14 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

With its spectral production and self-conscious superstar, Drake's landmark debut—which delivered on the promise of his mixtapes, guest spots, and the early single "Best I Ever Had"—cemented the former child actor from Canada as an unlikely hip-hop iconoclast. Mentored by Lil Wayne, Drake partied like his peers ("Fireworks" alludes to an affair with Rihanna), yet his lyrics are filled with misgivings about success. Combined with innovative productions from wingman Noah "40" Shebib (sounds fade in and out on tracks that have multiple hooks, or none at all), Drake's confessions capture the dual nature of fame: access to excess coupled with a loss of freedom.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With its spectral production and self-conscious superstar, Drake's landmark debut—which delivered on the promise of his mixtapes, guest spots, and the early single "Best I Ever Had"—cemented the former child actor from Canada as an unlikely hip-hop iconoclast. Mentored by Lil Wayne, Drake partied like his peers ("Fireworks" alludes to an affair with Rihanna), yet his lyrics are filled with misgivings about success. Combined with innovative productions from wingman Noah "40" Shebib (sounds fade in and out on tracks that have multiple hooks, or none at all), Drake's confessions capture the dual nature of fame: access to excess coupled with a loss of freedom.

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