10 Drake classics that will make you a convert

Aubrey Drake Graham is a lot of things. Degrassi High alumni, Toronto Raptors ambassador, awards show presenter, rapper, singer, walking meme generator, and hell, he just might be the number one entertainer on the planet right now. Whatever he sets his mind to – whether its lint rolling his pants or releasing non-album tracks on a whim – Drake doesn’t do things by halves.

Ahead of Drake’s debut Australian visit for Future Music Festival, Lachlan Kanoniuk runs through a concise cheat-sheet of vital Drizzy tracks for the uninitiated.

1. ‘Forever’ (feat. Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Eminem)

From Music Inspired by More Than a Game (2009)

Opening a posse cut featuring a veritable Mount Rushmore of 21st-century rap giants with the line “Last name ever/First name greatest” is a straight-up power play, and Drizzy pulls it off with ease, outshining the A-list verses that follow. It’s peak braggadocio, showing Drake at his most impactful.

2. ‘The Motto’ (feat. Lil Wayne, Tyga)

Single (2011)

If the title isn’t familiar, the chorus certainly is. “You only live once/That’s the motto n***a: YOLO”, the acronym cementing itself in the global vernacular, for better or worse. Cultural ubiquity aside, the track resonates with booming minimalism, Drake’s flow at its sharpest.

3. ‘HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right)’ (feat. Lil Wayne)

From Take Care (2011)

HYFR didn’t really take off in the lexicon in the same way YOLO did, but the track is a heady run-through of Drake’s ex issues, as is his wont. It runs with urgency in the verse into a spacious Lil Wayne hook preceded by “Interviews are like confessions/Get the fuck up out my dressing room/Confusing me with questions like.”

4. ‘Marvins Room’

From Take Care (2011)

The lead single from the all-conquering Take Care sees Drizzy in full heartbreak mode, crooning with entrenched bitterness over a woozy, sparse instrumental. The perfect soundtrack for profound early-AM remorse, served with a high risk of drunk-dial instigation.

5. Drake ‘Take Care’ (feat. Rihanna)

From Take Care (2011)

Taking Jamie xx’s pounding rework of Gil Scott-Heron’s ‘I’ll Take Care Of You’, flipping the original vocal grit with Rihanna’s flawless take on the hook, Drake takes from the relative underground and creates a mainstream, yet still heartfelt, anthem.

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