Fuck Guilty Pleasures: Drake Is An Incredible Lyricist
[Editor's Note: Fuck Guilty Pleasures celebrates the over-produced, commercial, artless, lowbrow music that we believe is genuinely worthwhile. Like, among the best music ever.]
At least on wax, Drake isn't a sympathetic, relatable or even very likeable guy. And everyone seems to have an opinion on his lack of cred; Pusha T went at him on his "Don't Fuck With Me (Dreams Money Can Buy)" freestyle, though nothing was as vicious as Drake's response: "I've never had any interaction with Pusha T, so for him to diss me would be purely issues he's having with himself."
Meanwhile, a blogger pretending to be Ghostface Killah dedicates maybe 75% of his words towards besmirching the man born Aubrey Graham. The site's review of Take Care's first track "Over My Dead Body" begins: "[T]his sounds like the soundtrack to some Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants type shit."
Indeed, all sorts of folks are piling on, and the criticism is building in advance of Take Care, which drops tomorrow. But I've heard it and I think it's incredible. In fact, though many readers will find this ludicrous, Drake is probably my favorite lyricist.
The horror! In fact, even those who praise Drake tend to hedge their bets. In his otherwise glowing write-up of Drake's debut Thank Me Later in Village Voice, Sean Fennessey quipped: "Drake is not changing rap, because the thing Drake is worst at is rap." Pitchfork critic Tom Breihan, meanwhile, could only find a single decent punchline on Drake's mixtape So Far Gone. ("When my album drops bitches'll buy it for the picture/ And niggas will buy it too and claim they got it for their sister.")
But why isn't Drake considered a good rapper? Critics key onto the fact that he raps about women -- or as he puts it, "rappin' and bitches until all of it switches." And it seems likely that he will likely never stop hashtagging. Also, don't forget that he infamously "freestyled" while reading off a BlackBerry.
Never mind that his passive-aggressive pandering is every bit as misogynist as what you'd find on a Suga Free record, you could catch him namedropping hip-hop nerd faves like Onyx, Bulletproof Wallets and Mac Dre, and freestyling is perhaps the lowest form of hip-hop.