Say what you may about Drizzy, Wheelchair Jimmy, Champagne Papi, or Aubrey Graham, but there’s no question if you’ve listened to music in the last 10 years than you’ve heard Drake in some capacity. Whether it’s his banger club anthems or his smooth melodic tunes to put you all the way in your feels, the man is electric, and because we live in this era of the social media existence he will represent a culture for many years to come. In my opinion the pinnacle of this movement is and always will be the masterpiece, none other than the Take Care album. Now I’m not here to breakdown this crown juul worthy of Danny Ocean’s expertise track by track because let’s be honest if you havnt heard the album or any number of songs on it, you will probably disregard this blog, however I hope you don’t. If you choose to stick around then I choose to Thank you Now (get ready for hella puns).
I was listening to a playlist and the song Shot for Me came through my headphones then pivoted downward into the inner lining of my soul. You know how you’ll hear a tune and no matter where you are in the metaphysical or spiritual realm, it always takes you back to a distinct place and set of feelings.. Sometimes you may even feel differently the rest of the day sending your subconscious thought spiraling down a rabbit hole of emotionally Charged Up senses. Well I’m here to tell you Take Care gets me every god damn time!!! Buckle up because The Ride is gonna get bumpy as fuck with nostalgia pot holes that will make downtown Toledo roads look like freshly pressed silk.
Let me set the scene.**Knuckle crack**. It’s winter 2011, and I’m sure after Drake dropped his HIGHLY ANTICIPATED 2nd album on November 11th he thought to himself, “What a time to be alive..”. The album was a smash hit and everyone was bumpin that shit. Now I could explain the Calabasas sized boner I had in my ripped up adidas tear aways that I wore way too much to admit but my fandom goes wayy back and it’s not as important as this blog. Moving on…
I found myself in the Walmart Parking lot awaiting the midnight release of Take Care hype as fuck and alone. Very alone. For some reason I thought I need to actually purchase the CD and it had been so long since I actually peeled off a crisp wrapper and popped the bitch into my 2001 Honda Civic hand me down from older brothers and just vibed the fuck out. Plus for whatever reason I felt like I needed it, and Drake needed it in a weird af way. So I did exactly that and not a day went by for the entirety of that winter that wasn’t accompanied by Drake, speaking to me in utter vocal butter. I listened to it in my new Beats By Dre headphones that worked as my invisibility cloak to an outside world that I simply was unable to accept.
I had gotten through a couple of semesters at UT and i had been fucking up royally from the jump. I was nowhere near an educationally thriving state of mind and it was showing ever so savagely in my grades. You see i enjoyed high school a great deal, it was easy as fuck and i got to kick it with my best friends everyday for four years but for many reasons i was welcoming to a start in a newer and bigger place, even if it was Toledo. I knew i slacked off in high school but it was so incredibly hard not to. The teachers weren’t sticklers by any means and i barely studied or did my own homework. Later I hated myself for this. When I arrived on campus the first time for class it wasn’t an unfamiliar atmosphere, i had visited multiple times and it wasn’t difficult to find where I needed to be. I met the other kids in class (barely, i was switched permanently into introvert mode) during syllabus week and then the nightmare started. It didn’t take long for me to discover that skimping in the work ethic department in high school translated into being lightyears behind my UT classmates. It felt like i was a foreign exchange student from a third world country. “I’m already considered a junior because I took all AP classes at St Francis”. Fuck you dude I mumered under my breath. It all hit me at once, I was a big fish in a small pond and now I’m the shit that gets regergetated from plankton digestion at the bottom of the Pacific. Fuck this. To tell you the truth I would have quit a lot sooner if it wasn’t for the pressure to live up to my brothers success. Fuck them. They always excelled further in education than my attention span was ever able to live up to. Not to mention I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. It was a gift and a curse. I had two people to look up to but at the same time my parents had two trump cards waiting to lay down anytime I slipped up. I don’t want people to think my parents weren’t loving and supportive because they always have been especially now. However the voices in my head were theirs and they were hard to silence. Couple my terrible performance with my sense of abandonment from best friends that were living the dream off in a place I’d much rather be and what do you get? A self loathing vat of volatile self deprecation and esteem issues. I felt completely alone. I couldn’t talk to my family because all I saw was disappointment. I couldn’t talk to my friends because they weren’t around the corner anymore and who was I to trouble their paradise and college experience with my own first world problems? The friends I had left were almost exclusively there to enable the brain and liver numbing happening every weekend that was absolutely necessary for survival.
This weekend shit show was followed by sneaking into my parents house and hiding absolutely every part of me that didn’t fit the emotionally stable college student mould. Honestly I just didn’t want to add anything to the platter of excuses my mom would have to shamefully explain to her peers at the grocery store when they asked about me. Remember when I said my Beats were my invisibility cloak? Well let’s just say I went through a year supply of AAA batteries that winter (why did the original beats take batteries? Fuck that Dre). Wanna talk about a cliche? Well step into the shadows we can talk about rock bottom. I know I say a lot of jokes and I’m rarely serious on LSR but mental health is not a joke, the shit don’t fuck around, and if you don’t fight back it will devour you. lIt was the first time in my life I felt both completely alone and totally lost. But I had Take Care to Take Care of me, Drake brought me a since of existential belonging that was soo crucial to my phyche and I slowly crept my way back out of the darkness to the light, I met new ppl, a couple friends came back into the fold, and slowly I shed my cloak and walked unencumbered. This tale has no moment of 180 degree redemption, and it definitely didn’t happen overnight but I realized I couldn’t continue down that Weston Road. One day at a time, one step at a time. Even with frail and soft strokes of a blade the mightiest oak will eventually fall. Now I greet everyday with love in my heart. I’m incredibly happy and I even created a lifelong best friend/mini me. Mentally I’m stronger than ever. Even tho I don’t fux wit drake as heavy as I did, his album will always represent a time stamp on a part of my life where I was challenged to my core, and I took it on the chin and kept it movin. There’s been countless blows thrown at me since this time and with every one my chin grows harder and stronger. Bitch Im on One. I’m not gonna sit here and tell y’all that your problems are similar to mine or give you the equivalent of someone saying “just be happy” I know life is tough and loneliness is the worst but I strongly believe that If You’re Reading This it ISN’T Too Late. I may be a college dropout but I’m an exceptional father, I may have attention deficit but when it comes to LSR I have laser focus, I may have wasted years of my life in a pit of despair but I regret absolutely nothing. Greet everyday with love in your heart and Take Care.
P.S I still have the Beats except now they’re my hater blockers 😊