All eyes are on Drake as the 23-year-old Canadian releases his first studio album Thank Me Later this week. Hip-hop’s fresh face already has fans in Eminem, Jay-Z, and Alicia Keys, but did Drizzy also receive co-signs from the critics? Find out below.
Rolling Stone: Drake is in total command of a style that would have been hard to imagine dominating hip-hop a few years ago: He’s subtle and rueful rather than loud and lively; emotionally transparent rather than thuggy. 3.5 out of 5
USA Today: Luckily, the 23-year-old rapper has the dexterity to back up his boasts, and enough wit and grace to mitigate his whinier and more callous musings. … Other A-list guests pop up, including Alicia Keys and Lil Wayne, but Drake, even at his most disconsolate, leaves no doubt that he’s in charge of this party. 3 out of 4
Entertainment Weekly: Fame’s downside is a â€¨frequent topic for Drake, the “Degrassi” actor–turned–hip-hop heartthrob, who spends half of his debut Thank Me Later rapping about the anxieties and disappointments that have come with his success. B
SPIN: It’s a testament to the album’s weird cohesion that the menagerie of guests—Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj, The-Dream, et al.—doesn’t overwhelm the host and turn the entire operation into an unseemly, DJ Khaled-esque bukkake party. Ultimately, Thank Me Later‘s revelry concludes with emotional disgorgement, but no messy hangover. 4 out of 5
Newsday: Drake, previously best known for his role in “Degrassi: The Next Generation,” handles himself pretty well on Thank Me Later, positioning himself as a middle-of-the-road alternative to the edgier antics of his co-signers. … [He] shows plenty of promise on Thank Me Later, but he still has plenty of growing to do before he can match his collaborators. B
Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Fireworks,” “Over,” “Light Up,” “Unforgettable”