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Let’s Talk Music: Drake

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Alright so let’s talk about Drake. What’s so good about Drake? He can sing, but is he the best singer? Same with rapping – would you say Drake is the best rapper? Drake is cool because he’s a guy (not the first) that combined r&b/singing with rap. Shoot, he near perfected it. Arguably, it’s the best – if not most successful- that we have seen. But let’s be honest- is he that good at rapping? I can name several artists that can wash Drake. Let’s do it: Offset, Thug, TDE, and everyone else he has featured with. Same with his singing. We aren’t listening to drake for his singing ability – I hope we aren’t. Any singer half his status can probably out sing him. I mean it’s almost unfair to mention any other singers. Would Noname count? Isaiah Rashad? Hell, Chance The Rapper? But they’re not Drake. Drake was the first to combine that kind of style into the modern mainstream era.

So, an R&B hip hop artist. What does that mean? From the start this dude painted himself as the romantic rapper that could sing. That was and really still is his whole thing. So… I guess that’s what that means. He’s speaking about something that can appeal to everyone, but this only worked until 2015 maybe. Around this time singing was whatever. Everyone was singing, especially with the rise of auto tune, to the point where only the good musicians that could sing were considered singers. Drake though, did it first – and that’s important. His whole career is built upon being the dude that can sing and rap, but in a “Drake” (think romantic) way.

Lets address Thank Me Later through Nothing Was The Same in one nice big swoop. These were Drake’s best years as an artist. Everyone wanted to be Drake, everyone loved Drake’s music, Drake this, Drake that, Drake, Drake, Drake. No one was touching that style he had – at the time he really was the only one. When Nothing Was The Same hit – truly nothing was the same. I mean I guess everything was the same. Sales were tight as usual and everyone loved him. But hey look here: This Chance The Rapper dude is singing. Oh and Childish Gambino is singing too. Kanye was doing something similar..maybe? No one was noticing at this time. These were all the artists that year that released an album where they were (in some way) singing in it. What happened from 2014 – 2015? Sremmlife, Surf, Rodeo, Cherry Bomb, Cilvia Demo, Forest Hills Drive, and These Things Happen (Count it). Even The artists that tried singing kept to it, and many more followed. That’s a bit of what Thank Me Later and Nothing Was The Same contributed to the hip hop we listen to now.

But then 2015 hit. He switches his style and focuses on rapping. It was almost as if this was his chance to prove to everyone he can rap. I mean, he has rapped before, but not like he has on WATTBA and IYRTITL. It was great – two nearly flawless projects back to back AND a flawless beef victory. Shoutout to Meek for going against a giant like that, but I don’t think I have ever seen someone get embarrassed so badly. I mean he held his own, but man. But wait – his ghostwriter was exposed. This was swept way under the rug, and we’ll get back to it. 

Worst first week album sales out of any of Drake’s projects. Lets start there.

It was the same material. Vague stories about Drake’s love life, him gloating about his success, nice beats, and singing. Night music. But at this point everyone is singing. Even Travis Scott. The people are not entertained, Drake. The reason why 2015 was so great was because it was a new Drake. Now we have gospel singing/rap, blues singing/rap, informative singing/rap, and then just better singing/rap than Drake. Now, it’s not good. There’s not a lot of flavor here. Is this career killing? C’mon. Let’s be real. But what does this mean?

It means Drake’s style is getting played out. Not that it’s not good – it’s just that it’s expected. It’s not like Drake is going to talk about something wild like shooting people, and at this point we’ve heard every nook and cranny of his grind. So who’s the next artist? Who knows. But for now lets introduce:

Same Drake but with a Jamaican accent. Where did songs like Madiba Riddim come from (And November 18th, while we’re at it)? My favorite Drake project, but mainly because of the features. Now, Drake bodies a lot of features on this album, but that’s because they’re not the best rappers. Are we gonna give Drake props for going against Skepta? “Sacrifices”? Drake took the L in the end.

Then there’s Scorpion. For 25 songs it’s some mid. It’s classic Drake, but he’s explaining himself now. He’s not a dead beat dad. It’s all a misunderstanding. What’s wild is this would have been a great exit album if Pusha T didn’t come up and leak his whole career. Now it’s a bit embarrassing.

Without Pusha T: Wow a crazy shock but what a responsible father!

With Pusha T: Y’all only met twice??

Furthermore, it just hurts his actual brand/persona. You mean we followed this emotional, RiRi chasing RnB singer for 10 years just for him to have a child with a pornstar? Booooo. What bothers me the most about this guy is this: Tell me something you learned from Drake. What did he teach you? About your feelings? C’mon. Young Nudy taught me more about how to run a block than Drake has taught me about anything. If you’re gonna be a rapper you have to represent the roots of rap in some way. There I said it. If you don’t then you’re just rhyming, not rapping. Rap is rhythm and poetry. Aubrey loosely represents the roots of rap’s poetry – really only the part about grinding and riches. Booooo. That’s not enough. He doesn’t do anything else for hip hop other than help perfect a singing & rap combo. This dope and all. Second thought, that’s pretty big. Still though, the quality has been pretty mid from the jump. The only time the quality wasn’t mid was when he was ripping off Jamaicans or appropriating his own culture. He doesn’t have the bars like 2Chainz, flow like Young Thug, or message like Kendrick. He really just been talking about himself for about 10 years now. Your favorite artist isn’t teaching you anything?

Hearing Drake is your favorite is like hearing Taylor Swift is your favorite. That’s a 100% bonafide, mainstream artist that has worn many hats to stay relevant, but really just talks about the same thing. This is including but not limited to: singing Drake, rapping Drake, Houston Drake, Toronto Drake, Jamaican Drake, and more. You remember that Ratatouille scene where dude is being presented all of those different signs that are different variations of his business? That’s Drake. Hell, I’m on the internet now. Let me find it for you.

*I couldn’t find it*

Nothing wrong with a business man, though. But Drake has not improved himself, or improved the game other than perfecting that style. Drake was cool from 2009 – 2013. 2015 – 2019 he’s been taking some hits. To call yourself a Drake fan during these times had to be a bit rough. Your god was no longer perfect. He was now like the rest of the many (basically all) celebrity musicians that have damaged their career. One of us.

One of us.

One of us.

One of us.

One of us.

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