Drake Appreciation Post: Drizzy's 20 Best Songs

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Photos by Marco Torres
"Best I Ever Had"
Every dude wants to be the best his girl has ever had, and this So Far Gone track solidifies Drizzy's over-the-top confidence one hashtag-rap line at a time. It also perfectly samples the amazing Hamilton, Joe Frank and Reynolds song "Falling In Love." MARCO TORRES


"Don't You Have a Man," feat. Little Brother
The idea of Drake as a rapper of serious intent started forming around Comeback Season, his 2007 mixtape where he seemed far more interested in rapping like Phonte of Little Brother than being his own man. The two worlds collided on "Don't You Have a Man," a track that now seems pretty humorous when it falls in line with the "Drake's a Nice Guy" narrative. There's some whimsy here. Both Phonte and Big Pooh rap with the self-awareness of being the other man and then there's Drake, more than ready to admit he's got one up on the other guy in a cute-romance sort of way. BRANDO


"Dreams Money Can Buy"
In the time period between Thank Me Later and Take Care, Drake snapped. Well, not went off the deep end, but he started releasing loosies and tracks that made you pay far more attention to him as a legit threat to the top. Jai Paul's "BTSTU" remains the only track we've gotten from his stolen LP, but Drake's shots here may have been his sharpest. There's no mode of syncretic thought here -- Drake admires the legends before him, but he'll be damned if they lord it over him forever. BRANDO


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"Fancy," feat. T.I. & Swizz Beatz
One can argue that every Drizzy song is for the ladies, but this one is just a bit more lady-centric than the others. An ode to the beautiful, independent women he often runs into on his travels, this smooth Thank Me Later track is delivered with a smile and charisma that can seduce the panties off even the most conservative babymama. MARCO TORRES


"Fireworks"
Between this and the "Un-thinkable" remix, I've always felt it was a real shame that we'll never get a Drake/Alicia Keys duets album. Their voices just go so well together. For my money, this is easily Drake's strongest Side-1-Track-1, including perhaps his best overdramatic, heart-on-his-sleeve lyric in "Let's stay together 'til we're ghosts." It's also just a really well-produced song, one of the highlights of his work with Noah "40" Shebib. CORY GARCIA


"Forever"
"Last name ever, first name greatest." What was at the time a youthful boast may just end up being the ultimate called shot. This is perhaps the ultimate version of Drake's "cockiest motherfucker alive" persona, but damned if he doesn't sound like he absolutely means it.

Eminem and Lil Wayne both have great verses on this, and Kanye chips in with a rare, non-awful guest verse, but really does anyone actually remember anything besides what Drake has to say? Of course not. That he managed to pull that off in '09 before he really was the man just makes it even crazier. CORY GARCIA


List continues on the next page.



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