Showing off his diplomatic immunity via way of God’s Plan, DRAKE kicked off the year in the scary hours, and that’s nice, for what, though? See what we did there? Get it?! Keeping us all on our toes once again, DRAKE has been gearing us up for new album Scorpion, dropping a whole load of new music in the process. Whilst we’re not sure where the 6 God will go next with his music, we do know where he’s been and wedged deep between the likes of One Dance, Over, and Take Care are slow jams, soundcloud rap meets trap, and lyrical flows that’ll blow your mind that don’t get nearly half the love they deserve. We’ve combed through his catalogue and picked out twelve of our favourite deep cuts from his albums/mixtapes only and dropped them in this super-handy Spotify playlist:

‘Best I Ever Had’ (So Far Gone, 2009)

Hands down, Best I Ever Had is probably the least deep cut of the deep cuts here, but before it blew up on the live scene and as one of Thank Me Later’s standout jams, it was tucked away on its extended-play predecessor So Far Gone. Much of the EP stuck to what it knew, straight-up slow-jam rap, it was either too-serious or too-chill, except for Best I Ever Had, which took DRAKE’s penchant for sharp flows and dropped it over a beat that was as much a chart-topper as it was a up-beat slow-jam. It also spawned one of DRAKE’s most undeniably sing-along choruses and paved the way for super-hits like Over to drop in the ocean.

Fireworks ft. Alicia Keys (Thank Me Later, 2010) 

Brought in by beautifully haunting strokes of the piano as solemn fireworks sputter rather than explode in the fading background, Fireworks is Thank Me Later’s retrospective opener, something DRAKE makes a patented theme out of on his later outings. Stripping back the beat, DRAKE lays down a flow that reflects on his rags-to-riches overnight rise-to-fame, waxing lyrical over his disbelief and self-doubt, a sense of vulnerability hidden behind a thrillingly confident delivery: “Money just changed everything, I wonder how life without it would go, from the concrete, who knew that a flower would grow?” Alicia Key’s honey-soaked vocals wrap around your mind in the slow-jam chorus, elevating this opener from filler to hidden killer.

Unforgettable ft. Young Jeezy (Thank Me Later, 2010)

Sampling Aaliyah’s 1994 breakthrough At Your Best (You Are Love), Unforgettable is a classic example of Drake’s ability to switch between slow-jams, old-school RnB, and straight-up rap, and isn’t given the recognition it deserves. OVO Sound’s Noah ’40’ Shebib has written and produced a whole load of DRAKE’s music across the years, and Unforgettable is one of the most unforgettable ones. The way DRAKE switches between vocal styles, stretching out slow-jam lines amidst straight-up flows is the glimmering beginnings of what came on Take Care.

Over My Dead Body (Take Care, 2011)

Take Care’s opener, like many of DRAKE’s openers, is an under-the-radar chill-wave slow-beat jam that see’s Drake spit out some of his smartest flow, a self-evaluating reflection of what came before and what’s coming next, mixing up levels of realism and wit within his wry lyricism, switching vocal styles with ease. DRAKE has never shied away from addressing his critics and his haters, and in Over My Dead Body, he combines his wit with his scathing tongue to tackle his foes in one of his finest lost lines: “Yeah, don’t make me take your life apart boy, you and whoever the fuck gave you your start boy, Oh you wanna be a motherfuckin’ funny guy? Don’t make me break your Kevin Hart, boy.” Preluding an album of chart-topping club-dropping anthems, OMDB is a deep cut that rides the waves.

Look What You’ve Done (Take Care, 2011)

It’s no lie, some of DRAKE’s greatest sleeper songs are layered with stripped-back piano instrumentals with limited beats, where the flow is the realest it could be, reflecting something chronic. Tucked away in the later stages of Take Care, sandwiched between The Real Her and HYFR, this stripped-back flow is heavy on the heartstrings as DRAKE thanks his family for their involvement in putting him into the position he’s in now. DRAKE opens up about fighting with his mum and sneaking into his uncle’s pool, ending with a voice-message from his grandmother. This is Drizzy at his most vulnerable and it’s a beautifully haunting thing to hear.

Tuscan Leather (Nothing Was The Same, 2013)

Coming in at six-minutes long, riddled with morphing melodies and Dipset-inspired beats, this ’40’-produced introduction to Nothing Was The Same is as retrospective and reflective as DRAKE’s past openers, only this time round he’s overdosing on confidence, delivering some of his finest flows, finally taking his seat at the top of the table, dethroning King Kanye. Riding off of the global success of Take Care, Drake confidently delivers lines that are so egotistical it’s a crime, and yet they come off effortlessly: “this is nothin’ for the radio, but they’ll still play it though, cause it’s that new Drizzy Drake, that’s just the way it go.”

Furthest Thing (Nothing Was The Same, 2013)

Possibly one of Drake’s finest cuts of all-time, Jake One and 40 channel his time spent with The Weeknd into a late-night work-flow, the Hennessy flooding the senses as Drake waves lyrical about the spaces in between the things he is and the things he isn’t. Like much of his output on Nothing Was The Same, Drake is at his most reflective, throwing unfaithfulness into the mix, nigh-on arguing with himself over the justification of his actions, sombrely concluding that he’s “the furthest thing from perfect, like everyone I know.” Breaking through the barriers of an Abel Tesfaye cover, Furthest Thing explodes into a summertime beat, self-prophesying his own death in the meantime.

10 Bands (If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late. 2015)

Holed up somewhere between the realities of a home studio and the dream world of his mind, 10 Bands is a brooding trap-beat primed for one of If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late’s slickest monologues on the trappings of money, power, and fame. Rapping retrospectively about making more money than his mamma at the age of seventeen and hiding out in safe houses from the media, 10 Bands is an egotistical splurge that provides us with some classic Drizzy one-liners, most notably: “My ex said ‘where you moving?’ I said ‘on to better things.’”

You & The 6 (If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late, 2015)

Drake’s never been one to shy away from his personal life and in the latter moments of If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late, Drake divulges once more into his relationship with his mamma, a woman who’s frequented many of his finest songs. Boi-1da, 40, and Illmind provide a beat here that’s simplistically sombre, leaving the floor open for a monolithic monologue tackling the troubles of his youth and the way his mamma helped him deal with them, and more importantly, their relationship with his dad. Drake can nail his egotistical splurges but its when he’s tearing apart his own layers that he’s at his best.

Keep The Family Close (Views, 2016)

Views is known for its trap-influenced island vibes and party songs – One Dance, Hotline Bling, Too Good – but deep down in its core are some neo-RnB cuts that show the Jekyll to his Hyde and the man behind the mask. Soaked in the sweat of paranoia, Drake dives deep on trust issues across a secluded isolated beat, the music and the lyrics syncing in concept. Some of Drake’s most sombre and soul-crushing lyrics come in whimsically bluntly here, taking cues from some of The Weeknd’s darker moments: “Always saw you for what you could’ve been, ever since you met me, like when Chrysler made that one car that looked just like the Bentley. I always saw you for what you could’ve been and even when it’s business with you it’s personal again, I knew you before you made ends meet and now we’re meeting our end.”

Lose You (More Life, 2017)

There’s an abundance of filler throughout Drake’s visionary playlist More Life, but laying in its latter half is the five-minute tour-de-force of late-night Hennessy-driven pour-out of thoughts that is Lose You. Drake laments the loss of friends and family through his commitment to his career, ultimately surmising that he chose this life for a reason. The beat is a simple loop, providing Drake the blank space to let it all out. There’s some powerful lines throughout, but the finest are the most sombre: “When did all the things I mean from the bottom of my heart start to lose meaning? Maybe I share it with too many people, back then it used to just feel like our secret, back when I would write and not think about they receive it?” and “But you’re mindful of it all when your mind full of it all, how they go from not wantin’ me at all, to wantin’ to see me lose it all?” are clear highlights of his flow here.

These are just a handful of deep cuts hiding in Drake’s catalogue, let us know your favourites in the comments below!

 

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