If you’re successful for long enough, you become less of a person and more of an idea. The name Warren Buffett is synonymous with wealth. Michael Jordan is synonymous with greatness. In 2020, after a decade of releasing albums, soundtracking memories, and breaking enough records, Drake the idea is one of variability.
He’s earned Billboard hits making Jamaican dancehall fusion music (“One Dance”), wedding reception ballads (“Hold On, We’re Going Home”), even Spanish-language rap (“Mia”), which his makes his debut album, 2010’s Thank Me Later, the least-Drake album he’s ever released. It’s an album that eschews vast experimentation in favor of largely traditional song structures and rap stylings, a decision influenced more by the world than the album’s creator.
Thank Me Later was the most anticipated rap debut of the last decade, thanks in large part to the phenomenon that was his 2009 free mixtape, So Far Gone. Before a single second of Thank Me Later was heard, Drake snagged a No. 2 single on the Billboard Hot 100