(AllHipHop Opinion) This past Sunday (Feb. 18), global sensation, Drake, sat down with BBC’s DJ Semtex for a rare interview. During an in-depth conversation, Drake addressed everything from his feud with Meek Mill to being “fired” by Dr. Dre. The interview provided answers to a lot of questions (like why The Throne didn’t make the final cut of “Pop Style”). However, this candid talk also rekindled the emotions that make Drake one of the most unpopular popular artist in music.
Throughout the evolution of Drake’s career, there has always an idea that he “uses” certain people or places for his own benefit (Migos, Fetty Wap, Houston, Jamaica etc.). This notion creates a disconnect between Hip-Hop fans and Aubrey Graham. Yet despite this, the quality of Drake’s music made people look past this gap, allowing him to Rap himself into superstardom. But in his recent interview, it appears that Drake has taken this parasitic approach to making music and expanded it past the featuring of an artist or city to the manipulation of Rap culture. An act that has widened the already present chasm in his character making it almost impossible to ignore.
This mindset was first exemplified when Drake discussed the construction of his Views album. In a shocking revelation, he told Semtex that he contemplated removing all the Rap from Views in replacement of music and melodies “he enjoys,” only keeping it on the album because for his core fans that got him to this point. This took the listening audience by surprise. It is as though Drake is only rapping out of obligation rather than love for the art form.
He continues to affirm this estrangement from Rap by painting the genre as a potential constraint to his overall success several times during the interview.
“I want to be the biggest artist ever,” Drake described in defense of his choice in creating Pop tunes. “I want to be like Michael Jackson.”
Drake then further paints this confinement by stating that he never truly experienced racism until becoming famous within music. He supports this claim by pointing to his lack of Pop nominations at this year’s Grammy Awards.
“I don’t know why (‘One Dance’) wasn’t nominated,” He said. “I don’t know if it’s because I rapped in the past, or because I’m Black.”
By doing this, not only has Drake limited the potential power of Rap music, he also suggested that being a rapper is just as limiting to one’s career as being Black. An ill-informed projection from a person who admitted to only feeling like an “outsider” because he’s from Canada. (I wonder how his family in Memphis feel about that?)
With blatantly denouncing his stance a Rapper, Drake effectively proved to Black America what the popularity of his music led us to deny. Like almost everything and everybody Drake has encountered in his career, he has used Rap as a stepping stone forgetting about how much it did for him as an artist. At this point of his career with the advancements in both social media and the music business, Drake is in a position to make whatever music he wants while holding his place as the world’s most popular Rapper. Yet, for him, he has taken what he wanted from the genre. He took the benefits of being a Rapper, but not the plight. In a sense, Drake is no better than those corny McDonald’s commercials. He has effectively exploited Rap for his personal benefit, and in return mocked the culture of Black America.