Drake Becomes a Man Thanks to Lil Wayne and Rihanna
Weezy joins Drizzy for a second bar mitzvah in 'HYFR,' while 'Take Care' shows Drake and Ri-Ri finding comfort in each other's arms
The vinyl edition of Drake’s Take Care actually consists of two records, and the last of their four sides is arguably the best despite not containing any of the album’s official singles. That is, until earlier this month, when exuberantly foul-mouthed Lil Wayne collaboration “HYFR” went to radio. The Toronto rapper-singer has now unveiled videos for both “HYFR” and the LP’s Rihanna-assisted title track, a previous hit built partly on Jamie xx’s remix of Gil Scott-Heron’s “I’ll Take Care of You.” (Incidentally, vinyl copies of Take Care do not include Bay Area ode “The Motto,” which is just tragic.)
With production from fellow Canadian T-Minus, who also worked on “The Motto” as well as Take Care‘s Nicki Minaj team-up “Make Me Proud,” the song is a filthy, triumphant, synth-spangled party smash in its own right, with a hook so basic it’s as if we’ve known it for years: “Hell yeah, fuckin’ right.” In album context, however, it’s gripping to hear Drake jump from a richly detailed, sincerely heart-tugging family tribute (“Look What You’ve Done”) to a ratatat, matter-of-fact recounting of a sexual relationship — by way of George Strait and sushi. In the second verse, Wayne’s initial rapid-fire flow and confessional tone are distinctly Drake-y, though the juvenile sexually charged wordplay is a sudden jolt back into latter-day Weezy territory. The video, directed by veteran rap and R&B visuals maker Lil X, opens with footage of Drake at his actual bar mitzvah, then nicely captures the song’s celebratory, not-that-innocent tone with a second bar mitzvah, featuring Wayne (in a weird mask), Trey Songz, Birdman, and DJ Khaled. As Will.i.am once excitedly exclaimed, Mazel tov!
“Take Care” is as close as the album of the same name comes to the Eurodance thump so common on Top 40 radio lately, though co-producer Noah “40” Shebib characteristically adds a certain brooding muscularity to xx’s already-bleak piano-house instrumental. On the LP, that title can serve as a warning, or it can describe supporting friends and family, but here the phrase applies to a romantic situation. This is Drake and Rihanna, of course, so their relationship status is practically Jerry Lee Lewis levels of complicated. The visuals, directed by recent Lana Del Rey video director Yoann Lemoine, aka Woodkid, shows the two pop stars holding each other close amid artful animal footage. “It’s my birthday, I’ll get high if I want to,” Drake sings, in one of the song’s most memorable moments. A birthday and a bar mitzvah on the same day? We’re only miffed Toronto’s very own didn’t invite us to his Passover seder on Friday night.