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If you’re too curious about Drake’s upcoming album “Thank Me Later” and just can’t wait until it hits the stores on June 15th, TRACE has a little something for you! Our team attended the talented Canadian artist’s listening session on June 2nd in New York City. Don’t mean to spoil, but Drizzy is definitely one of the most promising artists of the next generation.

It’s hard to believe that Drake is about to deliver his debut album when he has been in the game for quite some time now, making people bounce with hits like “Best I’ve Ever Had,” “Over,” and “Find Your Love.” After three successful mixtapes and countless collaborations with top acts like Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Trey Songz and many others from his growing entourage, Drake is ready to start a brand new chapter: “This is a crucial moment for me. It actually feels like my last album, not my first. I’ll be working hard to make sure you remember it,” he recently told Billboard Magazine.

Drake never flies solo and so the listening session couldn’t start without a full room: Birdman, David Banner and the Young Money dream team were all there to support their young protégé, who played the album and stopped the music every once in a while to comment on his songs. The very personal “Fireworks” opens the album and features Alicia Keys, for whom Drake wrote the now famous “Un-thinkable.” The singer declared that this song was very deep and had enabled him to talk about things he usually keeps to himself. The track “Karaoke” remains intimate, as Drake evokes his painful breakup with his first love who ran away because of his fame. “The Resistance” also deals with the way Drizzy handles his new life and people telling him he has changed.

The up-tempo “Fancy” featuring T.I and Swizz Beatz is dedicated to the ladies and sounds more like a party joint. “Up All Night” is a tribute to Young Money crew that Drake recorded with his label mate Nicki Minaj. The rapper/singer also takes it to the streets thanks to a stunning collaboration with Jay-Z on “Light up,” claiming that Jigga’s verse on this track was the best he ever did. Wait and see…

Drake obviously knows how to pick the best guests: The-Dream appears on “Shut It Down” and Young Jeezy appears on “Unforgettable,” a song that means a lot to the artist. Indeed, “Unforgettable” features a sample from “At Your Best” by Aaliyah, a singer that Drizzy admires and would have loved to work with. Last but not least, Timbaland and Drake team up once again after the success of “Say Something,” with the song “Thank Me Now” that celebrates the young man’s promising career.

The next single from “Thank Me Later” will be “Miss Me,” a song Drake recorded with Lil Wayne, who shot his part of the video before he was sent to jail. The artist referred to Weezy as “the person who made it all happen” throughout the listening session and confessed he just came back from Rikers Island prison to visit him. Kanye West, his other mentor, is also present on the album and produced two songs, “Show Me A Good Time,” that will hit the clubs without a doubt, and the latest single “Find Your Love.”

Drake ended the listening session by announcing a really productive year for hip-hop, as both “The Carter IV” by Lil Wayne and “Good Ass Job” by Kanye will be released in 2010. From what we heard, “Thank Me Later” is likely to make this prediction a reality, starting June 15th. So until you buy what Billboard Magazine called “the most anticipated hip-hop album in years,” you can still enjoy Drake’s surprising video “Find Your Love,” shot in Jamaica.

Written by Liv

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