“Since I saw Aaliyah’s precious life go too soon / she deserves the credit for how I’m about to get it”
~Drake, “We’ll Be Fine,” from the album Take Care
I’ve openly supported Drake musically. I think So Far Gone, Thank Me Later and Take Care are all good albums and I think Drake is a talented cat. All that said, Drake does have at least one glaring shortcoming; women have him all jacked up.
He seems almost obsessed with the women of his past, going so far as to air them out by name at times (“Alicia, Catya, I know that you gon’ hear this”) and spending large portions of his catalogue lamenting on how they messed up or how he messed up or how they missed out or how much he misses them. And when it comes to relationship pains, old hurt is just as relevant as new hurt. Back in May Drake posted a pic on Instagram of him and Jade Lee (the wedding planner he cries sings about in “Karaoke”) with a caption talking about their dreams from 10 years prior. I know you never forget your first love, but 10 years dude?!? Drake obviously has trouble letting go and though that torture probably helps make him a great artist it also makes him look like a sad, sad man. Women just do something to him that he can’t shake. And this Siren-like hold isn’t limited to ex-girlfriends.
Drake has recently been hinting that he plans to executive produce the first posthumous release by Aaliyah. Without delay, people who were close to Aaliyah, her brother and Timbaland specifically, made it clear that they weren’t pleased with her brother going a step further to say “There is no official album being released and supported by the Haughton family.” However, unless the Haughton’s own certain rights to Aaliyah’s work, just because they don’t release it and don’t support it doesn’t mean it’s not coming out. Furthermore, Drake sounds like a man determined and, more importantly, he sounds like a man obsessed.
This is the same Drake who authored an open letter to Aaliyah on the 9th anniversary of her death. And again the same Drake who apparently has Aaliyah’s face tattooed on his back. Yeah, that’s right, a tattoo. Drake is obviously a man who feels a strong connection to Aaliyah. After the release of the open letter, I merely thought Drake might be obsessed with the beautiful and talented singer/actress who died when Aubrey was just shy of 15-years old. I wasn’t sure however and gave him the benefit of the doubt; Drake is an emotional dude. But the tattoo thing seems certified creepy. Cee Lo Green once said “What I believe within / I engrave it in my skin” and seeing as Drake isn’t the walking ink blot that his YMCMB homies are, I gotta feel like this Aaliyah thing is waaay deeper than going ballistic when you hear “One In A Million” on the radio. As with the other women in Drake’s life, she has a hold on him and it won’t let go.
Honestly, I’m rather indifferent about Drake doing the album. It took a few days to write this post because I’ve been trying to side one way or the other. The fact is, I’m not sure Drake would ruin it. Timbaland feels he and Missy should be involved but they are only marginally relevant in 2012 and this probably shouldn’t be an effort of nostalgia – we’ve got Greatest Hits compilations for that. My concerns are Drake’s ability to be selfless, not making this project all about him and his relative inexperience as a producer. This thing could go either way. If nothing, Drake would give 200% to putting this thing together because it would be a labor of love and as depicted on track after track after track, it may be impossible to find an artist who loves harder than Dizzy.
Oh, and here’s the alleged first track off of the new album: