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Drake - 'Over'

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Fraser McAlpine | 10:35 UK time, Monday, 3 May 2010


Modern hip hop is a strange beast, is it not? Still a divisive force among music fans, still pushing at the outer reaches of what is sonically acceptable, and still scaring the bejesus out of anyone who wishes to take each lyric at face value. And it has made even stranger beasts of the rappers who would be kings.

Once upon a time, your rapper's main job was to express one thought, in a kaleidescopically different series of ways, and that thought was "I AM BETTER THAN YOU."

He (or she) could do it scarily, or thuggishly, or funnily, or happily, or grumpily, or bashfully, or even dopily, but that's really all he had to try and say.

(Here's the video, which seems to have been filmed in a hotel room in a cinema.)

Nowadays there's a lot more to get out there. You can't just beat people over the head with your astonishing wonderfulness, you need to show them you're a real person too, and this has forced rappers to write and say things which cross the line from bragging into maniacal self-obsession.

Drake knows this isn't really real. He knows it because he's a clever man, and he also knows that if you want to beat your rivals, you've got to act like you've already won. This is why he's making songs which detail how thankful he is for the astonishing talent he has. How he knows everyone else would like to be as fantastic as he is, but they're not, he is. It's not something he likes to go on and on about, but basically he's better than us, and as a result of which, we're clearly all [a rude word].

But being this fantastic isn't plain sailing. Drake wants us all to understand that he's a bit overwhelmed, that he keeps meeting people who just want to tell him how brilliant he is, and he can't really be expected to keep tabs on all of them, can he? Yesyesyes, apart from all of the hot ladies, naturally.

So, here's Drake, rapping about his strengths, but also his weaknesses. He's a powerful force - possibly the MOST powerful force - but he's as caught up in his own talent as everyone else is. He's active and passive at the same time. And as listeners we're expected to worship him and feel sorry for him, and all the while he's calling us names. See what I mean about strange beasts?

Just as well Boi-1da and Al Khaaliq's regal, sweeping production makes the journey such a pleasant one, or this is one Drake who'd find himself back in the duck pond before the third verse drops.

Four starsDownload: Out now
CD Released: May 17th
BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)


  • Comment number 1.

    Like this a lot. Although, I prefer the newest 'it' rapper B.o.B. . Over is a very decent track though. The production is one of the best I've heard in a long time on a hip-hop track.

  • Comment number 2.

    Personally I prefer Drake by a mile, he's like the successor to Kayne West, from what I've heard B.o.B's okay but he's nothing special. Drake raps brilliant and actually sings pretty decent as well, even if he's getting a little bit of help from a computer.

    Over's a great track. 4 Stars

  • Comment number 3.

    Meh, 'Beautiful Girls' would be a good song if it were just Bruno Mars, still wouldn't quite be my thing because it would sound like a another Jack Johnson-type singer. The rapping ruins the sentimentality of the song.

    It's the same with this, except it's got no sentimental value so it's not even that good to start with. I'd give it 2 stars.

  • Comment number 4.

    Personally, I prefer B.O.B, 'beautiful girl' is ok, but his song 'aeroplanes' (with hayley williams from paramore) is one of my favourite songs at the moment.
    I'd like this song, is it weren't for the chorus, which really annoys me, he needs to get rid of that computerised voice.
    Over gets 3 stars from me

  • Comment number 5.

    Yeah I agree with Haducon. Everyone get downloading Airplanes by B.o.B. and Hayley Williams. Without a proper release, its #12 in the US and I think it's going to be a future anthem thanks to Hayley's infectious chorus.

    If it gets a UK release, I think it will get to #1. Help me out with you're magical prediction skills, Spirit, have you heard Airplanes and how do you think it will do - chartwise?

  • Comment number 6.

    I Love this song and find Drake really talented

    i hope it does well in the charts

    i can't wait for his album Thank Me Later - out June 15th

    i'm so buying this song and the video is cool too

  • Comment number 7.

    Over is a cool track. i doubt it will do anything amazing in the charts coz i cant see is having enough commercial appeal...but would love to be proven wrong.

    Drake is a great new artist, but I agree with others, I'm more excited by B.O.B. Beautiful girls is a great track (hoping for a chart topper there) and aeroplanes is immense! the album as a whole is good actually.

    However, if talking about rappers to be excited about, im still behind Kid Cudi. His Man on the Moon album was so good. Also Wale, another great album. Looking froward to seeing him at Wireless

  • Comment number 8.

    this isnt music its just someone dribbling down a mic. How can these so called artists get paid for this and its just getting worse more idiots like drake may think it is amazing and just make more of the same old rubbish.

  • Comment number 9.

    Like this song a lot, have a cold at the moment, really handy for singing those autotuned choruses of his...

  • Comment number 10.

    Also I can't help but feel if his newest U.S offering, Find Your Love, had been given even more of the 808s and Heartbreak treatment by Kanye West and had more of a sparse production, I would have liked it better. Much prefer Over to it.

  • Comment number 11.

    Over is a track I like more and more everyday, I absolutely adore the verses with their sublime, marching band orchestra production. The song is a real grower and the video perfectly highlights the emotions of the song. The follow up Find Your Love sounds like it would come from Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak album which is a good or bad thing depending on your taste. The Find Your Love video is an excellent video that really lifts the song above averageness. In fact, here are my Top Videos of 2010... so far (in no particular order):

    01. Beyoncé: Why Don't You Love Me
    02. Black Eyed Peas: Imma Be Rockin' That Body
    03. Drake: Over
    04. Drake: Find Your Love
    05. Erykah Badu: Window Seat
    06. Florence + The Machine: Dog Days Are Over (re-released video)
    07. Florence + The Machine: Cosmic Love
    08. Futureheads: Heartbeat Song
    09. Gabriella Cilmi: On A Mission
    10. Gorillaz featuring Bobby Womack and Mos Def: Stylo
    11. Kanye West: Coldest Winter
    12. Kelis: Acapella
    13. Lady GaGa featuring Beyoncé: Telephone
    14. Lawrence Arabia: Apple Pie Bed
    15. MGMT: Flash Delirium
    16. Paramore: The Only Exception
    17. Vampire Weekend: Giving Up The Gun
    18. Yeasayer: O.N.E.


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