced into the public. Therefore on Take Care, Drake used the same formula that which made So Far Gone so great. All tracks were made in his hometown and most of the beats provided by partner in crime, 40. Many rap songs and to add in a few R&B tracks this can be classified as So Far Gone 2.0 That’s not bad to say at all.

4. Quality R&B Album

Vocally, Drake isn’t Anita Baker or Luther Vandross. I know. However, his songwriting and melodies as a R&B singer are getting better and better as he grows older and experiences more in his life. As a rapper he gets some backlash for this but I believe this just makes him more dynamic of an artist. A song like “Doing It Wrong” will not be accepted to a super hip-hop fan, but anyone with an ear for music can acceptance its brilliance of honesty and conviction. We need to all give the Toronto kid a pass when it comes to the R&B songs, whether you hate it or love it.

5. Best Mainstream Hip-Hop Album of the Year

Yes, I said it. Better than Ambition, Cole World and Watch the Throne. I like all of those albums and appreciate what they’ve done for the culture, but Take Care wipes them off the map and it’s not even close. And since we’re debating the only albums that can go toe-toe with Take Care would be Big K.R.I.T.’s Returnof4eva or Kendrick Lamar’s Section.80. Nonetheless, on the mainstream scene, Take Care is reigns supreme.

With all that being said are you ready to donate your hard earned money for a potentially classic album? I am. Drake delivered; therefore, we must acknowledge that and support the culture. Take care, kids.

– Terry Mundell (@commenturry)

Sidenote: Photo Art: Designer’s Complex

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