Eleven years ago, BET featured its first-ever music video from an unsigned Canadian rapper on its "New Joint of the Day" segment— a rookie from the Six, a former child actor with higher ambitions, an unknown man named Aubrey bound for greatness. The continuing successes of his singles and mixtapes snowballed into a popularity so hot that a bidding war from different labels on the emerging Toronto rap king ensued, with Young Money Entertainment and Lil Wayne winning the fight. His debut with Young Money, his tracks "Over" and "Find Your Love", skyrocketed him to the charts, even before his first album Thank Me Later was released. Since then, it's been an constant evolution for the hip-hop mogul we know as Drake, from dating Rihanna to nabbing a Grammy (or three) to dropping his own fashion line.
This is the day of the expanding Drake. He’s no longer a mere rap king, but a global, sound-absorbing pop superstar. He’s an occasion for conversations about appropriation and the black diaspora. He’s an entry point for the unfamiliar into genres like Afrobeats and dancehall and grime and South African house.
But beneath these plush trappings, he’s still, in many ways, the same Toronto MC who is by turns paranoid about his standing and prone to long bouts of introspection.
It’s a rap pastime to sort an artist’s song and album catalog with each new release. Scorpion, only the fifth project Drake would like us to designate as an album, dropped half a month ago but even at a sprawling 25 tracks, its place in his catalog became clear rather quickly. Here’s the most updated evaluation of the best Drake albums, from worst to best.