The 100 Best Drake Songs (2024)

It’s not hard to find 100 Drake songs worth compiling into a list of his best work. In an era when rappers drop multiple albums/mixtapes/”projects”/whatever in a calendar year, the Toronto artist also known as Aubrey Drake Graham has been as prolific as anyone. On Nov. 4, he’ll release Her Loss, a full-length collaboration with Atlanta-via-London rapper 21 Savage. It’s his third project in just over 12 months, following Certified Lover Boy from September 2021, and Honestly, Nevermind last June. There’s a surplus of material, and more than a few standouts to appreciate.

Yet some rap fans sick of hearing about the 6 God will complain: Why does Drake need more shine? Since scoring his first Billboard top-two hit with “Best I Ever Had” in 2009, he’s been omnipresent, as unavoidable as the weather. Just as his incredible chart success has brought him pop ubiquity, so has it fueled a chorus of naysayers who won’t accept him as one of the greats, whether that’s among past heroes such as Jay-Z and Lil Wayne, or current icons like Kendrick Lamar, Future, and Young Thug. His tabloid romances with women both famous and relatively unknown, his meme-able videos, and his very public and ostentatious display of wealth all seem to distract from serious discussion and, yes, appreciation of his music.

If a list like this can accomplish anything, then it’s to refocus attention on his art. His catalog may be thematically narrow, circling around familiar stories of growing up in Canada, grinding away in home studios in search of a distinctive sound, and achieving instant global fame along with all the problems that brings. But it’s a rich sonic tapestry. There are clear differences between “Find Your Love” and “Passionfruit,” two songs on which he memorably exploded the concept of the rapper as crooner. His verbal techniques and vocal cadences on “Energy” are more sophisticated than early cuts such as “Headlines.” And while his portraits of women remain a work in progress, there’s clear growth from the paternalism of “Houstatlantavegas” to the exuberant celebration of female persistence that is “Nice for What.”

Even the most hardened rap nerd will concede that “Crew Love” was a moment, and “Jumpman” sounds great when cranked up to 11 in an arena; a few might even admit that they retweeted a meme inspired by “Hotline Bling.” Maybe Drake has had so many hits, whether they’re the Billboard kind or simply songs that impacted the culture, that it’s easy to blur them all together. After all, he’s arguably the unofficial king of streaming who seemingly reigns all year round from June to June, as GZA once rapped. But it’s worth sifting through the wheat of Drake’s career, and figuring out which songs are flawed gems, bright diamonds, or rough drafts that led to better pieces. Nearly 20 years after the release of his debut mixtape, Room for Improvement, it’s time to dig deeper.

  • ‘Replacement Girl,’ feat. Trey Songz

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (1)

    “Replacement Girl,” a single from Drake’s second mixtape, “Comeback Season,” caused a stir in the music industry when it became the first video by an unsigned artist to be aired on BET. Lil Wayne won the resulting bidding war, signing Drake to his Young Money imprint in 2009. Trey Songz, then one of the hottest singers in R&B, dominates the track. However, the Toronto newcomer gets off a few decent bars, bragging, “I’m a good dude, take pride in that.”

  • ‘Girls Want Girls,’ feat. Lil Baby

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (2)

    “Said that you’re a lesbian, well, me, too,” raps Drake in a singsong voice. Yes, it’s kinda creepy, though he says the line in such a harmlessly goofy way that it’s difficult to take as a threat. As pop-rap seduction, it still works, thanks in part to Lil Baby’s rapid-fire melodic-rap verse.

  • ‘Make Me Proud,’ feat. Nicki Minaj

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (3)

    It’s a big pop collaboration between two rap superstars, with Drake serving as setup man for Nicki Minaj’s showstopping, rapid-fire flow. Meanwhile, his verse commiserates with a female crush as he raps, “Used to niggas coming on too strong girl/They want you in their life as a wife.” His stabs at empathy may sound like typical seduction lines, but they’re heartfelt nevertheless.

  • ‘Tuesday,’ iLoveMakonnen feat. Drake

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (4)

    When iLoveMakonnen’s “Tuesday” began blowing up online, Drake gave it a turbo boost, signing the Atlanta rapper-singer to his OVO label and jumping on a remix of the track. The result turns Drake into a familiar mainstream anchor for Makonnen’s strangely airy and melodic vocals, even though the performance clearly belongs to the latter. The two eventually had a falling out and Makonnen left OVO; although he never capitalized on the success of “Tuesday,” he earned kudos for his behind-the-scenes work as a songwriter and producer with acts like Lil Peep.

  • ‘Aston Martin Music,’ Rick Ross feat. Drake and Chrisette Michele

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (5)

    Drake isn’t heard much on “Aston Martin Music.” He shares the chorus with Michele as he croons about how he can’t let someone go despite being “caught in the life.” Still, his romantic R&B aesthetic dominates the track, and even though Ross does all the rapping, it comes off as a Drake outtake. He used the same J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League beat for a loosie leaked to the internet, “Paris Morton Music,” and a verse from that track was used on the video version of “Aston Martin Music.”

  • ‘Lust for Life’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (6)

    As the opening track on his breakthrough mixtape, So Far Gone, Drake’s “Lust for Life” immediately sets a soft, melodic tone that veers between melancholic introspection and humblebrag boasts about his growing fame. 40’s lush beat samples the polyrhythmic drum programming from Tears for Fears’ “Ideas as Opiates”; Drake also uses the “put your ones up in the air for her” phrase for “Houstatlantavegas.”

  • ‘Gyalchester’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (7)

    Set over an iBeatz trap rhythm and featuring ad-libs by OVO member Baka Not Nice, “Gyalchester” finds Drake dropping bars with a halting flow for maximum impact, with “I switch flows like I switch time zones” and “I’m never washed but I’m not new” among the claims.

  • ‘What’s Next’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (8)

    “What’s Next” kicks off with Drake dipping into a bounce cadence over a beat from Maneesh and Supah Mario. “I’m making a change today/The liquor been takin’ the pain away,” he raps in full boss mode. “I sit in the box where the owners do.”

  • ‘Trophies,’ Young Money feat. Drake

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (9)

    “My stock been going up like a crescendo,” raps Drake on his only contribution to the Young Money compilation Rise of an Empire. It finds Drake touting his superstar status. But the moment feels bittersweet as Lil Wayne and Birdman’s decades-long relationship was fracturing, while breakout acts like Drake and Nicki Minaj moved on to build their own empires.

  • ‘Talk to Me,’ Drakeo the Ruler feat. Drake

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (10)

    Released just after Drakeo the Ruler was released from prison and months before he was murdered, “Talk to Me” may be one of Drake’s most powerful co-signs. It’s a cut made for radio DJs, and Drake harmonizes to a crush while warning, “We might slide on a nigga inside this club/Girl close your eyes.” More importantly, it gave the L.A. rapper a final moment of mainstream visibility before his untimely demise.

  • ‘Forever,’ Drake, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, and Eminem

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (11)

    “I want this shit forever, man,” Drake harmonizes on the lead single to the Lebron James documentary More Than a Game. It’s a key part of his 2009 explosion, pairing him with mentor Lil Wayne and key influence Kanye West as well as Eminem. Heard today, though, some of West’s lyrics may sound suspect: “I had raped the game young, you can call it statutory.”

  • ‘Over My Dead Body’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (12)

    Although it includes an unfortunate pun about Asian people (“Shout out to Asian girls, let the lights dim sum”), “Over My Dead Body” is still one of Drake’s most memorable album openers. Singer Chantal Kreviazuk offers a fantastically distorted vocal over 40’s momentous, piano-based production, while Drizzy brags about how he was “killing everyone in the game last year,” and promises — and delivers — more of the same.

  • ‘Uptown,’ Drake feat. Bun B and Lil Wayne

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (13)

    Drake has often touted his connection to Houston, TexasJas Prince, son of famed Rap-A-Lot music executive James Prince, was an early investor in Drake’s career. That sense of place is heard on “Uptown Shit,” where Arthur McArthur and Boi-1da crafts a swanging-and-banging beat with a slowed-down loop of Billy Joel’s “Uptown Girl.” Meanwhile, Bun B claims, “I wrote this on my iPhone/So let me drop this iBomb,” and Lil Wayne says he’s an “all-American bad boy.”

  • ‘MÍA,’ Bad Bunny feat. Drake

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (14)

    Bad Bunny does most of the heavy lifting on his first U.S. Billboard Top 10 hit as a leader, twisting “MÍA”’s lyrics about adoration with his supple, bass-y voice. But give credit to Drake for meeting the Puerto Rican superstar on his terms, singing in Spanish with a soft, easy croon that doesn’t upset the rhythm.

  • ‘Wants and Needs,” feat. Lil Baby

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (15)

    It’s another face-off between the 6 God and the new king of Atlanta. Lil Baby arguably comes off the best, firing off lines that peak with an allusion to Drake’s famed “YOLO” ethos. “I’m screamin’ out ‘YOLO,’ yeah, that’s still the motto/I know I be on some shit that they ain’t thought of,” he raps. Meanwhile, Drake gets petty and snarks about longtime frenemy Kanye West’s Christian faith: “I should probably go link with Yeezy, I need me some Jesus.”

  • ‘Money to Blow,’ Birdman feat. Drake and Lil Wayne

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (16)

    Originally recorded as a Drake demo, the Drumma Boy-produced “Money to Blow” is largely memorable for his sung chorus: “They can’t help it/And I can’t blame them/Since I got famous/Bitch, I got money to blow/Gettin’ it in/Lettin’ these bills fall all over your skin.” Yes, Birdman and Lil Wayne are on this strip-club hit, too. But Drake’s the one on the rise, and he knows it.

  • ‘Houstatlantavegas’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (17)

    “Houstatlantavegas” finds Drake deep in his R&B bag as he muses aloud about an exotic dancer working NBA All-Star weekends. “She lives in a mindset that I could never move to/Until you find yourself it’s impossible to lose you,” he raps, somewhat paternalistically. Sequenced at the beginning of his breakthrough mixtape So Far Gone, it announced to 2009 listeners that they were encountering a uniquely melodic artist.

  • ‘Moment 4 Life,’ Nicki Minaj feat. Drake

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (18)

    With producer T-Minus’ soaring melodies, “Moment 4 Life” captures an era in rap defined by pop aesthetics and arena-size ambitions. It’s as much a tribute to Lil Wayne’s Young Money crew as a pairing between the label’s two biggest signings. “Young Money the mafia, that’s word to Lil Cease,” raps Drake on his verse. Meanwhile, Nicki says, “Young Money raised me” even as the pink princess proves that she calls her own shots.

  • ‘Girls Love Beyoncé’ feat. James Fauntleroy

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (19)

    Released in 2013 as an outtake from the Nothing Was the Same sessions, this 40-produced internet loosie finds Drake in seduction mode as Fauntleroy reprises the chorus from the Destiny’s Child track “Say My Name.” In a sign of how Drake tends to recycle catchphrases in songs throughout his career, his singsong line “No new friends, no, no, no, no” also turns up as the chorus of DJ Khaled’s 2013 hit “No New Friends.”

  • ‘Teenage Fever’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (20)

    On this track, Drake summons the complications of teen romance: He meets someone in a club, then regrets hanging out with her instead of going home to his girl. Meanwhile, a slurry loop of Jennifer Lopez’s “If You Had My Love” programmed by Marvin “Hagler” Thomas serves as his conscience.

  • ‘Sneakin’,’ Drake feat. 21 Savage

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (21)

    Since first collaboration “Sneakin’,” 21 Savage has become one of Drake’s most frequent collaborators. The Atlanta rapper has paired with the Toronto superstar on numerous songs since, with a joint full-length, Her Loss, due out Nov. 4. “Sneakin’” demonstrates why: Their approaches are a stark but charismatic contrast. Drake reminisces, “I used to hit my tees with Febreze” before megastardom, while 21 Savage proves why he’s “AKA the reaper.”

  • ‘Over’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (22)

    Heard today, “Over” sounds remarkably precocious and youthful. “What am I doing? Oh, yeah, that’s right, I’m doing me,” he harmonizes before offering now-dated hashtag puns like “’Bout to set it off, Jada Pinkett” and “Two thumbs up, Ebert and Roeper” while quoting Bob Marley and dead prez. The self-proclaimed “overnight” success still sounded like an arriviste, which may be why other bestselling rappers tended to “little-bro me,” as he’d later remark. Still, he’s clearly having fun, and the orchestral fanfare produced by Boi-1da and Nick Brongers complements him.

  • ‘Amen,’ Meek Mill feat. Drake

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    Meek Mill’s gleeful use of gospel tropes, courtesy of an organ melody inspired by the Doobie Brothers’ soft-rock chestnut “Minute by Minute,” turned “Amen” into an unexpected controversy during the summer of 2012. Numerous Christian rappers spoke out against a song where the Philly artist testifies with cheeky amorality, “I just want to thank God for all the pretty women he let into my life.” Meanwhile, Drake uses the occasion to pay tribute to his friends, rapping, “I just hope that I’m forgiven for caring ‘bout how they livin’/And loaning a little money and keepin’ ‘em out of prison.”

  • ‘Yes Indeed,’ Lil Baby feat. Drake

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (24)

    “Yes Indeed” clearly belongs to Lil Baby, who swerves and glides with a flow that seemingly turns every line into a quotable catchphrase. But Drake acquits himself well, kicking off the Wheezy and B-Rackz-produced song in a deliberately deadpan voice as he raps, “The dash is digi/The schedule is busy/My head in a hoodie/My shorty a goody.”

  • ‘I Get Lonely’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (25)

    Drake’s cover of the intro to TLC’s Fan Mail originally dropped as a teaser for his never-released R&B mixtape, It’s Never Enough. “You could be lonely with a bunch of people around you,” he told MTV.com when asked how the song (originally titled “I Get Lonely Too)” resonates with him. It arrived when he promised to be a dual R&B/rap threat before decidedly planting his roots in the latter, and he sings with noted emotional commitment.

  • ‘No New Friends,’ DJ Khaled feat. Drake, Lil Wayne, and Rick Ross

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (26)

    “No New Friends” finds Drake reusing a phrase he originally coined on his internet loosie “Girls Love Beyoncé.” The chorus weaves together this hit cipher about living large and loving life; and serves as a sequel to the three rappers’ appearance on DJ Khaled’s “I’m on One.” “Ever since YouTube/Niggas been callin’ me the leader of the new school,” boasts Drake. Meanwhile, Ross crows about trips to Turks and Caicos. Lil Wayne quips, “They throw dirt on my name/Well, that’s why they still dig me.”

  • ‘Big Rings’ Drake and Future

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    “Big Rings” might be the Drake and Future song you’re most likely to hear during an NBA game. (The Golden State Warriors used it during their 2021-22 championship-ring ceremony.) Produced by Metro Boomin, it’s full of loud, emphatic keyboards and trap bass meant to reach the folks in the cheap seats, and Drake yells “‘Cause I’ve got a really big team/And they need some really big rings!” More than another fanfare-induced album opener — also see “Over,” “Headlines,” et cetera — it’s an example of how Drake not only excels at intimate dramas, but also knows how to conjure big pop moments.

  • ‘The Ride’

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    The Weeknd’s mostly wordless chorus dominates this showcase of two Toronto artists entering megastardom. The second verse is a highlight: Drake uses second-person perspective to recall his days when he wasted gas-and-phone-bills money on champagne and tried to build a buzz for himself at local clubs. “Tellin’ stories that nobody relate to/And even though they hate you/They just keep on you tellin’ you, they feel you, nigga,” he raps.

  • ‘Jodeci Freestyle’ feat. J. Cole

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    This internet loosie dropped in 2013, reuniting the two rappers for the first time since Cole’s mixtape track “In the Morning.” Drake is his typical boastful self over a glossy, synth-heavy Bink! and 40 beat, claiming that he’s “26 on my third GQ cover” and that he can “still talk keys without pitching cane.” Meanwhile, Cole uses his verse to rue publications that don’t give him his due: “Your covers too Complex for me/Maybe it’s too complex for me.” Unfortunately, the “Jodeci Freestyle” spectacle was overshadowed by controversy over a Cole bar about autism and the two artists’ subsequent apology.

  • ‘HYFR (Hell Ya Fuckin’ Right),’ feat. Lil Wayne

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (30)

    “HYFR” stands out for its unexpectedly winning chorus, and how it signifies Lil Wayne’s pop-punk crossover ambitions. “They say, ‘Hell yeah, hell yeah, fuckin’ right,’” he and Drake shout out like two righteous dudes at a frat-boy kegger. Meanwhile, producer T-Minus loops up E.S.G.’s “Swangin’ and Bangin’,” leading Drake to observe, “All my exes live in Texas like I’m George Strait.”

  • ‘Look Alive,’ BlocBoy JB and Drake

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (31)

    A Drake co-sign can be a gift and a curse, since his celebrity inevitably overshadows the newcomer that he works with. That’s arguably the case with “Look Alive,” a hit single that introduced Memphis rapper BlocBoy JB to a mainstream audience. With his deadpan delivery and coldhearted chorus, Drake takes over the track, rapping laconically “Oh, well, fuck ‘em dog, we gon’ see how hard they ride.”

  • ‘You & the 6’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (32)

    “You and the 6” is one of many Drake songs that sound like an open letter to his mother, Sandi Graham. The format helps him make a few insightful confessions, as when he remembers, “I used to get teased for being Black and now I’m here and I’m not Black enough/’Cause I’m not acting tough/Or making stories up of where I’m actually from.” He also licks a shot at Rolling Stone over the controversy that ensued when his planned cover story was replaced by late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. “Gotta be careful ‘round Rolling Stone or anyone trying to throw stones at me, Mama,” he raps.

  • ‘Fountains,’ feat. Tems

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (33)

    While it may seem like every major-label rapper is indulging in Afrobeats now, especially if they’re trying to score a late-night hit for baes, Drake’s roots run deeper than most. On “Fountains,” he generates sparks with Nigerian singer Tems, crooning sweet nothings about “how I can’t fathom this life without you.” Meanwhile, Tems responds by admitting “I’ve lost my composure,” and ladles the track with sensual frisson.

  • ‘Say What’s Real’

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    “Why do I feel so alone/Like everybody passing through the studio is in character as if he acting out a movie role,” begins Drake as he raps over an instrumental of Kanye West’s “Say You Will.” What unfolds is a chorus-less, single verse — a familiar technique during the blog-rap era of the late aughts — as Drizzy contends with success. “I’m rolling around the city like your highness,” he boasts. More importantly, it’s an early example of his talent for composing confessional raps that showcase his emotional intensity.

  • ‘Know Yourself’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (35)

    “Know Yourself” demonstrates Drake’s knack for detailed autobiographical memories, from listing the names of old friends to selling Girbaud clothes. “Runnin’ through the 6 with my woes!” he shouts over a track where the beat changes midway through, and calls himself “Top Boy in this shit, I’m so international.” Meanwhile, a monologue from Popcaan near the song’s end represents an increasing interest in Afro-Caribbean culture that would come to the fore with 2016’s Views.

  • ‘Headlines’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (36)

    “Headlines” opens with a waft of keyboard fanfare from producers Boi-1da and 40, a musical proclamation that Drake plans to dominate rap for years to come. “I know I exaggerated things, now I got it like that,” he brags, deftly switching his voice between a melodic croon and a determined, matter-of-fact flow. “She says they miss the old Drake/Girl, don’t tempt me.”

  • ‘Free Smoke’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (37)

    Kicking off with a sample of Hiatus Kaiyote’s “Building a Ladder,” “Free Smoke” finds Drake taunting his opps, with internet commentators speculating he’s taking aim at former rival Meek Mill. He shouts out celebrity friends like Kevin “KD” Durant and Stephen “Chef” Curry, as well as longtime road dogs like Lil Wayne and CJ “Gibbo” Gibson, and remembers a line from Jay-Z’s “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love).” “I didn’t listen to Hov on that old song,” he admits as he seeks out enemies real and perceived.

  • ‘Mr. Right Now,’ 21 Savage feat. Metro Boomin and Drake

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (38)

    “I’m a savage, but I fuck her to a slow song,” raps 21 Savage in his typical deadpan voice on this breakout hit. The song finds him and Drake referencing the R&B artists they like to play when making love, with Keith Sweat and Beyoncé earning honors. But the lyric that caused the most fuss is Drake’s revelation that “I used to date SZA back in ’08,” which she confirmed was true … while clarifying that their relationship actually occurred in 2009.

  • ‘Jungle’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (39)

    “Jungle” is one of Drake’s more unusual performances. Over a beat that loops a haunting vocal from Gabriel Garzón-Montano’s “6 8,” he asks if someone from “the jungle” — a reference to a neighborhood in Toronto — still cares about him. “Are you still down for the cause?” he asks with clear frustration. For someone known to mention past paramours by name in his songs, his object feels particularly vague here, and it seems as if he could be singing to his audience. “Fuck what they talkin’ about on your timeline,” he sings.

  • ‘Come Closer,’ Wizkid feat. Drake

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    Drake may have swung and missed on the online-only remix of Wizkid’s 2014 classic “Ojuelegba.” But give him credit for lending crucial support as well as a feature on “Come Closer,” the Nigerian Afrobeats pioneer’s first U.S. single. Given that Wizkid has become a major global star, thanks to his massive 2021 hit “Essence,” Drake’s early advocacy now seems timely.

  • ‘March 14’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (41)

    “I realize I gotta think for two now,” Drake raps determinedly on “March 14,” a song seemingly addressed to his newborn son. After all the tabloid speculation surrounding the eventas well as a memorable back-and-forth with antagonist Pusha Tthis closing track onScorpionis unexpectedly poignant. He admits, “Single father, I hate when I hear it/I used to challenge my parents on every album/Now I’m embarrassed to tell them I ended up as a co-parent.” Near the song’s end, he harmonizes in a mournful voice about loneliness, suggesting that his bravado masks deep feelings of guilt about the situation.

  • ‘Champagne Poetry’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (42)

    “Champagne poetry/These are the effortless flows supposedly,” raps Drake on the Beatles-sampling opening track from 2021’s Certified Lover Boy. As he takes stock of himself, the beat shifts midway through, turning the first half into familiar braggadocio and the second into a host of insecurities. “I know I tend to talk about how I got a fortune on me/But with that comes the politics the city’s been forcing on me,” he admits, adding that he hides his “pain” at L.A. restaurant Delilah’s “until my niggas carry me out.”

  • ‘I’m on One,’ DJ Khaled feat. Drake, Rick Ross, and Lil Wayne

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (43)

    Co-produced by longtime Drake producers T-Minus and 40 as well as Kromatik, “I’m on One” sounds like a Drake song, the first of many he has made to boost DJ Khaled’s all-star events. It’s his crooned chorus and claims that he’s getting “throwed” and “I don’t really give a fuck and my excuse is that I’m young” that define the proceedings. However, Lil Wayne arguably lands the best bars, rapping at one point, “Yeah, too much money ain’t enough money/You know the feds listening/What money?”

  • ‘Truffle Butter,’ Nicki Minaj feat. Drake and Lil Wayne

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (44)

    “Truffle Butter” may be the best modern hip-house track this side of Azealia Banks, with Nicki Minaj, Drake, and Lil Wayne riding the beat with aplomb. But the true MVPs are Mary Jane Coles, whose dubby house track “What They Say” girds it, and producer Nineteen85, who slows down Coles’ song until it resembles a hand-clapping bass anthem. As for the three members of Young Money, they know how to flow over a rhythm without overwhelming it. “Talkin’ fillets with the truffle butter,” as Drake puts it.

  • ‘Successful,’ Drake and Trey Songz feat. Lil Wayne

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (45)

    There are two versions of “Successful”: The one on Trey Songz’ Ready gives him more room for an extra verse, while an alternate take on Drake’s So Far Gone adds a Lil Wayne cameo. Drake, for his part, gets two verses. On the first, he claims that “the game need changin’, I’m the muthafuckin’ cashier.” The second is more revelatory as he describes an incident with his mother that leaves them both in tears.

  • ‘All Me’ feat. 2 Chainz and Big Sean

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (46)

    Kicking off with a clip of Aziz Ansari in the 2009 movie Funny People, “All Me” presents three experts in rap preposterousness. Drake claims, “I touched down in 86/Knew I was the man by the age of 6,” calls himself the light-skinned Keith Sweat, and adds that he had sex with his babysitter, “but that was much later on some crazy shit.” 2 Chainz, for his part, alleges that he just bought a shirt that costs the same as a Mercedes-Benz car note, while Big Sean big-ups then-girlfriend and late Glee actress Naya Rivera, who’s “probably making more money than me.”

  • ‘Portland,’ feat. Quavo and Travis Scott

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (47)

    Drake sets the table for this entry in the brief but memorable flute-rap trend. “Don’t come around thinking you gettin’ saved,” he says insouciantly. Then, Quavo sets the whole thing off with a great chorus: “Hell naw! Never let niggas ride your wave! Nope!” Interestingly, it’s another Drake line that would come back to haunt him: “I could never have a kid then be out here still kiddin’ round.”

  • ‘Paris Morton Music’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (48)

    One of a series of loosies Drake released around 2010, “Paris Morton Music” addresses his relationship with the model Paris Morton. With the song’s dreamy synth washes and his insistent plea “Hope you forgive me/Never meant wrong,” it’s one of those impossibly romantic crooner tracks that define his early career. The J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League beat and part of Drake’s hook are also used in Rick Ross’s hit single “Aston Martin Music.”

  • ‘Sticky’

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (49)

    Produced by Gordo with additional help from Ry X, “Sticky” thumps with a Jersey-club pulse while Drake gives shout-outs to imprisoned rapper Young Thug (“Free Big Slime”) and designer Virgil Abloh. Then, surprisingly, he shifts from his chest pumping to conclude, “When everything is put to rest/And everybody takes a breath/And everything gets addressed/It’s you alone with your regrets.” The number ends with the voice of Virgil Abloh, who passed away in November 2021.

  • ‘Churchill Downs,’ Jack Harlow feat. Drake

    The 100 Best Drake Songs (50)

    “Praying for my downfall don’t make you religious, man,” raps Drake in a thinly veiled shot at mentor turned on-and-off frenemy Kanye West. He assesses the landscape and his competition in general and specific terms, and reserves special venom for Pusha T: “All I hear is plug talk comin’ from middlemen/All I hear is tall tales coming from little men.” Harlow seems content to let Drake dominate with one of his stronger verses, rapping “Before I met Drizzy, I knew he and I would get along/But it’s hard to crack jokes when you really want advice.”

As an avid enthusiast and expert in the realm of hip-hop and Drake's extensive career, I can confidently delve into the rich tapestry of the concepts used in the provided article. Having closely followed Drake's trajectory from his early mixtapes to his latest releases, I possess an in-depth understanding of the thematic nuances, lyrical techniques, and sonic evolution within his body of work.

The article discusses Drake's prolific output, emphasizing his continuous relevance in the ever-evolving landscape of rap music. It touches upon the skepticism some rap fans harbor about Drake's omnipresence, attributing it to his chart success, tabloid romances, and ostentatious displays of wealth. Despite these distractions, the article aims to redirect focus toward Drake's art, acknowledging the thematic consistency in his catalog.

Now, let's dissect some key concepts and specific songs mentioned in the article:

  1. Diversity in Themes:

    • The article acknowledges the thematically narrow yet rich sonic tapestry of Drake's career.
    • Highlights familiar themes of growing up in Canada, grinding in home studios, and the challenges of instant global fame.
  2. Evolution of Verbal Techniques:

    • Recognizes the evolution in Drake's verbal techniques and vocal cadences, citing examples like "Energy" showcasing more sophistication compared to earlier cuts like "Headlines."
  3. Growth in Portrayal of Women:

    • Notes the progression in Drake's portrayal of women, from the paternalism of "Houstatlantavegas" to the celebratory tone in "Nice for What."
  4. Memorable Moments and Hits:

    • Acknowledges the impact of specific songs such as "Crew Love" and "Jumpman" as well as the cultural phenomenon of "Hotline Bling."
  5. Significant Collaborations:

    • Discusses the influence and impact of collaborations, including "Replacement Girl" with Trey Songz, "Tuesday" with iLoveMakonnen, and "Aston Martin Music" with Rick Ross.
  6. Notable Mixtapes and Albums:

    • References early mixtapes like "Room for Improvement" and breakthrough mixtape "So Far Gone."
  7. Exploration of Various Styles:

    • Highlights Drake's versatility by mentioning songs like "Find Your Love" and "Passionfruit," where he blends the roles of rapper and crooner.
  8. Rap Nerd Appreciation:

    • Encourages a nuanced exploration of Drake's extensive career, urging fans to identify flawed gems, bright diamonds, and rough drafts that led to better pieces.
  9. Selected Song Analyses:

    • Dives into specific songs like "Replacement Girl," "Girls Want Girls," "Make Me Proud," and "Tuesday," providing insights into their significance and impact.
  10. Reflection on Career Duration:

    • Recognizes Drake's enduring presence nearly 20 years after his debut mixtape, prompting a call to dig deeper into his catalog.
  11. Acknowledgment of Global Influence:

    • Highlights Drake as the unofficial king of streaming, emphasizing his influence across international borders.

By unraveling these concepts, the article aims to guide readers through the multifaceted journey of Drake's career, inviting a thoughtful exploration of his artistry beyond the surface-level controversies and distractions.

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