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15 of Drake's Dopest Deep Cuts

'Views from the 6' is around the corner, but Aubrey's discography still has so many under-appreciated songs worth revisiting

1 / 15

"5AM in Toronto"

There's gotta be an alternate universe where this is track three on a platinum Drake album, because it's one of the best bars-on-bars-on-bars performances he's ever given. I mean, "Give these n---as the look, the verse and even the hook / That's why every song sound like Drake featuring Drake"?!

Or what about...

I made Forbes list, n---a
Fuck your list, everything's lookin gorgeous
Without me, rap is just a bunch of orphans
But if I stayed in this shit, it's a bunch of corpses
And me and my dread n---a from New Orleans
Stashin money like hoarders off multi-platinum recordings

Seriously. It's not too late to make this the opener on the greatest hits collection, even if it never even got a chance to be a hit. –Zach Dionne

2 / 15

"Brand New (Remix)" feat. Lil Wayne

The official version of “Brand New” (which appeared as a bonus track on Drake’s acclaimed So Far Gone mixtape in 2009) is a total sap-fest, but it was the remix that pushed the already-intense emotions over the edge. It was the epitome of the Heartbreak Drake era, where he poured out his soul as he sang about his insecurities with a new relationship and not being able to live up to the standards of the guy before him. The addition of Lil Wayne’s warbled, Auto-Tuned presence showed that even thugs could shed a real, non-tattooed tear or two. –Bianca Gracie

3 / 15

"Say What's Real"

Drake's often hemmed in as a rapper who never could've existed without Kanye West/Kanye's 808s & Heartbreak, an opinion he's publicly shared at least a couple times. But hearing him spit on the 808s opener is still an eye-opener—and an emphatic declaration that this is a very different dude.  –Zach Dionne

4 / 15

"Dreams Money Can Buy"

Best remembered for its hypnotic sample of “BTSTU” by Jai Paul (remember Jai Paul? Where is Jai Paul?), “Dreams Money Can Buy” previewed the bleary-eyed storytelling of Take Care five months before Drake’s sophomore album was released. The flow is fairly memorable, but that production stays with you long after the song concludes. –Jason Lipshutz

5 / 15

"I Get Lonely Too”

Drake always had a heartfelt obsession with '90s R&B (he even has a tattoo of the late Aaliyah), and he showed the genre love on 2010’s “I Get Lonely Too.” Produced by Noah "40" Shebib, it was a slowed-down interpolation of TLC’s 1999 track “Fanmail” and gave fans insight into the underwater moody melodies that OVO Sound is now known for. If you’re looking to cry in a corner and get way deep into your isolated feelings, play this one on full blast. –Bianca Gracie

6 / 15

"Enough Said" feat. Aaliyah

Anyone who thinks Drake's Paranoia Era started with If You're Reading This It's Too Late missed his one-off duet with some posthumous Aaliyah vocals in 2012. "Every million I gain an enemy or a cousin / And people's feelings have changed ever since I became something," he rapped over a 40 production that mostly plays host to Aaliyah's golden, too-missable voice. –Zach Dionne

7 / 15

"Free Spirit” feat. Rick Ross

Drake and Rick Ross teamed up on songs before, but in 2011 they were steadily dropping tracks together that had people anticipating a joint mixtape. It still hasn’t happened (ugh), but one of my favorites from that pre–Take Care era was “Free Spirit.” At this point, Drake was mastering his flow and a Rick Ross nod gave him a more rugged edge. Songs like these will always make me wish for more collaborations between the two rappers—although I will never be tatting anyone’s name on me, thank you very much. –Bianca Gracie

8 / 15

"Bitch Is Crazy"

'07 Drake was a pretty silly, Jay Z–aping guy a lot of the time, but the one-of-a-kind feel of the Comeback Season mixtape's "Bitch Is Crazy" makes it fun to revisit. You've never heard The Boy among so many guitars. –Zach Dionne

9 / 15

"I’m Goin’ In” feat. Lil Wayne

This Drizzy/Weezy collaboration defined my first semester at college, where it ripped through the speakers at almost every frat party I went to. The stomping turn-up anthem off the EP version of '09's So Far Gone lives up to title, as the rap brothers go H.A.M. over the jangling production. Drake opening his verse with "First off, you know what it is if you heard Drake / Making hoes wobble like a bridge in a earthquake” was all the confirmation my then 18-year-old self needed to know the Toronto rapper was going to be around for a long time. –Bianca Gracie

10 / 15

"Girls Love Beyoncé" feat. James Fauntleroy

Released in the early days of Nothing Was the Same build-up, this Fauntleroy'd-out, Destiny's Child–sampling slow jam should've hit "Hotline Bling" status. Instead, it's beautiful little secret Drake die-hards can always appreciate—and share—in peace. –Zach Dionne

11 / 15

"Club Paradise"

In a parallel reality, “Club Paradise” is the sensitive rap-singing track that follows up “Over My Dead Body” on the Take Care tracklist instead of the less magical “Shot for Me.” In our own reality, the phrase “Club Paradise” belongs to Drake’s 2012 tour (featuring, among other openers, Meek Mill!), and to a great deep cut. –Jason Lipshutz

12 / 15

"November 18th”

Drake currently has obsessions with London and Jamaica, but back in 2009 the budding rapper had an affinity for Houston. Why? Because it was where he met Lil Wayne for the first time. “November 18th,” an immediate So Far Gone mixtape highlight, marks the epic day that changed Drake’s career forever. The song's chopped-and-screwed vocals, lean-sipping and hazy beat are representative of the Texas city’s music. –Bianca Gracie

13 / 15

"Ransom" feat. Lil Wayne

Whenever Drake and Lil Wayne collaborate, the outcome is almost always nothing short of epic—and it all started with “Ransom.” The spitfire track was recorded sometime after the pair first met back in 2008, and it finds them shelling out bar after bar without any hook. The then-22-year-old Drake sounds young and hungry, as seen with lyrics like, "Last place Drizzy is the n---a in the lead now / Weezy told me just write every single thing you need down / And he got it for me and I'm happy as can be now.” Give “Ransom” a listen if you ever need a reminder that Drake can seriously rap when he feels like it. –Bianca Gracie

14 / 15

"Cameras / Good Ones Go Interlude"

Take Care is such a stunner that it's kinda sacrilegious to call anything on it a deep cut. But the chief complaint against the (perfect) album is its length, and an essentially chorus-free seven-minute two-parter is apt to get eyed as a key offender. But it's a great example of the kind of luxuriant, nocturnal sexiness that makes the project so good, and there's never a bad time to throw it on and vibe out. –Zach Dionne

15 / 15

"Uptown" feat. Lil Wayne & Bun B

Leave the clumsy one-liners (“I see all this money through my Ohio State Buckeyes!”) aside, if you can, and soak in “Uptown” as a six-minute superstar summit with Drake, Lil Wayne and Bun B, the latter of whom sounds like a slow-moving assassin over the organ-tinged beat. –Jason Lipshutz

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