Birthday Tunes: Drake’s Top 10 Songs of All Time
On the Toronto icon’s birthday, I list the top 10 most iconic and incredible tracks of his career.
Before I begin, I can’t even explain how many honorable mentions I have for this list. I have so many that it would only make more sense to write a top 10 article of honorable mentions, then another one to co-exist with the second one. Happy birthday to the 6 God himself.
10. Say What’s Real (2009)
Favorite Bar: “Lost some of my hottest verses out in Cabo/So if you find a Blackberry with a side scroll, sell that mothafucka to any rapper that I know”
The fact he had the audacity to kill a remix of Ye’s masterpiece and then admit the fact that he bodied it to end the track is nothing short of a ‘making of a legend feel’. The eeriness of the 808‘s production put together with Drake’s underdog era lyrics combine for something extraordinary and near-breathtaking. This is one of the most senselessly overlooked songs in Aubrey’s career and there’s no way I couldn’t put this on the top list.
9. Connect (2013)
Favorite Bar: “I remember when my schedule was flexible as she is/She call and tell me be here before the sun up, I got dressed before we hung up”
This is the most genre-bending song Drake has made in his career. The H-Town influence is heavy in this one, extremely heavy. The personal details and T.M.I moments there are on this track are unbelievable, from the late night gas station creepin’ to the later night booty call accompanied by the directions to the girl’s location itself. He describes this poisonous relationship so vividly it feels like I’m right there with him and I’m sure I’m not alone on that one.
8. Days In the East (2014)
Favorite Lyric: “I’m terrible at invitin’ myself, call me over”
This track is a fucking doozy. This song single handedly brought us the ‘6’ era. The first live performance of this song, that Rihanna sample between the first and second half of the song, the rapid fire drums and the hard hitting bass, the infamous OVO Fest performance and just about every other detail I could mention about this piece of sonic beauty make it even better than it already is. This song was a pinpoint of a major shift in Drake’s career and I can make the argument this song is one of the most important he’s ever had.
7. Over My Dead Body (2011)
Favorite Bar: “And I met ya baby moms last night! We took a picture together I hope she fraaaaaaaaames it”
A beautifully sung hook and poetically written verses result in the making of a remarkable song. The flows that Drake uses and the maturation in his voice was the starting point of a whole new era of his career after the release of Thank Me Later. It’s honestly so hard to believe it’s been five years since Take Care dropped this must be what it’s like to get old. When you put aside all those Twitter jokes about what I’m going to tell my kids when Hold On, We’re Going Home comes on my local adult contemporary station, its gems like these I’d show my future child.
6. The Resistance (2010)
Favorite Bar: “Yesterday when we were getting high, you were inviiiiiiited/You woulda liked it”
There’s two things I have to say about this selection.
- That picture is fucking iconic.
- The intro vocals on this song are the one of the most incredible things in Drake’s whole discography.
There’s just something different about this song and I think it’s because it doesn’t get anywhere near the respect it deserves. It is one of the most incredible lyrical showcases of Drake’s career and consists of some of the most emotional stories he’s ever touched on.
5. Tuscan Leather (2013)
Favorite Bar: “Life is soundin’ crazy, 40 on Martin Scorsese/And I wouldn’t change a thing if you paid me, man real nigga wassup”
This song was my personal soundtrack. This song is one of the most triumphantly epic intros of all time. Dare I say one of the best ever, but you’d have to be pretty stubborn to disagree with me. The Dipset-esque production and the absolute heat that Drizzy is spitting is literally insane. Sing alongs with this song get very intense. Opening statements like Tuscan Leather is the outcome of spending that much time on the intro.
4. Hotline Bling (2015)
Favorite Lyric: “IKNOWWHENTHATHOTLINEBLING!”
To any and all people who own baby pink hats as of September 2015: please don’t deny the fact that you ever considered wearing that before Drake made the pastel shade the hottest color in fashion. The impact this song is everywhere you look and has been for the last year. You can still hear it on the radio, you can still hear it in your head and every time you do you start to hit the dance too. What was one of the most unavoidable songs of the past 12 months is one of the most paradigm shifting songs in his career.
3. Marvin’s Room (2011)
Favorite Bar: “I’ve had sex four times this week I’ll explain/Having a hard time adjustin’ to fame”
For the most part, when we think of the prototypical Drake song, this is the first thing that comes to mind. His rapping verse on here is incredible but when you turn this on you all know you just can’t wait to sing along to the hook. ‘Marvin’s Room’ is one of the most legendary ballads for the social media generation, as well as an automatic choice for breakup anthem. That’s all I have to say, the song speaks for itself.
2. Dreams Money Can Buy (2011)
Favorite Bar: “Can’t tell ya how much I love when niggas think they got it/And I love the fact that line made ’em think about it”
I was a Drake fan before this song came out. I was Drake’s number one fan the moment I heard it. The graceful sampling on the instrumental is hands-down one of the most soothing things I’ve ever heard. The burning passion that he attacks this song with is awe-inspiring. When people say ‘Drake is a simp’, it’s tracks like these that proves Drake doesn’t give a single fuck about what you think. This song is a diamond in what was a field full of them in the Take Care era, as well as my eternal favorite.
1. The Ride (2011)
Favorite Bar: “She just prayin’ that it heals good/I’m ‘bout to fuck and I’m just prayin’ that it feels good”
I have so much to say about this song. I was a huge Drake fan when the song came out but it took me a long time to actually decipher and appreciate it. The third person perspective he details the present, past and future of his life in is the most brilliantly structured thing he’s ever made in his entire career. From having dinners at French Laundry in Napa Valley, to riding around in overpriced rental cars that ain’t tinted to blowing six million on himself. The high-on-life lifestyle he has been living since he bid us adieu on Take Care has only grown to be a never-ending peak of artistry five years later.