I’ve never been a fan of Drake, ask anyone that knows me.
I’ve been anti-Drake since his rise to popularity. I never saw what others saw. My iTunes library has none of his music. At most, the only stuff I have from Drake is if he is featured on someone else’s record, i.e. “Fuckin’ Problems,” “In The Morning,” and “Poetic Justice.”
In fact, the only song where I didn’t mind Drake being on a song was on “I’m Goin’ In.” The only reason why I have that song in the first place is because it was featured on Young Jeezy’s Trappin’ Ain’t Dead mixtape. Honestly, I thought Drake’s verse was cool. His flow was dope. However, I never seek out his music.
Now, I’m not a hypocrite. I don’t like him just because I’ve actually heard his music. I heard So Far Gone around the time it came out. I gave it a shot. I thought “Say What’s Real” was dope. I don’t remember the rest of the mixtape but I don’t think I found it memorable since I don’t play it presently.
Over the past few years, I’ve grown to not mind Drake (as a featured artist). Songs like “Fuckin’ Problems,” “Aston Martin Music,” “Pop That,” “Deuces (remix),” “No Lie,” and “Bitches Love Me” weren’t okay with me. I could stand him. I wouldn’t hit next on my iTunes library if one of those songs were playing like I would in the past.
Enter 2015, the year that changed it all. Midway through the year, Drake started jumping on a bunch of buzzing songs.
First up was Fetty Wap’s “My Way.”
He fucking killed it. Once he says the first line, ”All I gotta do is put my mind to this shit, cancel out my ex, I put a line through that bitch,” I was blown away. He perfectly mimicked the right flow for that beat. He took some of Fetty’s buzz away but not all of it. I was impressed.
Next, he hops on relatively unknown Ramriddlz’s smooth “Sweeterman” and killed that shit too. He imitated Ramriddlz’s flow and simple verse structure and made a version that was better than the original. I started sliding away from the anti-Drake to a more neutral position.
He followed that with some original work, “Hotline Bling,” arguably one of the songs of the year. The song is dope. It’s catchy. It has a dope beat, with a matching video. The video has a life of its own, spawning memes like crazy.
Although some think it resembles D.R.A.M.’s “Cha Cha.” I originally thought Drake remixed the song. Both share similar sounding beats but it wasn’t a remix of D.R.A.M.’s song. Drake kept winning me over during this streak.
Finally, Drake did something that made me appreciate him. He went after Meek Mill; a dude I always thought was overrated, after Meek went on a Twitter rant against Drake. The beef was a win-win in my eyes. Two rappers I didn’t like were going at it. It was great.
Drake was able to have Meek’s plan to “expose” Drake backfire. Drake didn’t let his fingers do the talking, he took it straight to the booth, and unleashed his thoughts and feelings in the form of two songs, “Charged Up,” the jab, and “Back to Back,” the lethal uppercut.
Drake filled the second verse with so many quotables that was the deciding factor. Meek could’ve rapped the greatest diss song ever, and he still would’ve lost. There was nothing coming back from Drake’s fatality of a diss.
C’mon “twitter fingers”? ”A world tour or your girl’s tour”? “Bodied by a singing n—a”? Drake just dismantled Meek.
The diss track was the deciding factor in my view of Drake.
He went from an annoyance to a dude I don’t mind. Now, I’m not going to be on his dick or run back and listen to his entire catalog, it just means that whenever he drops a project, I’m not immediately going to hate on it, and be in disgust. Rather, if it looks appealing and interesting, I’ll give it a spin. I did so with What A Time To Be Alive even if credit should be given to Future too.
It took me a few years but I think I finally came along. I don’t hate Drake anymore like I did earlier this year.
I can now listen to him. If he keeps it up, I might even become a fan.
(Photo Credit: Drake’s Instagram)