Drake’s latest album reached a new level of commercial success, tying Michael Jackson for the most No. 1 songs by a male soloist in Billboard Hot 100 history. Because of this, now is the perfect time to look back on some of his most underrated songs.
The outro of his first studio album, “Thank Me Later,” is one of Drake’s most lyrically introspective tracks. This song sees Drake celebrate his newfound fame and success while simultaneously acknowledging the fear that his achievements may not last.
"I'm in a world where things are taken, never given / How long they choose to love you will never be your decision / And I'm aware that this could be the last time you listen / So while I'm still here in this position / Y-you could thank me now," Drake raps.
His use of the song's namesake as a transition of ideas as well as a sequential transition from verse to hook is not only clever wordplay, but it creates a seamless flow for the track. This gives the song's structure a smoothness that makes it a pleasant listen.
Another introspective cut, “You & The 6,” sees Drake pay homage to his mother. In this song, Drake details various hardships from his upbringing while expressing to his mother the apprehension his fame has brought him.
"But I just roll with it, momma, rolling stone with it, momma / Gotta be careful around Rolling Stone / Or anyone that's tryna throw stones at me, momma," Drake raps.
Drake's reflective lyricism is complimented well by the instrumentals, as the simple drum and synth patterns allow the lyrics to be accentuated.
Of all Drake’s R&B songs, “Keep The Family Close” is his most underrated, starting his fourth studio album with a bang. The instrumentals are carried by a simple bass guitar rift, which allows Drake’s voice and lyrics to shine through as he sings about several failed relationships.
"All of my 'let's just be friends' are friends I don't have anymore," Drake croons.
The structure of the song works well with the production, as the instrumentals frequently crescendo into emphatic percussions that land on the vowels of words and at the end of lines, adding an air of grandeur to the lyrics.
The title track of Drake's fourth studio album sees him rap with a self-assured confidence, both bragging about his success and being vulnerable about what his life was like before it.
"Me and Niko used to plot on how to make a change / Now me and Kobe doin' shots the night before the game," Drake raps.
The instrumentals are well-constructed, as the track features a chopped and up-pitched sample of The Winans' 1981 gospel single, “The Question Is.” This sample laid over a bass pattern that crescendos to the vocal high notes makes for a smooth beat.
“Get Along Better” ft. Ty Dolla $ign
“Get Along Better” is a standout from Drake’s sixth studio album and is perhaps one of his most underappreciated R&B cuts. The ballad-like instrumental fits the aesthetic of the song well, as the slower and more somber beat makes Drake’s verses about the abandonment of a lover sound even sadder. The sub-bass hits simultaneously with his words, making them more impactful by adding emphasis to them.
Although his biggest hits are without a doubt iconic, these underrated Drake songs are definitely worth a listen.