Whatever people say about Drake, they cannot argue with the fact that he has developed a product and absolutely nailed it, blowing all other competition out of the water. With his sophomore album, “Take Care”, he truly opened himself up to a female audience, attracting a new type of fan, to go alongside those he had picked up through his critically acclaimed mixtape, “So Far Gone”, a mixtape with a more regular hip-hop vibe to it.
The Hip-Hop/R&B genre is particularly unique in the fact that there is a strong willingness and tendency for collaboration amongst artists. Drake is an artist, who in my opinion, has benefitted hugely from his features in other artist’s tracks. Take for instance, “What’s My Name?” (Rihanna) and “Right Here” (Justin Bieber), which have put him in the shop window and exposed himself to a new type of listener. In light of this, I have compiled a list of my top 10 favourite Drake features, which can be viewed below:
10 Fed Up – DJ Khaled ft. Usher, Drake, Young Jeezy & Rick Ross
The first single from DJ Khaled’s “Victory” album, arguably gave Drizzy his first piece of major exposure, accompanied by some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop/R&B. Though Drake’s verse was relatively short, it sufficed as a great introduction both to him as an artist and a personality.
“And when they give ya they shoulders, never cry on ‘em,
And when they love you to death, never die on ‘em.”
9 Still Got It – Tyga ft. Drake
In terms of sales, this single was not an overwhelming success. However, the track succeeded in highlighting the diversity of Drake as an artist. He has the unique ability of being able to hold his own on a hook, whilst also having the capacity to vent on verses, and he seamlessly shifts between the two. In terms of hits, the song did incredibly on HotNewHipHop, notching up over 1,000,000 listens, and currently sits as the 5th most listened to song of all time on the site.
“I know I’m blunt, but how real is that?
You want that feeling back?”
8 The Zone – The Weeknd ft. Drake
Whilst at the very beginning of his music career, Lil’ Wayne acted as a mentor as such to Drake, Drake has seemingly performed the same role in the progression of fellow Canadian artist, The Weeknd. The two collaborated a couple of times on “Take Care”, with “Crew Love” in particular gaining serious radio airplay. Drake lends some guest vocals for “The Zone”, yet you have to wait at least 5 minutes to hear him on the track. However, it’s worth it and his verse is a perfect accompaniment to a real standout track from The Weekend’s “Thursday” mixtape.
“Take a deep breath, no one need to panic
Lips so French, ass so Spanish
She don’t really like attention, I don’t know if she gon’ manage out here.”
7 I Invented Sex – Trey Songz ft. Drake
There is no two ways about it – this song is an absolute Hip-Hop/R&B banger! This is backed up by the fact it peaked at No.1 in the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop single chart. Trey and Drizzy had worked together on “Replacement Girl” and “Successful” before this; however this track has a completely different vibe to it. Special mention must go to producer, Los da Mystro, who claimed his second ever No.1 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop singles chart with this track, following on from J. Holiday’s hit “Bed”.
“He ain’t in your world, you can take him off your atlas,
Girl you on fire, can I be the one you match with?”
6 Poppin’ Bottles – T.I. ft. Drake
Drake was one of very few bright sparks in T.I’s 7th(!) studio album, “No Mercy”. The album was slated by the critics, and in all honesty, this particular song is far from T.I.’s finest. 5 minutes in duration, this track could easily have been trimmed down, but Drake is the saving grace. In my opinion this is one of his greatest verses.
“Oooh, that’s that fire, that have you calm sh*t,
You with a lot of dudes, that’s that Elton John sh*t.”
5 In the Morning- J.Cole ft. Drake
There is a great story behind this track. J. Cole recorded this song as far back as 2007, and two years later he got a message from Drizzy, who pleaded for him to redo it and give him a verse. J. Cole said yes, stayed true to his word and in November 2010, the song was released. It did extremely well and provided great publicity for both artists. This song has such a lazy, chilled out, Sunday morning feel to it, yet the lyrics remain incredibly powerful. The two artists may have shared some difference in the past, yet everything appears to have been patched up between them now, as Drake was filmed snapping up all the available copies of “Born Sinner” at Best Buy recently!
“I mean you kinda like that girl that’s in the US Open,
I mean I got this hidden agenda that you provoking.”
4 Right Above It – Lil’ Wayne ft. Drake
Personally, I feel that as the years have gone by, Lil Wayne’s brilliance has been more sporadic. This track is one of those instances where Lil’ Wayne is performing at his optimum level. Drake plays his part too with his opening verse. Drake owes a great deal of gratitude to Weezy, as Lil’ Wayne has really helped to propel Drizzy into the public eye. This song was released back in August 2010, and it is incredible how the roles have reversed between the two, as now Drizzy is arguably the more dominant force in the genre, as Lil’ Wayne’s music has suffered from poor sales and criticism from the media, as many feel he is just not putting the effort into his music anymore.
“This that Slum Dog Millionaire Bollywood flow and uh
My real friends never hearing from me
Fake friends write the wrong answers on the mirror for me.”
3 Enough Said – Aaliyah ft. Drake
First things first, Noah “40” Shebib should take a hell of a lot of credit for his work on this track. The song was originally recorded by Aaliyah prior to her death in 2001, and Drake and “40” came together in 2012 to add some vocals and put the finishing touches to it. I feel Drake gets the vibe just right on this track, adding a quality verse whilst not overpowering the late Aaliyah. Also top marks to him for managing to namedrop Italian footballer, Mario Balotelli and give a mention to the city of Manchester!
“Don’t you ever wake up disgusted,
Every million I gain an enemy or cousin,
And people’s feelings have changed ever since I became something.”
2 Stay Schemin’ – Rick Ross ft. Drake & French Montana
Men’s magazine, “Complex”, awarded Drizzy best feature of 2012 for his verse on Rick Ross’s single – that’s how good it is! Drake’s verse acts as a response to rapper Common, who dissed him on the song “Sweet”. Whilst this song did not perform perhaps as well as it deserved to, in most people’s books it ranks as one of the top Hip-Hop tracks of 2012. In Drake’s “Take Care” album, one criticism would be that there is a lack of heavy verses from Drake, where he vents his fury and frustration at the world. However, with the likes of this verse here, “5am in Toronto” and “We in this 1.5”, he demonstrates that he still has that side to him.
“It bothers me when the gods get to acting like the broads,
Guess every team doesn’t come complete with n*ggas like ours.”
1 She Will – Lil’ Wayne ft. Drake
My No.1 could have gone to a whole host of different songs, including many that didn’t quite make the final 10. Whilst Lil’ Wayne provided the verses to the track, Drake was widely praised for his chorus. The song reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hip-Hop/R&B charts and sold over 3 million records. This track is yet another example of Drizzy and Weezy collaborating on a track to achieve success, and for Lil’ Wayne it provided a silver lining for a mediocre “Tha Carta IV”. There have been plenty remixes to this song, both good and bad, yet I’d recommend the official version with Rick Ross lending his vocals for a verse.
“I wish we could take off and go anywhere,
But here baby you know the deal.”
There you have it. I’m sure this will spark a lot of debate. Feel free to leave comments below!