Published Oct 23, 2017A wise man once said, "I love lists...to do lists, top 10 lists...any type of list is entertaining to me" — and who are we to disagree?
So, in honour of Drake's 31st birthday, eight Exclaim! writers got together to compile a list of the 101 Best Drake Songs of his career so far, ranked. Each of us submitted a list of our 50 favourites, and the rules were simple: other than the caveat that the song had to be Drake's — no song simply "featuring Drake" counted — every track was fair game, and as such, the list features singles, album songs, one-offs, mixtape deep cuts and more.
We started at the bottom (of his discography), tallied the votes and now we're here. Presenting: "0 to 100: The 101 Best Drake Songs, Ranked."
Drake reflects fondly on a failed Toronto relationship, but the undeniable slow jam "Jungle" could be just the thing to take him north to Lawrence Heights to make amends.
99. "The Resistance"
Drake doesn't owe (detractors) anything, and "The Resistance" was a message to anyone who felt that he shouldn't fully embrace his blessings. It's real talk.
98. "Free Spirit" (ft. Rick Ross)
Featuring the biggest boss himself (Ricky Ross), Drake let this bar-heavy loosey off while preparing for the release of Take Care, show that when he wants to, he can boast a rapid-fire flow.
One of Thank Me Later's slower, more contemplative tracks has Drake singing more than rapping. The hypnotic beat and tempo allow Drake to float like a butterfly more than he stings like a bee.
96. "Too Good" (ft. Rihanna)
This song is, uh, too good to be this far down the list. How is it not higher? It's got all the back-and-forth banter, danceable rhythms and relationship drama that AubRih shippers dream of.
95. "The Last Hope" (ft. Kardinal Offishall and Andreena Mill)
Rooted in the desperation to achieve one's dreams, "The Last Hope" is a quintessentially Toronto rap record. With assistance from Canadian rap veteran Kardinal Offishall, 'First Lady of ATF' Andreena Mill and beatmaker Rich Kidd, "The Last Hope" projects the moodiness and hunger of Toronto creatives.
94. "Come Thru"
Drake offers up some weed and wine to an old flame in the smoothest way he knows how, and falls even deeper into his emotions in the song's heady outro.
93. "Days in the East"
It isn't the brooding production that gives Drake different perspective on relationship issues here, but rather a cup of tea at Erykah Badu's house one evening.
92. "Lust for Life"
This twinkly soundscape opens So Far Gone with abstract bars about lusting for more life. The atmospheric nature of the track sets the tone for the rest of the mixtape.
Drake doesn't care that swooning admiration for one's elders is expressly discouraged in hip-hop. On love and sex anthem "Practice," he affectionately interpolates Juvenile's "Back That Azz Up."
90. "The Calm"
One of So Far Gone's most honest tracks demonstrated Drake's ability to rap about raw human emotion early. He also manages to illustrate his feelings while keeping each of the two verses to a single vowel-sound rhyme scheme.
89. "Pop Style" (ft. the Throne)
Kanye West (with his song-stealing "I'm-a let you finish" line) and Jay-Z (adlibs only) lent their dumb-rich talents to the superior original leaked version of the braggadocio street single from VIEWS, but were curiously removed from the Drake-only LP version. Over some horror-flick snaps compiled by Frank Dukes, Boi-1da, 40 and Sevn Thomas that the Gravediggaz would've murdered, Drake turns his birthday into a lifestyle but doesn't trust his own party guests.
88. "Comeback Season"
Drake spits a declaration of dominance over Lupe Fiasco's "Failure" beat. A straightforward delivery from 2007 Drake brings out some top-notch punch lines and wordplay.
87. "Up All Night" (ft. Nicki Minaj)
Buzzing with Milky Way synths and clattering percussion, this 2010 Young Money anthem gives Drake's sometimes-sleepy debut studio album Thank Me Later the jolt it needs at halftime and upped anticipation for track-stealer Nicki Minaj's own proper album. "Which bitch you know made a million off a mixtape?" the first lady of YMCMB asks rhetorically as she steers away with the Boi-1da banger.
86. "Fireworks" (ft. Alicia Keys)
"Money just changed everything / I wonder how life without it would go / From the concrete who knew that a flower would grow?" The first lines from the first song on Drake's first album find him a) commenting on the immense life changes he's been through recently, b) bragging about it and c) commenting on screwface Toronto, not yet a hotbed for international hip-hop. Love them or hate them, these were the themes that would come to define Drake's oeuvre.
"9" is conceptually quite simple: Drake (as a movement) is so influential that he's turned his hometown (the 6) upside down. He's our MJ, essentially.
84. "Uptown" (ft. Bun B and Lil Wayne)
It takes guts of steel for a novice MC to risk certain annihilation at hands of Bun B. Yet "Uptown" is a small masterpiece of showboating shit-talk.
83. "Glow" (ft. Kanye West)
Similarly to Kanye West's "Spaceship," Drake's "Glow" also plays into an outer-world, out-of-body experience as the two artists manage to mirror each other vocally in both song and rhyme. The ambient vibes of the song project a new sense of direction for Drake, but is still rooted in his classic, introspective hot takes.
82. "Bria's Interlude" (ft. Omarion)
The first instalment in Drake's "(girl's name) Interlude" series does not disappoint. Omarion goes croon for croon with Drake on what can best be described as an R&Back-and-forth.
81. "Show Me a Good Time" (ft. Nicki Minaj)
"I came up in the underground," says Drake, the grand-wizard spinmaster. This might be a specious assertion, but "Show Me a Good Time" is catchy enough that it makes no difference.
80. "Summer Sixteen"
"Summer Sixteen" satiated our need for new Drake in the seemingly endless wait for VIEWS, and holds up better than most of the superfluous tracks that actually ended up on the album.
79. "We Made It Freestyle" (ft. Soulja Boy)
Before the boisterous "Trophies," Drake celebrated being rich and famous over Soulja Boy's brass loop, renting 12-bedroom homes in the Caymans "just to sleep all the women we came with."
78. "Going in For Life"
It's often forgotten how good Drake can be on soul sample beats. He operates right in the pocket her while he delivers punchlines in his smooth flow.
77. "Feel No Ways"
"Feel No Ways" tells the story of a relationship that's transformed from supportive partnership into jealous revenge. The distinct '80s synth-styled production (by Jordan Ullman) supports the highs and lows of said relationship, while Drake — lyrically and quoted in real life — continues to put his musical ambitions first.
No cheque from YMCMB? It's no worries following a beat switch and some "mixin'" of smoke and drink, since Drake always "had these visions of the life I'm livin' since I was Jimmy."