When: Sat., June 2, 7 p.m. 2012
After years of avoiding anything related to Aubrey "Drake" Graham—listening to his music, watching his episodes of Degrassi, traveling to Canada—I finally gave in last fall and checked out his sophomore full-length, Take Care (Young Money). I haven't been able to shake it since. The guy's got a gift for turning plush, gauzy melodies into earworms that can fill dance floors, but what hooked me even more thoroughly is his ability to elevate standard-sounding R&B numbers flush with reverberating synths into something melancholy and moving just by stretching out a few vowels. Take album standout "Marvin's Room," a self-deprecating tale wherein he dials an ex and tries to convince her to pay him a late-night visit by confessing to some recent bad behavior; it's not a pretty situation, to say the least, but Drake's heartfelt croon makes it feel tragically real. Just like the rest of Take Care, it's got the kind of emotional heft that stands up to repeated listening—and I've certainly been keeping it on repeat. —Leor Galil J. Cole, Waka Flocka Flame, Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, and French Montana open.