Just one year after releasing the sizzling “What’s My Name?” in October of 2010, Drake and Rihanna have teamed up once again for another incredible collaboration: “Take Care,” the Jamie XX (The XX)-produced lead single off of Drake’s upcoming studio album of the same name.
Though his most popular tunes tend to be big, bossy rap tracks like “Over” and “Headlines,” Drake truly proves himself a true innovator with his unique brand of spook-R&B, including the masterfully moody “Marvin’s Room” from earlier this year (which resulted in JoJo‘s own cover of the song, otherwise known as one of the greatest songs of the year.)
Now the Canadian rapper/crooner has done it once again–this time with RiRi’s help. And Gil Scott-Heron.
“I know you been hurt by someone else, I can tell by the way you carry yourself,” the Barbadian princess gently sings. The lyrics come courtesy of “I’ll Take Care Of You,” written by the late jazz-soul poet who died earlier this year.
Underneath Ri’s vocals, the song bursts with gentle disco pulsations and piano melodies, as if briefly sampling a taste of Hercules & Love Affair…or more appropriately, The XX. After all, “Take Care” also samples producer Jamie XX’s own remix of “I’ll Take Care Of You” as featured on 2011’s We’re New Here, a remix album based on Scott-Heron’s 2010 record, I’m New Here.
Just as with Rihanna’s feature on Coldplay‘s upcoming Mylo Xyloto single “Princess of China,” “Take Care” finds Rihanna singing in a way she hasn’t really explored before. But whereas her Coldplay collabo found RiRi pushing herself to emotional new heights, “Take Care” finds the singer experiencing all-time levels of sexy–sensuously purring above the minimal beats.
Pounding drum patterns soon break up the beats and pour into the mix, bringing to mind the gorgeous bleakness of Kanye West‘s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (especially considering West’s own sample of Scott-Heron in “Who Will Survive in America”), and even Rihanna’s own “The Last Song” off of Rated R.
Once Drake takes command of his own song, the drums beat harder as his rhymes grow progressively faster. “When you’re ready, just say you’re ready/When all the baggage just ain’t as heavy,” Drake tenderly croons back at one point during his verse. It’s gorgeous, haunting and largely unforgettable: This is next level hip-hop.
At this point, there’s no denying the spark of magic between the two: Come for the chemistry, stay for the lasting chills.
Take Care will be released on November 15. (iTunes)