Drake’s Take Care debuted in 2011, during my junior year of high school. At that time, I knew Drake only as the artist who sang that one song that kept saying “you the fuckin’ best” over and over again, and I was like I get it, your girl is the fucking best. And while both So Far Gone and Thank Me Later, his previous efforts released in 2009 and 2010 respectively, had been successful, it wasn’t until Take Care that I realized Drake actually had some soul.

This month, three years later after its release on Nov. 15, Take Care celebrated its third birthday, which got me wondering: what made the album so special? After its release, it was a go-to for all my high school’s awkward party bus escapades, which included trying to grind on each other and take swigs from water bottles full of alcohol all the while in a moving vehicle. And today, it still continues to pop up on party playlists wherever I go.

Maybe it’s because we saw a more experienced Drake bare his heart for his fans with songs like “Marvin’s Room,” where he pleaded over a drunk phone call with his ex, “Talk to me now / don’t have much to believe in / I need you right now / are you down to listen to me?” But, of course he has to remind us he’s not that sensitive and still smokes weed, gets pussy, and makes money. So, he attempts to cover up his vulnerability in tracks like “Headlines,” where he claims he’s “too strung out on compliments / over-dosed on confidence.”

Maybe it’s because this album introduced Drake’s “I’m actually a really sensitive guy who sometimes acts like an asshole because I’ll always be apprehensive about fame” persona that has been present in his work since. He highlighted this character in songs like “Underground Kings,” explaining, “Sometimes I need that romance / sometimes I need that pole dance.”

Maybe it’s because the album birthed the monumental and generation-defining term “YOLO” — You Only Live Once — as well as the less significant but, in my opinion, equally as important, “HYFR” — Hell Yeah Fuckin’ Right.

Maybe it’s because Drake broke genre barriers, exploring both R&B and hip hop. Take Care featured grand piano solos, sample tracks from R&B legends like Gil Scott-Heron and freestyles from heavy hitters like Rick Ross. Drake recruited other big names like Lil Wayne, André 3000, the Weeknd, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna. The final product was an album soaked in emotion and a multitude of different sounds.

“I change rap forever” Drake sings on “Lord Knows.” And in truth, with this album, he did. He helped usher in a new era of hip hop, one that prided itself on laying all feelings and fuck ups out on the table for fans to examine. He presented listeners with a funky and sensuous compilation of tracks that undoubtedly featured some of the best rapping and singing we’d seen from him up to that point.

And, just last weekend, I heard “Crew Love” at a party. So, obviously people aren’t done with Take Care just yet.

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