Catching Up with Drake
Every rap season has that one rapper whose mere voice ensures radio airplay and paid downloads. Over the past 12 months, that artist has been Drake. He turned DJ Khaled's "I'm on One" into what was arguably the summer hip-hop anthem, and then did the same for Lil Wayne's "She Will" this fall. His only rivals for the 2011 Busta Rhymes Hot 16 Award (named for the man who virtually invented breakout guest appearances back in the early '90s) are his Young Money compatriots Weezy and Nicki Minaj.
That makes this playlist of Drake's many guest appearances and pre- Take Care singles almost unnecessary. But there are a few tracks that haven't reached critical mass (yet). There's J Cole's "In the Morning," which was originally recorded for Cole's Friday Night Lights mixtape and was subsequently included on Cole World: The Sideline Story. (It's a nice tune -- I wouldn't be surprised if it became a single.) Then there's The Game's "Good Girls Gone Bad," T.I.'s "Poppin' Bottles," Bun B's "It's Been a Pleasure" and Pimp C's "What Up." All told, every retail track on which Drake has appeared since Thank Me Later is included here. You can thank me now.