Drake Keeps Hearts Throbbing for Two Evenings at Knight Center

Malapropisms — emotional, grammatical, etc. — reign on Thank Me Later, but it rarely matters. Not because Aubrey Drake Graham, 23, an R&B-rap hybridist of the highest order, has been tapped as a bona fide star-in-waiting and maybe a savior at a time when hip-hop is frequently lapsing into funks that have downed lesser genres. Hip-hop is not saved. Nothing could be saved by an album this humbly arranged, this curiously composed, this quietly executed. Drake is not changing rap, because the thing Drake is worst at is rap. It's everything else that can—and probably will—change. Perspectives, tempos, the very notion of entitlement... they're all up for grabs.

Confidence too is a shifting thing. Drake is so unsure of himself at times, so neurotic about his success, so frustrated with the state of his life, that he can sound sympathetic—and also like a bit of a whiner. In a way, it's understandable. Being a rich, desired rapper does sound like a great life, but then again, it also sounds sort of terrifying and exhausting. Being 19, in your dorm room, with the girl you love, is an amazingly vivid and honest moment in a person's life. Who doesn't want to go back there?

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Sean Fennessey