It would be an understatement to say that the last three years have not gone well, in terms of music, for Toronto mogul, Drake. From the painfully cringey 2016 project, Views, the bland as hell 2017 “playlist”, More Life, to 2018, where Drake’s career was nearly blown to smithereens after Pusha T delivered one of the greatest diss tracks of all-time with “The Story of Adidon” only for Drake to return fire with the awful and criminally-long Scorpion project. Drake needed something positive in his life and he received that with his Toronto Raptors claiming the 2019 NBA Championship. Following the win, Drake dropped two singles titled “Omertá” and “Money In The Grave”. They are not terrible tracks but are no different than the tracks that we have been used to on his bad albums. If you understand music, Drake is at his best when he raps over some moody beats and delivers a hook that really gets you in your feels. Some will say that “Marvin’s Room” is one of Drake’s greatest songs, and while I do not agree, there are similar styles on this compilation project that display Drake’s best abilities and why Care Package displays the best moments of his career better than any of his actual albums ever did.
For the next generation of people, if you are going to explain to them who Drake was and the best of the best in his discography, then you only need to play Care Package. “Trust Issues”, “I Get Lonely”, and “My Side” are peak Drake sadness. These tracks would have perfectly fit on Thank Me Later or Take Care. The emotions evoked on these tracks are as apparent as they were on “Marvin’s Room’ and show that Drake’s R&B-flavored rap songs are some of his best. They play to his strengths when he is allowed to be both a singer and a rapper within the same track. “4pm in Calabasas” and “5 Am in Toronto” display the best of Drake’s ability with clever wordplay and getting in your face when he has to. When Drake hashed out anger to his peers on these tracks from the early 2010s, they are Drake’s better outings. The production on these tracks is also the best-of-the-best you will get in Drake songs. The Lauryn Hill, Rihanna, and Rick Ross samples all contribute positively to Drake’s style that could have elevated some of his older albums.
What Care Package does in the long term of Drake’s career proves that he has run out of unique and interesting ideas to further his musical ventures but it gives us one final chance to reminisce and appreciate how entertaining Drake was in his earlier days. It plays in a way that retcons his most recent works.
Richest Tracks: “The Motion”, “How Bout Now”, “Trust Issues”, “4pm in Calabasas”, “5 Am in Toronto”, “I Get Lonely”, “My Side”, “Free Spirit”, “Paris Morton Music”
Worst Track: “Days in the East”