It was only a matter of time before we made a Top 10 list for recent Billboard Artist of the Decade recipient Drake. Drizzy has been pumping out hit after hit since he launched his music career in 2006, and with his new album Certified Lover Boy, now is the perfect time to create a ranking of his best tunes.
Hailing from the Great White North, Drake found enormous success in his music career almost as soon as he got started. Maybe it was his long string of guest appearances in Lil Wayne, Rihanna, and A$AP Rocky hits or his gold-touch approach to rapping, singing, and songwriting. Whatever it was about Drake, it made him one of the most revered artists of our generation.
This is one of the hardest Top 10 lists we’ve had to create at Live365, considering the grand majority of Drake’s discography is exceptional. Everyone has their own favorite Drake song that touches them in some way. That’s one of the reasons why the Toronto artist is a household name.
Despite the struggles of crafting this ranking, we’re hoping to publish this list as more of a celebration of Drake’s best work rather than a definitive, black-and-white categorization of his masterpieces. Hopefully you find some joy in our choices, and agree with at least some of our takes.
Without further ado, here’s our Drizzy picks!
From reviews, research, and our personal listening experience, we’ve determined “Fair Trade” to be the most-liked song off Certified Lover Boy. And there’s a good reason for that: the sample of Charlotte Day Wilson’s “Mountains” is tight, Travis Scott’s cameo is epic, and Drake’s lyrics are pretty relevant to today’s political, turbulent, and social media-involved era.
“Fair Trade” is all about having to denounce fake friends in order to find peace of mind. While Drake’s verses are all about letting go of the toxicity, Scott’s bars are about him embracing the women, cars, and money. This song marked the fourth collaboration between Drake and Scott after “Company,” “Portland,” and “SICKO MODE.”
Whether you love it for the sunny music production or Drizzy’s meme-able dance moves in the music video, “Hotline Bling” remains one of Drake’s biggest commercial successes. It peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2015, only to be beaten later by the Views song “One Dance,” which hit #1 on the chart.
This song is likely about Drake’s old Toronto flame Nebby, who he’s had an on and off relationship with a few times. This track heavily samples the song “Why Can’t We Live Together” by Timmy Thomas and has been remixed/covered by several of Drake’s peers, including Justin Bieber, Erykah Badu, Disclosure/Sam Smith, and Sufjan Stevens.
Fun fact: did you know Drake got to perform a segment of his infamous “Hotline Bling” dance moves in a T-Mobile commercial that aired during Super Bowl 50? Just like those shady business people, we wish we could bust some moves in the box too.
“Passionfruit” details Drake’s struggle to maintain trust in a long-distance relationship. While no one knows which specific love interest of Drake’s this song relates to, it’s a well-liked track due to its smooth beat with tropical/dancehall touches and the wordplay in the chorus. Plus, there’s some guest appearances by Moodymaan and Zoe Kravitz.
Even better than the original tune? The several covers that sprung from it. We particularly love the covers by Paramore, Dua Lipa, and Leroy Sanchez & Will Gittens.
One of the most popular tracks off Scorpion, “Nice For What” is inspired by New Orleans bounce music and came after Drake’s Scary Hours EP.
In this very dance-able track, Drake speaks about female empowerment in the digital age and how it can inspire both love and hate. Drake asks why women are held to the high standard of loving men, but men are not held accountable for neglecting to do the same. The music video features several female icons, including Olivia Wilde, Tracy Ellis Ross, Issa Rae, Zoe Saldana, and many more.
Even cooler, the track’s chorus features a sample from Fujees legend Lauryn Hill and her iconic song, “Ex-Factor.” Hill’s son would be the first to tease “Nice For What” over social media in 2018.
No, not the series of horror movies about the killer doll: the song from Views.
On “Child’s Play,” Drake explains to a woman her simple desire for a new outfit is mere child’s play for his wealth. He’s happy to indulge as long as she continues to give him what he needs. Oh yeah: and the couple is fighting in a Cheesecake Factory.
Part comedic, part romantic, part angry, and oh-so dance-worthy, the sample of Ha-Sizzle’s New Orleans bounce classic “Rode That D-k Like a Soldier” really ties this track together. The hysterical music video also features a performance from Tyra Banks. And yes: there’s cheesecake involved.
This “9AM in Dallas” sequel was dropped in anticipation of Drizzy’s third album, Nothing Was the Same. This track notably sheds light on the beef between Drake and fellow Canadian singer The Weeknd – whose early work he helped sponsor. It could also possibly be related to Chris Brown.
Some things Drake mentions in this diss track are his OVO owl merch, a former altercation he had with Chris Brown, and his career success. The tight lyrics, rhymes and entendres show why Drake has a seat at the table in the rap game. This song is proof of his raw talent when he’s at his best.
On August 2, 2019, “5AM in Toronto” was re-released after Drake dropped Care Package on all major streaming platforms. The release comes nearly six months after Drake re-released his breakout mixtape So Far Gone.
Need an energy boost? The chopped and screwed sample of E.S.G.’s Swangin’ and Bangin’ (Original Version), Drake’s blazing speed in the first verse and Lil Wayne’s awesome bars about getting it on with married women will be enough to wake you up.
All in all, the song shows a more introspective side from both Drizzy and Weezy. In particular, Drake talks about ex-girls and the many lessons he’s learned from Tupac songs, while Lil Wayne repeats the mindless questions fans often ask famous rappers. There’s a lot to unpack in “HYFR,” and it’s an era of Drake and Lil Wayne that we sorely miss!
Catchy, focused, epic, empowering. “Legend” is the hard-hitting opener to Drake’s beloved surprise mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late.
It’s another braggadocious track that sees Drake flaunting his success, but unlike other songs, “Legend” has swanky production value from artist PARTYNEXTDOOR. There’s also samples of Ginuwine’s “So Anxious” at certain points in the mix.
The track also gives small autobiographical accounts of Drake’s life: including when he used to frequent strip clubs, how he learned Spanish over time, and his shady side schemes in Canada. “Legend” is basically a reflection of all the things Drake has done so far…and all the great things he will do in the future.
This underrated yet fan-favorite track is another song – like “Hotline Bling” and “HYFR” – that involves cellphones. In “Marvins Room”, a phone call is essentially the medium of the music. The whole song is a talk on the phone.
A drunk Drake vents about his loneliness at a crazy party, then his lover replies. A cinematic track of sorts, we listen to Drake try to persuade the girl to love him again and leave her current man without much success. The title is a nod to Marvin Gaye’s studio (popularly known as “Marvin’s Room”) where Drizzy recorded the track for his album Take Care.
Due to its structure, chill Frank Ocean-esque tone, and relatability, “Marvins Room” has had several remixes. The most popular of the bunch is Cash Money labelmate Weezy’s remix off his Sorry 4 The Wait mixtape.
In all the research we did for this list, “God’s Plan” kept popping up as both a critical and commercial success. While it’s so hard to pick the best song off Drizzy’s stellar catalogue, it’s only reasonable we label this Scorpion standout as our #1 pick. Even people who aren’t mega Drake fans know and appreciate this bop.
A feel-good track, “God’s Plan” discusses Drake’s future as an artist, those who try to infiltrate his inner circle, and how he believes God won’t let him fail despite haters trying to bring him down. It’s dreamy, ultra positive, and one of his best songs to groove to. “God’s Plan” debuted at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and sold a total of 127,000 downloads in the week ending January 25th, 2018.
Finally, the song discusses Drake’s willingness to give back his success to the community. If you’re really looking for a pick-me-up that may make you cry, do yourself a favor and watch the music video. In the real-life visual, Drake takes the whopping $996,631.90 budget him and his team had for the video and gives it all away to families, schools, charities, and more. Don’t tell the label!
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Article Image: Drake raises his hands while performing during the Boy Meets World tour in 2017. (benhoudijk via DepositPhotos)