For me, the music industry’s dried up a little bit, leaving me with not a lot to review which is never good. Action Bronson, Chance The Rapper, Earl Sweatshirt and The Prodigy have albums all over the horizon, leaving me in kind of a no-man’s land in terms of what to put up on my site. We were blessed with To Pimp A Butterfly, but it’s not really the kind of album I can put a review up sharpish, but keep your eyes peeled for a forthcoming review. So to fill this abyss, I’ve decided to compile a list of
Drake’s best songs. In the past when I’ve done lists of an artists’ best songs I’ve separated it into three parts, just so it’s a bit less to digest all in one go. However, I’ve found that nobody can be bothered to navigate to another page once they’ve got down to reading- I don’t judge, I’m exactly the same. So for Drake’s Best Songs, I’ve decided to shorten the list to 20 songs rather than 30, and put them all into one article.
25. Now & Forever – If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late
If you’ve read my review of If You’re Reading This then you’ll know that I’m not necessarily the biggest fan. But the project still had a couple of gems on it, Now & Forever being one of them. The track nodded at So Far Gone with its wavy composition and pained vocals, all the while possessing that typical Drake trait where he drops the sing-song and dives into a verse.
24. Nicki Minaj – Moment For Life (ft Drake)
I’m not the biggest Nicki Minaj fan in the world, but every now and again she drops a cracker, and with Drake supporting, it’s one of her best. The beat is a massively underrated basis for an infectious hook, witty foreplay, and typical Minaj mannerisms. However, it’s Drake that steals the show with his guest verse, stirring the romantic rumours with lines like ‘Fuck it me and Nicki Nick gettin’ married today // And now you bitches that be hatin’ can catch a bouquet’, as well as a very typical Drizzy line- ‘Cause everybody dies but not everybody lives’.
23. Show Me A Good Time – Thank Me Later
I often feel Thank Me Later is slept on as an album with the hype surrounding Drake’s following releases, but his debut really does have a plethora of reportable material, including Show Me A Good Time. With the diamond trio of Kanye West, No ID and Jeff Bhasker, (also responsible for Find Your Love, Coldest Winter and Dark Fantasy) Drake was given a beat perfectly fitting to his criss-cross style of artistry- blending both sing-song vocals and soulful hooks with rapid verses- talk about a match made in heaven.
22. Brand New – So Far Gone
‘Is anything I’m doing brand new?’ Drake pleads with his love interest, hoping that there’s anything he can do to salvage the tatters of a dying relationship. It’s a heartbreaking track that made women of the world swoon at Drake’s feet. The beat was laid-back and hypnotic, while Drizzy mourned the loss of his love on the piano-powered chill ride. This song is exactly why So Far Gone is, in my opinion, Drake’s best work to date.
21. Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2 (ft JAY Z) – Nothing Was The Same
While much of Drake’s fan base will rank this a lot higher than I do, there’s no getting around what a gem within Nothing Was The Same this track was. Built around two heavy Ellie Goulding and Wu-Tang Clan samples, it nodded at some of the elements from Thank Me Later that would later result in this now-trademark sound.
20. From Time (ft Jhene Aiko) – Nothing Was The Same
I’m all for Drake and all his sensitivity, but every now and again it can become a bit wearing, but From Time is a different instance of Drizzy telling us about one of many love interests. This time around he leaves the vocals to the delicate delivery of Jhene Aiko, in a way giving us men a time to melt just when Aiko’s whispers ‘wassup’. Anyway, From Time is Drake at his most vulnerable, but still gives the trait that you wouldn’t fuck with him. Stellar verse openers like ‘I needed to hear that shit, I hate when you’re submissive // Passive aggressive when we’re texting, I feel the distance.’ or heartwarming lines like ‘Girl I felt we had it all planned out, guess I fucked up the vision // Learning the true consequences of my selfish decisions.’ How can people hate Drizzy ay?
19. Wu Tang Forever – Nothing Was The Same
Tipped by many as one of the best tracks on Nothing Was The Same, Wu Tang Forever was one of the promotional tracks to Drake’s third studio album. Enlisting the help of close collaborator and friend- Noah 40 Shebib, the track again was inspired by the legendary rap group, featuring a heavy sample of It’s Yourz. Drake was able to get to grips with the fairly minimalist beat and lay down some particularly memorable bars.
18. Kendrick Lamar – Poetic Justice (ft Drake)
Good Kid, maad City is obviously a classic, so where you begin picking the best tracks from it? Either way, Poetic Justice was much-anticipated thanks to a Drake feature. While he doesn’t necessarily outshine Kendrick Lamar, he does certainly bring his a-game, spouting rapid syllable criss-crossing lines such as ‘Maybe one day when you figure out you’re gonna need someone // When you figure out it’s all right here in the city and you don’t run from where we come from’. In my eyes it’s one of many standouts from GKMC.
17. Lil Wayne, Big Sean & Drake – All Of The Lights (Remix)
All Of The Lights was already a big song, one of Ye’s biggest selling singles to date, so a remix asked a lot of the guest stars. While Lil Wayne opens with a rare Kanye/Wayne collab. and Big Sean showing us exactly why he’d one day become one of the game’s hottest MCs, Drake was left until last. Once Alicia Keys’ vocals die out and Drake comes in with one of if not his best guest verse to date, outshining his mentor and surpassing Kanye’s hottest prospect with leaps and bounds. Lines like ‘I spend all my time in Houston, smoke that kush but I don’t do Whitney // I don’t do Britney, I don’t do Lindsay // I made $2 million since last Wednesday.’ and ‘I hate y’all! Y’all got too much free time // Saying I don’t drop shit, everything gon be fine // Worrying about your own girl, trying to see if she’s mine // Nigga she’s with ME when she tells you she needs some “me time”? FIRE.
16. Marvin’s Room – Take Care
As we all know Take Care was a lot ‘softer’ so-to-speak than his debut, and you could say that Marvin’s Room was one of the more potent examples of this on his already ’emotional’ sophomore. With the wavey cinematic music video, misty production and Drake’s ‘fuck that nigga’s, it’s a heartbreaking track that in the same way From Time works, Drake’s verses are as fire as confident as ever, despite the fragile content.
15. Ignant Shit (ft Lil Wayne) – So Far Gone
So Far Gone is my favourite Drake project, and with this Biggie-sampling beat that Jay Z had already had a crack at, with Drizzy keeping up it showed what a prospect we had on our hands. A Lil Wayne co-sign with a guest verse again showed the kind of caliber of artist Drake was aiming for.
14. Shot For Me – Take Care
One of the best examples of Drake’s singing ability? Shot For Me showed me that the guy can genuinely sing, and that it wasn’t just a gimmick in which is completely relied on autotune. As you might have noticed, I like Drake tracks when he sings and then drops fire in between, and Shot For Me is another example of this done right. As the second track on Take Care, it ultimately painted the picture of what you could expect from Drake’s sophomore.
13. HYFR (Hell Yeah Fucking Right) (ft Lil Wayne) – Take Care
‘Do you like this shit? Are you high right now? Do you ever get nervous? Are you single?’ the hook sat expertly on one of the most single-ready songs in Drake’s catalogue. With Weezy dropping by to help out on the chorus and verse, and with an extravagant ‘re-bar mitzvah’ music video, it became an instant party anthem. It was a jump-up college freshmen and mainstream clubbers’ anthem, one that you could also sing along to.
12. Light Up (ft JAY Z) – Thank Me Later
Drake and JAY Z have come together three times in collaboration- the forgettable Blueprint 3 cut Off That, the aforementioned Pound Cake, and lastly Light Up from Drizzy’s debut Thank Me Later. Light Up had a pounding beat that put the pair, let alone just Drake in a more hard-hitting and maybe too, a more convincing light, especially after the crappy Off That, the pair finally lived up to the anticipation with their second collab.
11. The Motto (ft Lil Wayne) – Take Care (Deluxe Version)
There’s not really a lot more I can say about The Motto, you just need to look about the world we find ourselves in to see the word YOLO plastered about everywhere. The cultural impact that this song had on a plethora of generations is vastly underestimated, an entire movement of people again reliving the ‘fuck it’ mentality through four little letters.
10. Find Your Love – Thank Me Later
Every now and again, I love a bit of cheese, and Find Your Love slots into this category with just that added bit of Drake charm. And boasting over 80million views, surpassing many of the aforementioned, I’m clearly not alone either. With Kanye, No ID and Bhasker behind the decks once more, it stemmed directly from 808s’ sing-song pop star charms. Still surprised it only managed to get to number five in the US.
9. Worst Behaviour – Nothing Was The Same
I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t blown by Nothing Was The Same, and initially, Worst Behaviour was one of my least favourites from the LP. But the more I’ve come to get to grips with [some of] the appeal of Nothing Was The Same, the more I realise Worst Behaviour is actually one of the best cuts. The song’s direct, powerful, forthright, and instantly impacting. How dare people doubt Drake? How dare I doubt Drake?! The guy’s a genius.
8. Over – Thank Me Later
‘I know way too people people right now that I didn’t know last year, who the fuck are y’all? // I swear it feels like the last few nights we been everywhere and back but, I just can’t remember it all?’ Sound like the superstar life? That’s how you write a hook that’s not only infectious and instantly Drake, it’s also egotistical, bragging and also unforgiving in the same way. Drake doesn’t give a shit, he knows he’s rich, you know he’s rich, but he’s going to tell him anyway.
7. Take Care (ft Rihanna) – Take Care
While there’s always going to be this love connection between Drake and Rihanna, and for some reason people give a shit about what celebrities are fucking each other. That aside, there’s no getting around the undeniable chemistry Rihanna and Drake have. With Jamie xx flipping Gil Scott Heron’s I’ll Take Care Of You, and 40 giving it that Drake hip-hop twist, what resulted was an absolute gem of a track. The accompanying music video was a piece of art in itself as well.
6. Tuscan Leather – Nothing Was The Same
As I’ve said many-a-time, NWTS wasn’t all that, but a couple of tracks from the LP were outstanding, and the opener was a peach. Tuscan Leather is that peach- it had that added fire and enthusiasm that I felt was lacking from the rest of the LP. Drake raps with such undeniable confidence that you’d be mad to doubt he wasn’t ‘just as famous as my mentor’. ‘How long this nigga spend on the intro?’ I’m glad he spent as much as did.
5. Successful (ft Trey Songz & Lil Wayne) – So Far Gone
So Far Gone is my favourite Drake project, and it was home to standout tracks, many of which I’ve already listed, except for two, one I’m sure you can anticipate, the other being Successful. With early comparisons from the get-go between Drake and Trey Songz, the two came together for a track that arguably won over the final hearts of those yet to swoon. It also possibly ended the comparisons with Drizzy coming out on top.
4. Crew Love (ft The Weeknd) – Take Care
Another of Drizzy’s singles that works in the same way as HYFR, an instant hit with the youth. From those pounding unforgiving percussion that gives way to symphonic ‘what you looking at me for?’s from The Weeknd. With the fellow Canadian providing the hook, Drake had room to manoeuvre in the rapping department. While the song was clearly ready for the radio waves, it also had some particularly memorable lines from the man himself such as ‘But seeing my family have it all // Took the place of that desire for diplomas on the wall’.
3. Hold On, We’re Going Home – Nothing Was The Same
This probably won’t sit right with a lot of people, but Hold On We’re Going Home is one of Drake’s greatest songs. Drake opened up his Nothing Was The Same account with Started From The Bottom, a song which blew the lid off and instantly propelled the hype into stratosphere, however it wasn’t for everyone, and showed only one side to Drake. He showed the other side with his second single- Hold On We’re Going Home, Drizzy melted hearts worldwide, and the track sold like it was nobody’s business.
2. Forever (ft Kanye West, Lil Wayne & Eminem) – More Than A Game Soundtrack
Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Eminem, with the exception of maybe Bitch Please Part II, Swagga Like Us, Monster and So Appalled, has there been a better posse cut in the last few years? Each rapper brought their a-game to their verses, each trying to better the one before them. I think it’s fair to say Mr Mathers once again stole the show, but although he commenced proceedings, I feel Drizzy ousted both his mentor and Kanye West- not an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination.
1. Best I Ever Had – So Far Gone
There’s not really a lot I need to say about Best I Ever Had, apart from the fact that it’s the song that made Drake’s career. He rapped, he sang, he made women the world over swoon, ‘sweatpants, hair tied chilling with no make up on // that’s when you the prettiest I hope you don’t take it wrong’, he made every male on the planet jealous ‘Magazine paper girl but money ain’t the issue // They bring dinner to my room and ask me to initial // She call me the referee cause I be so official // My shirt ain’t got no stripes but I can make your pussy whistle.’ The beat was ridiculously crafted with background strings, and those cymbal-powered chords, with both the hook and the verse handled by Drizzy himself, it was the song that made him what he is.
So there you have it, Drake’s best songs, from So Far Gone to If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, it’s been a roller coaster journey for the Canadian superstar, and as you can see, he really does have an admirable catalogue. Be sure to check out my reviews of If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and Nothing Was The Same, and if you liked this list be sure to check out my other Best Songs lists by clicking the images below.