First, let me admit that I am not a fan of Drakes, at least not in the traditional sense.
I downloaded his last mixtape and was told the last one was better. I appreciate this one, but I havent felt compelled to get the first one. I figure Ill hear it when I hear it. I dont have the urge to go see him live either. I am not particularly interested in his background, aside from the funny fact that he was Wheelchair Jimmy on that show Degrassi High. (Weird!) That typically should signify his downfall in Hip-Hop acting. Go figure. I think he is talented, but prefer that he not sing so much.
Nevertheless, my views aside, Drake is here and hes the hottest thing out.
And, in true contemporary Hip-Hop fashion the hate has swelled and runneth over.
Two major mixtapes, an affiliation with Lil Wayne, some ghostwriting, shows across the nation and a bidding war with a pair of major labels. With all tha going for him, Drake is still face to face with the scorn of the Hip-Hop nation.
Now, I have to wonder where we have gone wrong where we resolved to tear our young talents down before they even get up. I know that the crabs-in-a-barrel mentality has always been present, but we are talking about fans and critics, not peers. In Hip-Hop, there is a tradition of hoisting the artist on our collective shoulders and pushing the best to the top. And best doesnt always mean best it means those that resonate with us. Weve done that regardless of their talent. Look at Young Jeezy, Maino and Gucci Mane and look at Jay-Z, Wayne, Eminem and others. Varying degrees of talent with one thing in common.
Hating for no reason when did this become fashionable?
Hip-Hop is gradually turning into a Nation of Haters hating just to hate. This means investing a lot of energy in hating some rapper like Drake when you should put time in supporting that rapper you love. That is assuming you love anybody. Its probably time to rechristen the term fan into something else like people that ruin people before they reach their potential. Fan is short for fanatic, which means one that has excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion. This idea of fanaticism is rare in 2009.
This editorial isnt about Drake, even though he is the centerpiece. The hate towards him is puzzling considering what hes achieving before our eyes. Is there loathing because hes got a shot with Rihanna? Or that he is a fair-skinned, half Jewish Canadian and not from the South Bronx or the Dirty South? Perhaps the hate stems from his close link with another detested (and million-in-one-week-selling) rapper in Lil Wayne? I am open to any and all reasonable answers, but I think people just hate.
Im not a Soulja Boy fan by any stretch of the human imagination, but I sit back and I laugh for that young man. I laugh because he made it through somehow. I would have bet money that he would be a failure after his first album, banished forever as a wack one hit wonder. But, through all the hate he got, he survived another outing. Now, lyrically Drake does laps around Soulja Boy, but they share the same hate in the hearts of fans. Does anybody remember the HYPE I mean, sheer, unbridled HYPE surrounding Nas when he first emerged? Imagine what would become of Nas has he just gotten started in 2009.
Does it seem even remotely familiar in concept?
Here is a news flash: Redman, Nas, Jay-Z, Eminem, Dr. Dre, 50 Cent these talented individuals are not going to be around forever. It is high time we stop the hating and draft some new, fresh faces into the game. The League of Hip-Hop is already a difficult sport to rise in, why are the fans the ones blocking the young rap talents shots when all they want to do is dunk for your entertainment?
PS: This is not a PSA for letting wack people in the game so dont try it!
Good Guy aka EveryMan is a columnist on AllHipHop.com and his columns appear every Thursday or when he sends them over. Of course his views are not necessarily that of AllHipHop.com, but we don't hate Drake either.