VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu
WRITTEN BY: Don Ekama
This rap artist's lyrical skill isn't up for debate. For this list, we'll be looking at other artists' songs you probably weren't aware Aubrey Graham had a hand in creating. Our countdown includes “Don't Run”, “I'm Single”, “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1”, and more!
Songs You Didn’t Know Were Written by Drake
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Songs You Didn’t Know Were Written by Drake.
For this list, we’ll be looking at other artists’ songs you probably weren’t aware Aubrey Graham had a hand in creating.
Which of these Drake-penned hits surprised you the most? Sound off in the comments.
“Don’t Run” (2016)
As one of the biggest stars to come out of Canada, Drake has used his powerful position to open the doors for other lesser-known Canadian artists deserving of a platform. One of such performers was PartyNextDoor. This Mississauga-born rapper joined Drake’s OVO Sound record label as its first signee. Drake lent his penmanship skills to the artist’s second album, “PartyNextDoor 3,” helping to craft its second track “Don’t Run,” though he’s not credited on it. As two artists who visibly represent Toronto, the lyrics are chock-full of references to the Queen City over a killer psychedelic beat. Drake also recorded a reference version of the track which leaked online years later.
“I Been That Girl” (2012)
Before he became the global phenomenon that he is today, Drake was part of a music collective in Canada called The Renaissance. The group also included Toronto singer Melanie Fiona. As Drake’s solo career started to take off in the early 2010s, so did Fiona’s. Her debut album spawned a number-one R&B single and earned her a Grammy nomination for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance. For her sophomore album, the 6 God penned “I Been That Girl” alongside producer T-Minus about being cautious of a toxic lover. The song combines the dramatic and confessional style of Drake’s lyrics with Fiona’s evocative flow to create a slow-burning R&B jam.
Rita Ora feat. Tinie Tempah
After breaking through as a featured artist on DJ Fresh’s UK number-one single “Hot Right Now,” Rita Ora was in need of hits for her debut album that would establish her as an international pop star. She would find one such hit in her 2012 collaboration “R.I.P.” with British rapper Tinie Tempah. The song, which was co-written by Drake, was originally intended for Rihanna. But she ultimately passed on it before it was handed to Ora. The dubstep-influenced R&B tune sees the singer stake her claim over a guy she’s developed a liking for. Unfortunately, his current girlfriend misses out. R.I.P. became a critical and commercial success that gave the singer her first number-one single as a lead artist.
“I’m Single” (2009)
The long-lasting relationship between Drake and Lil Wayne has been extremely fruitful over the years. After the then up-and-comer signed on Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment label in 2009, they’d go on to create beautiful music together. In that same year, Drake penned this downtempo rap track that appeared on Wayne’s ninth solo mixtape “No Ceilings.” Drake’s fingerprints are all over the track. Its slow and stripped production and heart-on-my-sleeve lyrics were both singled out and praised by music critics. Even at such an early point in his career, Drake’s pen game received a stamp of approval from those he still considers his mentors.
“Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)” (2010)
Released as the fourth single from Alicia Keys’ 2009 album “The Element of Freedom,” this sultry, downtempo ballad was inspired by Keys’ relationship with her now-husband Swizz Beatz. To craft the song’s lyrics, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter teamed up with Drake. He injected sentiments about his relationship with his Young Money labelmate Nicki Minaj. The collaboration proved to be a success, as “Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)” became the biggest song on the album. It ended up topping Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop charts for twelve consecutive weeks. Drake was later featured in a remix of the song. While some critics preferred the original, his introspective verse managed to capture the essence of this poignant R&B classic.
“Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1” (2016)
Kanye West’s 2016 album “The Life of Pablo” was a polarizing record, from its controversial lyrics to the continuous alterations. Nonetheless, it is still regarded as one of the best albums of that year. Part One of the two-part single “Father Stretch My Hands” was composed by a host of lyrical geniuses including Kid Cudi, Chance the Rapper and Drake. Drake’s contributions to West’s catalog were not limited to this track alone. He also co-wrote the Nike diss track “Facts” (xref) and the lead single “Yikes” (xref). While Drake and West haven’t always gotten along, it’s clear they can make memorable tracks when they work together.