Started from the bottom — and he’s been at the top ever since rising to music stardom with his debut mixtape “So Far Gone” in 2008. Canadian born rapper, Drake (Aubrey Drake Graham) is considered hip hop royalty, with an extensive catalog of hits. Some of the best Drake songs are well-known among fans of all genres and enjoyed internationally. Rolling Stone says, “Since scoring his first Billboard top-two hit with ‘Best I Ever Had’ in 2009, he’s been omnipresent, as unavoidable as the weather.” And they’re totally right.
Drake continues to be a top performing artist, earning #1 Billboard Artist in 2021. He even has more top-five songs on the Billboard Hot 100 than any artist in history, including the Beatles (which he famously says in a line of “Going Bad ” featuring former rival, Meek Mill).
Are you a music lover? Besides knowing all the lyrics to your favorite songs like the back of your hand, jamming out has other benefits. Listening to music reduced stress during the pandemic, according to new research. The study of 711 people found music also improved mood, adding to evidence that our favorite tunes are a great antidote for anxiety.
Don’t feel like doing years of backtracking to find Drake’s greatest hits? No worries, we’ve got you covered. StudyFinds did the research and rounded up the top five best Drake songs according to experts and fans everywhere. Have another song you want to add? Leave a comment and let us know.
The List: Best Drake Songs Most Recommended by Experts
1. “Best I Ever Had” (2009)
Let’s take it to the beginning. “Best I Ever Had” was Drake’s first chart-topping hit where he introduced himself and his style. “The melody works on a variety of levels, but first and foremost it functions as a singularly perfect pop song with caption-worthy one-liners,” says Billboard.
The song does feature a few notable lines, such as the famously quoted, “Sweatpants, hair tied, chillin’ with no make-up on. That’s when you’re the prettiest, I hope that you don’t take it wrong,” writes Genius.
According to Rolling Stone, “‘Best I Ever Had’ finds Drake perfecting the art of the humblebrag over a sprightly Boi-1da beat. ‘Sex, love, pain, baby I be on that Tank shit,’ he raps in reference to the R&B singer’s album Sex, Love & Pain. It was difficult for rap heads to take him seriously at first — some refuseniks still don’t — and he’s only matured as an artist in the years since. But ‘Best I Ever Had’ still resonates as a portrait of how far he’s come.”
2. “Marvin’s Room” (2011)
We saw a different side of Drake with this classic. It was one of our first times seeing Drake switch it up and give us a more R&B styled song. “‘Marvins Room’ felt like a real creative breakthrough,” says Rolling Stone.
“The beat is a gorgeous nightmare loop, a woozy and vicious hangover blossoming into an existential crisis from which Drake still hasn’t recovered,” says The Ringer “The song’s strongest hook, which is the ghostly ex asking, ‘Are you drunk right now?’”
The Guardian describes the album’s artwork of Drake staring sadly at a gold goblet surrounded by classical paintings. “But that histrionic dolefulness is served colder on Marvin’s Room, as he sketches a life of meaningless sex to a woman he’s trying to have sex with – is he genuinely trying to find a connection with her or is she just tonight’s target? Drake keeps his cards close; perhaps even he doesn’t know. The chords are as numb as he is and the sinister, inveigling feel to the chorus melody creeps up your spine as you listen.”
3. “Started From the Bottom” (2013)
We couldn’t leave this quote-worthy song off the list. On this track, Drake walks us through his humble beginnings in this relatable and catchy tune. “‘Started From The Bottom’ has that hooky, unforgettable quality, a song that at first feels slight but soon reveals itself to be much greater than its initial impression,” says Complex.
“It’s where he crystallizes his ever-present shopping lists and memories of striving in his hometown Toronto into a handful of unforgettable hooks,” says Rolling Stone.
The once overlooked song has made its way to the top of Drake’s catalog and in many Instagram captions. “He charts that come-up with this minimalist classic, in which the near-monotone of the title line in the chorus has its own subtle, mournful, infectious musicality,” adds The Guardian.
4. “Worst Behavior” (2013)
Drake really showed up and showed out on this one. “Worst Behavior” is one of those songs where he felt like he had something to prove, resulting in a song filled with excellent bars and a showcase of the artist’s hip hop talent. The Ringer says, “It’s a four-and-a-half minute mean mug that dares—no, is begging—you to look back.”
With Complex agreeing, “Drake is completely unapologetic here, and wants you to know he’s holding on to those grudges and staying on his worst behavior. Oh, and it’s a banger.”
The Guardian writes: “In a semi-fond diss, rap blogger Big Ghost once renamed Drake “Yung Garnier Fructis” on account of his softness and smoothness. When he tries to be hard, it can be like seeing a dad yell impotently at teenagers who have just thrown toilet paper over his house. But on the anthemic Worst Behaviour, there’s something unhinged and aggressive about his stop-start delivery: ‘Remember? Motherfucker?’”=
5. “Laugh Now Cry Later” feat. Lil Durk (2020)
A more recent song from Drake (and the only one on the list with a true feature), “Laugh Now Cry Later” is a triumphant song. “After the letdown of 2020 mixtape Dark Lane Demo Tapes, any fears that Drake’s creativity was petering out were extinguished by this blithely joyous single,” says The Guardian.
Thethings.com notes the song was even nominated for two awards at the Grammys in 2021. Drake really shows off his skills, “‘Laugh Now Cry Later’ exemplifies Drake’s songwriting talent and knack for melodic choruses,” says Rolling Stone.
Of course, it’s hard to narrow down Drake’s hits to just five, but in this list we tried to cover the many eras of the artist. What songs are your favorites?
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- Rolling Stone
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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.