All 9 Drake albums ranked from worst to best

Aubrey Drake Graham has dropped lots of music since 2010, and we have lots of thoughts on how it stacks up.

Drake
Drake / Prince Williams/GettyImages
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Drake has always been transparent about his work ethic. He literally rapped about it on “Light Up”, the JAY-Z collaboration from his 2010 debut: “They always tell me nobody’s working as hard as you / and even though I laugh it off man, it’s probably true.”

It’s been a decade and a half since Drake typed those bars into his Blackberry, but they continue to hold weight. The rapper is always recording and releasing new music, even when he’s supposed to be on a “break.” He announced he would be taking personal time following the release of For All the Dogs in October, and then broke his word by dropping Scary Hours 3 a month later.

Related: Drake releases For All the Dogs 'Scary Hours Edition'

Drake’s work ethic has resulted in genre-defining classics, commercial juggernauts, and sonic detours that still have some fans scratching their heads.

The diversity of his discography is what makes it so difficult (and so much fun) to rank, but we want to make it clear that our album ranking will consist of studio albums only (Aubrey’s mixtapes deserve their own list).

We’re going to start from the bottom (!) and work our way to the top:

9. Certified Lover Boy (2021)

Drake had a rocky start to the 2020s. The rapper spent most of 2019 and 2020 taking stock of his legacy, and releasing compilations of leaks and/or old songs, but when it came time for him to drop Certified Lover Boy, the response was pretty universally “meh.” 

The lead singles, “Way 2 Sexy” and “Girls Want Girls”, featured some of Drake’s worst bars to date, and the gimmicky instrumental on the former veered dangerously close to Lonely Island territory.

There are definite standouts littered throughout, like the one-two punch that opens the album, and the breezy Tems duet that anchors the back end (“Fountains”), but Certified Lover Boy is an album that’s ultimately less than the sum of its parts. And the cover art is still Drake’s worst.

Highlights: “Champagne Poetry”, “No Friends In the Industry”, “Fountains”

Lowlights: “Girls Want Girls”, “In the Bible”, “F**king Fans”

8. For All the Dogs (2023)

Drake spent the better part of 2023 teasing For All the Dogs as the return of “old Drake.” It wasn’t really true. For All the Dogs is another instance of the rapper stretching himself thin and trying to ride trends with younger artists (Yeat, Bad Bunny) on an album that’s almost movie length.

Related: Drake's For All the Dogs, reviewed

It’s frustrating, because the album’s highlights prove that Drake still has a few tricks up his sleeve. He sounds immaculate on the dusty Conductor Williams beat for “8AM In Charlotte”, and energized to be rapping alongside J. Cole on the bombastic “First Person Shooter.”

The aforementioned Scary Hours 3 EP, which doubles as the deluxe version of For All the Dogs, is an excellent batch of songs, but we don’t count points that were made after the buzzer. The standard version of For All the Dogs is what we’re ranking here, and it lacks focus.

Highlights: “First Person Shooter”, “Drew a Picasso”, “8AM In Charlotte”

Lowlights: “Fear of Heights”, “Gently”, “Away from Home”

7. Honestly, Nevermind (2022)

The one true curio in Drake’s discography. Nobody expected the biggest rapper on the planet to break left and make a dance/house album, yet that’s exactly what he did with Honestly, Nevermind

There are a few instances of bad beat selection (the squeaky mattress on “Currents” is an ear sore) and weak songwriting (“Down Hill”) , but for the most part, Drake navigates Baltimore Club with style and agility.

“Liability” adds a neat sonic wrinkle to the Heartbreak Drake playbook by pitching down the rapper’s voice, and “Massive” takes the adage about “crying in the club” and turns it into a surprisingly danceable song.

"Jimmy Cooks”, the album’s closer, isn’t a respite so much as an assertion that Drake can still outrap his peers after spending 45 minutes genre-hopping. Honestly, Nevermind isn’t perfect, but it gets better with each new listen.

Highlights: “Texts Go Green”, “Liability”, “Jimmy Cooks”

Lowlights: “Currents”, “Calling My Name”, “Down Hill”

6. Her Loss (2022)

Her Loss was the final installment in a trilogy of Drake albums that included Certified Lover Boy and Honestly, Nevermind. Fortunately, it was the best release of the bunch.

Drake and 21 Savage fed off the momentum of their previous smash, “Jimmy Cooks”, and dropped an album that managed variety without feeling scattered.

Related: Drake reignites feud with Pusha T on new Travis Scott album

The opening run of Her Loss is especially good. Drake and Savage trade bars over the trunk-rattling anthem “Rich Flex”, then downshift to the menacing “Major Distribution” before coming back around with the casual brags of “On BS.”

There are a few underwhelming songs on here, like “Treacherous Twins” or “I Guess It’s F**k Me”, but even they have enough to get stuck in your head.

Her Loss is a low-stakes Drake album, which means it never reaches the heights of earlier releases. That’s okay, though. The low stakes make it fun to replay and easy to throw on shuffle.

Highlights: “Rich Flex”, “Middle of the Ocean”, “More M’s”

Lowlights: “BackOutside Boyz”, “Treacherous Twins”, “I Guess It’s F**k Me”

5. Scorpion (2018)

Drake was unstoppable in 2018. He scored 12 Top 10 singles, which broke a record previously set by the Beatles, and he became the most sought-after feature in all of hip-hop. He also managed to release the double album Scorpion, which contains some of his best-known songs to date. 

Related: 5 best Drake tracks of all time

“God’s Plan”, “Nice for What”, and “In My Feelings” are so ingrained in popular culture that they can be difficult to hear with fresh ears. Regardless, they are about as good as pop-rap gets.

Lesser-known cuts like “Emotionless” and “8 Out of 10” provide bars, and the closer, “March 14”, is a touching ode to Drake’s son, Adonis.

The reason Scorpion isn’t higher is because it’s extremely bloated. It’s pushing 90 minutes, and the second half of the album really struggles to overcome the consecutive ordering of two of Drake’s worst songs: “Peak” and “Summer Games.” Yeesh.

A slimmed down version would have been a classic.

Highlights: “Nonstop”, “God’s Plan”, “Nice for What”

Lowlights: “I’m Upset”, “Peak”, “Summer Games”

4. Thank Me Later (2010)

Thank Me Later deserves more credit than it gets. It gets dwarfed by the mixtape that preceded it and the album that followed it, but it holds together remarkably well for a debut album, and does the one thing that all good debuts should: establish the personality of the artist.

Drake and producer Noah “40” Shebib created a musical landscape that was lush, nocturnal, and tinged with sadness, even when things were supposed to be fun.

There’s a self-awareness to songs like “The Resistance” and “Light Up” that make them even more fascinating to listen to now, given the complicated relationships that Drake has developed with some of his Thank Me Later collaborators (Kanye West, looking at you).

The biggest knock against the album is the dated production, which is noticeable on the singles “Over” and “Find Your Love”, but there’s a simplistic charm to them all the same. An album well worth revisiting.

Highlights: “Fireworks”, “The Resistance”, “Fancy”

Lowlights: “Karaoke”, “Over”, “Thank Me Now”

3. Views (2016)

Views has developed a cult following in the years since it was released, and for good reason. It’s the ultimate Toronto album, right down to the cover art and the thematic flow of the tracklist, which is meant to replicate the transition from winter to summer and back again to winter. 

Drake was never more ambitious, and he made it clear in the two year rollout for the album that Views was meant to be a classic. The critics disagreed, but it’s become increasingly harder to ignore the amount of great songs that this thing has to offer. 

“Controlla” and “One Dance” are two of Drake’s best dancehall offerings. “Feel No Ways” and “Child’s Play” have become fan favorites, and “Weston Road Flows” is nostalgia personified over a perfect Mary J. Blige sample. Did we mention “Hotline Bling” is on here too?

Views is, admittedly, really long, and the opening track is still a chore to get through, but once you get over the hump you’ll find that one of Drake’s best albums has been hiding in plain sight.

Highlights: “Feel No Ways”, “Weston Road Flows”, “Controlla”

Lowlights: “Keep the Family Close”, “9”, “Pop Style”

2. Nothing Was the Same (2013)

In a 2019 interview with Rap Radar, Drake claimed that Nothing Was the Same was his best album, citing its cohesiveness and short runtime. He may be onto something. Nothing Was the Same is an airtight collection of songs, with clearly-established themes, sonic complexity, and a bevy of 90s references that support the wistfulness of the title.

The mutating sample that fuses “Wu-Tang Forever” and “Own It” into a musical suite that ranks among Noah “40” Shebib’s finest moments. The opener, “Tuscan Leather” manages a similar trick by flipping a Whitney Houston sample three different ways.

There’s a lot of intentionality on display, which is something that becomes less common with Drake’s later albums.

Related: Rappers who effortlessly blur the lines between bars and melodies

The album’s first two singles, “Started from the Bottom” and “Hold On, We’re Going Home”, are a perfect distillation of Drake’s ability to cater to both rap and pop fans. Nothing Was the Same is a classic by whatever metric you want to throw at it.

Highlights: “From Time”, “Hold On, We’re Going Home”, “Too Much”

Lowlights: “The Language”, “305 to My City”, “Pound Cake/Paris Morton Music 2” (great song derailed by the second JAY-Z verse)

1. Take Care (2011)

Take Care is the definitive Drake album. It’s the one that codified his aesthetic, both in terms of appearance (the cover art is iconic) and the “Toronto sound” that would go on to inspire generations of rappers and R&B singers. It’s also exceptionally made. 

The first six tracks comprise the greatest stretch of any Drake album, whether you prefer him to be sad (“Marvin’s Room”), celebratory (“Headlines”), or somewhere in between (“Shot for Me”).

The tracks on the second half of the album are less celebrated, but “Cameras/Good Ones Go” and “Look What You’ve Done” contain some of the most honest songwriting in his entire career.

There’s always going to be a desire to take a contrarian stance, and people who champion Views or Nothing Was the Same have a strong case, but Take Care is so undeniable that even people who dislike Drake concede to its greatness. It’s here to stay.

Highlights: “Marvin’s Room”, “Lord Knows”, “Look What You’ve Done”

Lowlights: “We’ll Be Fine”, “Make Me Proud”, “Hate Sleeping Alone”

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