Drake's 2010 album will finally provide fans with a more extensive, studio produced opus to complement his mixtape-dominated discography. That's right. 'Thank Me Later,' slated for May, will be the first full-length studio album for the Toronto-based rapper, despite his acclaim garnering a Grammy nomination, appearing in several high-profile music videos and even receiving the vocal support of everyone from Kanye West to Magic Johnson.
Until now, Drake has made his mark on the hip-hop and R&B landscape largely through radio and club play of his singles -- most notably, 'Best I Ever Had' and 'Every Girl,' which both wasted no time in skyrocketing up last summer's charts. After collaborating with big names like Lil Wayne, Kanye, and Jay-Z, Drake has, for all intents and purposes, become the "next big thing" in hip-hop. When the 23-year old sensation finally signed last year with Wayne's Young Money label and announced plans for a studio release, expectations for 'Thank Me Later' gradually built to the fever pitch levels they're at today.
Drake began recording the 2010 album back in June, but was sidelined by a knee injury in July. He resumed recording in October, and in November Lil Wayne declared that the album was finished. At this year's Grammys, though, Drake claimed that he still hadn't finished putting the final touches on his maiden studio work.
While he hasn't yet released an official tracklisting for the CD, Drake has confirmed the following songs will be on the album: 'Fireworks,' 'Shut it Down,' 'Afrika Boombatta' and 'Light Up,' -- the latter featuring, not surprisingly, Jay-Z. Just last week, in fact, Drake unveiled the album's first single, titled 'Over.' Produced by Boi-1da and Al Khalliq, the song has already received rave reviews from several DJs, including DJ Green Lantern. As he told MTV, Drake's latest effort is "not what you might think somebody would do," adding that "It's not like, 'Let me make "Best I Ever Had" Part 2.' It's an everybody type of record."
As for the rest of the album, fans will likely have to wait until May to get a full idea of Drake's direction. As he told MTV, though, much of the CD's sound was influenced by both Nas and OutKast's Andre 3000, whom he claims to have diligently studied before piecing together his beats. In an interview with Complex, the former 'Degrassi' star said that fans should expect a sound that's substantially different from his most recent mixtape, 'So Far Gone,' released last February. In December, he expressed to MTV his hopes that the album will be a "colorful journey for everybody," adding that the opening track, 'Fireworks,' establishes the CD as "a great, triumphant record right away."
UPDATE: Track listing revealed as of May 20. See below for details.
'Thank Me Later' Track Listing:
'Fireworks' Feat. Alicia Keys
'Show Me a Good Time'
'Up All Night' Feat. Nicki Minaj
'Fancy' Feat. T.I. and Swizz Beatz
'Shut It Down' Feat. The-Dream
'Unforgettable' Feat. Young Jeezy
'Light Up' Feat. Jay-Z
'Miss Me' Feat. Lil Wayne
'Find Your Love'
'Thank Me Now'