Why have a Top 10 when you can have one more? Here are the 11 best Drake songs, ranked
The Drake factory has finished its latest line of production and the rapper’s new album, For All The Dogs, is out now – pissing off Halle Berry by using her slime-covered image as artwork, bringing IKEA-style plastic storage boxes of money to the club, and giving us a semi-decent SZA collaboration.
But as Drake puts it: “Things get kinky after fifteen years of dominance.” And right enough, after a decade and a half at the helm of mainstream rap, he’s racked up a significant amount of tunes that take us through his breakthrough, pop crossover, softboy era and revenge epochs, with a generous stash of collaborations scattered throughout.
It’s an impossible task, but as the mushroom cloud of his legacy spreads a little wider, we decided to rank Drake’s best songs. Here’s where we landed.
Obviously, Rihanna had to be included in the line-up. At the height of their empire, Drake and Rihanna could Trojan Horse any song into the charts for weeks on end purely based on the fact it was Him and it was Her. Of their many hits, dancehall-leaning track ‘Work’ has to be the best. Even if only for Drake’s line: “If you had a twin I would still choose you”, leaving Wordsworth and the Romantics to rot.
(Honestly, Nevermind, 2022)
Last year Drake surprised everyone and divided opinion by going house on his album Honestly, Nevermind. Drake purists like to give their flowers to the 21 Savage-featuring ‘Jimmy Crooks’ (probably the least house track on the album), but it’s ‘Sticky’, with its thumping beat and perfect drop, that gives way to some of Drake’s most impressive cadence.
9. Over My Dead Body
(Take Care, 2011)
In 2011 Drake bestowed us with arguably his best album as he grappled with fame, money, and his feelings after his big breakthrough. Take Care opener ‘Over My Dead Body’ takes the piano of Kanye’s ‘Runaway’, released a year before, and slathers it in Drake’s musings about his extortionate tax bill, being the best in the game, and seducing women, amongst other things. Softboy Drake pending…
8. Best I Ever Had
(So Far Gone, 2009)
It’s not a true Drake round-up without the breakout single from the mixtape that launched his career. After dropping So Far Gone in 2009, the rapper found himself taking a seat at the table of commercial success, rocketing to No.2 in the US charts and landing himself two Grammy nominations. Strip it down and it’s basically Drake’s first love song. And by love song we mean one of his slickest hooks and his insistence that “You the f*cking best”.
(If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, 2015)
Surprise mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late was basically Drake journaling and deciding to share it with… the world. Despite containing some of his most honest lyrics it’s a collection that’s often glossed over, but ‘Star67’ (referring to a phone shortcut to withhold your number) is a five-minute epic of two halves that sees Drake reflect on his childhood as well as being a banger. A rare feat.
6. 5AM In Toronto
(Care Package, 2019)
No crooning, no club music, on ‘5AM In Toronto’ Drake is just mad. And while people pored over the verses and potential shots at The Weeknd and Chris Brown, the track is basically chewing up and spitting out the entire game. Pointing out that every song sounds like “Drake featuring Drake” Aubrey also delivers one of his best lines to roll his eyes at rappers that need him as much as they seem to hate him: “I could load every gun with bullets that fire backwards/Probably wouldn’t lose a single rapper”.
5. HYFR ft Lil Wayne
(Take Care, 2011)
Drake and Lil Wayne are probably the most fertile duo when it comes to Drizzy collaborations, so it’s only right to see in the top five with one of their biggest. ‘HYFR’ is just an absolute banger in every single way really. Everything about it, from Drake’s breathless flow to Lil Wayne’s chorus mocking moronic interview questions and its instantly chantable refrain, earns it a place as one of Drake’s best songs.
4. Marvin’s Room
(Take Care, 2011)
In a whole genre of phonecall-sampling songs, ‘Marvin’s Room’ is up there as one of the most seminal. And its scarce, echoey production – as Drake has an absolute shocker and drunk calls an ex asking for her back before laying into her new boyfriend – is the spine-tingling stuff that made us fall in love with him. Juggling feelings of loneliness, horniness and shame, it’s easily one of Drake’s most relatable and instantly essential tracks.
(Thank Me Later, 2010)
Everything about ‘Over’ makes it a classic. From the high drama orchestral intro to the lyrics brushing off fake friends, the song is like the curtain coming up on Drake and his newfound commercial success as he gives himself a pep talk. “What am I doing? What am I doing? Oh yeah, that’s right I’m doing me,” he searches with just a kernel of truth. It’s a Drake anthem, with all the seeds that go on to take shape across his music for the next decade, plus.
2. Worst Behavior
(Nothing Was The Same, 2013)
The return of angry Drake. Except this time he’s more like your pissed-off friend storming across the club to have a go at the person that spilled their drink or knocked into them on the dancefloor. Drizzy is fired-up and looking to fight on ‘Worst Behavior’ as he repeatedly spits “Motherf*cker never loved us”, sounding deeper and more guttural as he sonically paces, daring anyone who doubted him to speak up.
(Take Care, 2011)
Any number of songs from Take Care could have taken the top spot, but in the end it had to be ‘Headlines’. With the kind of instantly recognisable intro that makes you reach for the volume, make a sound that resembles excitement and instantly recall every lyric you didn’t even know was in your brain, it’s classic Drake. It’s also a rare case of someone referring to themselves in the third person and not triggering instant revulsion: “Drizzy got the money, so Drizzy gon’ pay it.” ‘Headlines’ is a celebration of Drake realising he’s made it and is going to irreversibly change the face of rap, and of music generally. It just so happens to be his greatest song ever.
For All The Dogs is out now