By now, the hype has died down from Drake’s platinum-selling third album Nothing Was The Same, (released September 17) and fans, haters, and naysayers responses have been put to rest regarding just how good or how bad they thought his project was going to be.
By no means do I put myself in the “told you so” critics circle, but for those who have been following Drake’s career for the past few years, they know he was bound to get revenge on all of the people who thought a biracial Canadian kid from the burbs couldn’t spit hardcore verses.
Just by appearance alone, Drizzy Drake knew that he had to prove himself worthy of entering the rap kingdom. His good looks, bashful demeanor, and sensitive come-off appeal easily made some, including myself, question question his lyrical skills. And his title as a child actor didn’t help his image at all.
But, oh how the tables have turned.
Drake, 27, whose real name is Aubrey Drake Graham hails from Toronto and first gained stardom on the hit Canadian teen show Degrassi. He started out on the music scene like most rappers, releasing mixtapes, one of which caught the ear of Lil Wayne. He was invited to go on tour with the Young Money CEO, who eventually signed him to a record deal. His third mixtape So Far Gone, released in 2009, was a major critical success, and introduced fans to his dark, sarcastic lyrical style, and sensual singing ability.
Drake’s been grinding musically since 2006, but now that all that hard work has paid, off he’s garnering a ton of fame and even more guest spots than his mentor Lil Wayne.
But, the question that seems to boggle everyone’s mind is if Drake is really that good of a rapper or is his shy-hardcore demeanor just a pun to gain fame in the music industry.
My answer is: Drake is super talented, but he needs to own up to his talent and stop questioning his role as a singer/rapper, which has ultimately helped him gain the amount of success he has.
Drake recently did an interview with Canadian broadcaster Jian Ghomeshi of CBC Radio and had this to say about what some people think of him:
” I’m so sick of people saying that I’m like lonely and emotional, and associating me with this like longing for a woman. I hate that, it bothers me so much… ’cause I do make music that makes you feel something, but I’m actually not that guy in real life, I’m happy. I’m not content by any means, I wanna keep working but I’m a happy person. I’m very excited, my life is constantly exciting, it’s not some sad depressing story. As far as the soundscapes go, that’s just the music that I chose to make, I make music strictly for the purpose of driving at nighttime. “
Rarely have I heard a rapper complain about what other people have to say about their music. Yes, Drake you do make emotional records like “Marvin’s Room” and “Find Your Love,” but that’s your style and people just need to deal with it.
Drake needs to justify the hardcore stance he portrays in his records like in Nothing Was The Same, which is a very creatively, honest piece of work that has given him even more credibility in the rap game. He made it clear in the first record, the nostalgic drum-heavy “Tuscan Leather” that he’s clearly at the top of the rap food chain and throughout the album, he goes on to make his case that he’s not just a hit maker, but a genuinely great artist.
His new record “Hold On, We’re Going Home” is just as lyrically and musically appealing as he uses his singing ability to capture the hearts of the ladies once again. Drake is one of the only rappers in this age who could have both a hardcore rap single and a love song on the top 100 Billboard charts. Last time that happened, I think LL Cool J dropped the classic song “I’m Bad” and then flipped the script with the first rap ballad “I Need Love.”
Drake is clearly not the first rapper to infuse singing in his act, but right now he’s the only one who is equally talented at both. His singing may not earn him as much street cred, but it surely has earned him a lot of money and more female fans in the process.
When his “Would You Like A Tour” hits Detroit in a few weeks, I’m sure there will be an equal balance of male and female fans in the audience. This tour will reassure Drake that his tactics are not only working, but are pushing him further to the top of the music game.
Keep a lookout for my review of Drake’s concert, which comes to the Palace of Auburn Hills on December 16.