The first time I ever drank Four Loko I was on a bunch of Percocet and chain smoking and sitting on a lawn chair in my girlfriend at the time’s mom’s driveway listening to Drake. “Take Care” came out a few days prior and until that point I was only familiar with the song “Successful” and his album “Thank Me Later,” which I didn’t like. That night in the driveway we listened to most of “Thank Me Later” and a few songs off “Take Care.” I remember saying things like “He can’t decide if he’s hard or soft, like, pick one…” and “This is really catchy but he’s an actor.” I also remember throwing up into the bushes and feeling proud that my puke consisted of mostly water and lettuce.
Over the next few years I listened to Drake occasionally and I didn’t like it at all. To me, Drake was just a pussy who was good at acting.
The first time I remember enjoying a Drake song I was in my dorm room at Kent State University on Xanax and Adderall and alcohol and marijuana and the sun was rising and “Shot For Me” came on through my laptop speakers via iTunes shuffle. My now ex-girlfriend had recently started dating someone I didn’t like and although I would’ve said I didn’t care (I’m sure I did), I still loved her (I still do), and this song played at my ego a lot in terms of my desire to believe that the effect I had on her was larger than it was, and that, even though she was the one who broke up with me, she couldn’t be happy without me and I’d always effect her decision making in terms of men.
That morning I listened to “Take Care” in its entirety and enjoyed it.
“Take Care” was still hot when I started getting into it and I listened to the hits – “Take Care,” “Underground Kings,” “H.Y.F.R.” – a lot while driving, and the other songs gradually, one at a time, depending on where I was at emotionally.
I want to be cool. I don’t want to want to be cool. I want to have sex with a lot of beautiful women. I want to fall in love. I’m emotionally unavailable. I’m needy and insane. I love myself. I hate myself. Etc.
I was in rehab when “Nothing Was The Same” dropped and when I got out my roommate at the 3/4-house I lived in downloaded it. I liked “Hold On, We’re Going Home” and “All Me” instantly. I thought the rest of the record was weak though, until months later, driving in my car, listening to “The Motion” and really liking the last verse –
Looking back on it at least my pride is in tact, ’cause we said no strings attached and I still got tied up in that / Everything that I write is either for her or about her, so I’m with her even when I’m here without her and she know it / The girl that I want to save is like a danger to my health / Try being with somebody who wanna be somebody else / I always thought she was perfect when she was being herself / Don’t even know how to help
Nowadays, I love Drake and I’ve only recently started feeling ok with that. The truth is I’ve yet to find another artist who can so flawlessly support me emotionally, no matter how I’m feeling. If I’m feeling good, driving on the highway on my way to go shopping or something, I can listen to his verse on “Versace.” If I’m about to kick it with a thottie I can listen to “Come Thru.” If I’m feeling sentimental I can listen to “Look What You’ve Done.” If I’m thinking about the women I used to be in love with I can listen to ~75% of his songs.
I still think Drake can’t decide whether he wants to be hard or soft, but neither can I, and I don’t think that that’s a decision anyone really needs to make. People are inconsistent. We’re broken then we’re whole then we’re broken. We’re happy then we’re sad then we’re happy. Drake put it best when he was asked about this paradox in an interview, saying “I’m just a human being that’s willing to show you that I’m human.”