Professor Xiabo Wang
7 February 2017
The Second Coming of Drake: A Rhetorical Analysis on the Album Cover of “Take Care”
Aubrey Graham, better known as Drake, released his second album “Take Care” back in November of 2011 (October’s Very Own, 2011). The album featured songs about his journey from actor to rapper, past heartbreaks, and catchy hooks such as Y.O.L.O. Just like the music, the album’s cover has meaning as well. By using the rhetorical strategies ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos the meaning of Drake’s album can be deciphered.
To begin, the ethos found on the album cover is of Drake himself. Drake is an entertainer who has been in front of the lights since his days on the Canadian television sitcom Degrassi (Mervis, 2012). Following the end of his acting days, Drake became known as a protégé of a rap star known by millions (Rodriguez, 2009). He received his big break when a track from his mixtape, “Comeback Season”, caught the attention of a deeply respected family in the hip-hop world (Rodriguez, 2009). From there, Drake found new managers that would eventually lead him to success in the music industry. In March of 2016, the album “Take Care” went quadruple platinum concluding that at least four million copies had been sold (“Gold and Platinum”, 2016). Today, Drake is co-owner of the fashion line “October’s Very Own” (Kameir, 2016), the creator and producer of many multi-platinum records, and an occasional songwriter. Drake’s successes and accomplishments are why he is solely the ethos found on this album cover.
As for pathos, this is found through the colors used on the cover of the album and in Drake’s body language. Researchers have proven that colors have the power to affect people’s mind (Gruson, 1982). On this album, the two main colors used are black and gold. Black usually denotes strength, elegance, power, and authority (Black, N.D.). These characteristics are heard on the album with lyrics on songs like “Headlines” and “Over My Dead Body”. The color gold symbolizes hard-work, close attention to detail, thoroughness, and victory. Lyrics like “The Ride” and “Cameras” embody gold’s meaning. Drake’s physical expression on this album cover also ties into the colors used in that he exudes strength by appearing calm and wearing black while holding a gold chalice – symbolizing victory. Consequently, the album cover causes the consumer to believe that Drake is proud of the work he has put into creating the album and feels victorious
Next, logos is identified through Drake’s intentions and logic pertaining to the album’s content. Beginning with the title, Drake explains that he named the album “Take Care” because he had the desire of being attentive and hands-on with it. As for its release date, Drake expresses that it was pushed back until November because of the amount of time it took for a few samples to be legalized. He also mentioned that it was important for listeners to hear the album in the way that he felt was best. As for content, Drake told PopCrush that his goal for this album was to be able to relate to his fans (Cheung, 2011). The logic behind the album’s content, the title’s origin, and the final release date all contributes to the rhetorical strategy logos.
Lastly, the rhetorical strategy kairos is present in where, when, and why he created this album. It also defines the album’s audience. To start, Drake informed the world that the album “Take Care” was written while on a tour bus for four months. It was recorded while traveling around the world and was created to connect to his fans. The audience is Drake’s fans – men and women ranging from the ages of eighteen to thirty.
To conclude, Drake’s album cover signifies power, elegance, and victory. These qualities are proven to be present through the rhetorical strategies of ethos, pathos, logos, and kairos and were not difficult to find.