Strangely enough, amidst my research for this article I was on Twitter and this happened to pop up on my feed:
Girls be living, eating & breathing Drake. Drinking to rehydrake and eating bare carbohydrakes.
— Jme (@JmeBBK) October 30, 2012
It’s a tweet from 2012, but it has managed to stand the test of time and it is perhaps more relevant in 2015 then it has ever been before. Your girl listens to Drake, your mom listens to Drake, that guy who pumped your gas this morning listens Drake, the termites infesting the woodwork of your house; they listen to Drake. Everyone except for the deaf and people who live in Bon Iver-type seclusion listens to Drake. The guy is everywhere. In February, after dropping his mixtape If You’re Reading This You’re Too Late, Drake made headlines for matching a fifty-one year old Billboard record. With fourteen songs in the Top 100, Drake equaled the previous milestone held by none other than The Beatles way back in 1964. For the week of October the 10th, he came close to his own record after dropping What A Time To Be Alive with Future, amassing 13 songs of the Hot 100. The numbers tell the story; Drake is one of the biggest pop sensations of our generation and his name means big numbers. It’s obvious why Drake would be a good choice as a feature for any artist – it’s easy money. Just ask Future, whose most recent Drake feature, “Where Ya At,” landed him his highest charting single as a lead artist in his career. You can also try and talk to Meek Mill – although he won’t want to talk about it – whose now-infamous single “R.I.C.O.” featured Drake and has spent the last fourteen weeks in the Top 100. This is why many artists are pursuing a Drake collaboration even if they don’t have any reason to from an artistic standpoint. It’s a theme that occurs with a lot of rap stars including Kanye West and his 2008 collab with Estelle, or more recently, Kendrick Lamar’s collab with Taylor Swift on “Bad Blood.” However, unlike these artists, the unusual demand for Drake came well before his peak of stardom. Other rappers have been looking for the Drake feature ever since he was a cheesy-smiled, baby-faced singer for YMCMB. Here’s the ones that make no sense:Put It Down – Bun B feat. Drake (2011) The first example is arguably the weirdest. Bun B, the O.G. rapper from the Dirty South, has an unusual allegiance to the Canadian rapper. Drake has cited the former UGK member as an idol, meanwhile B has praised Drake’s level of talent. Nevertheless, this is an odd collaboration of contrasting styles. In the intro to the video, Bun B talks about how much time he has put into the rap game capping it with: “Don’t talk to me about no overnight success.” A funny line considering the dude singing the hook to this song was a teenage actor who rolled around with prime Lil’ Wayne before releasing any quality music. Drake gets a verse here which includes the line: “I never cheat unless you count the girls I cheat on,” which is, you know, an awful line. The mainstream-pandering single sacrifices Bun B’s gritty south style, and the result is rather wack. This Bun B album (Trill O.G.) somehow got 5 mics from The Source which perhaps even feels more out of place than the two Drake features. “Put It Down” was the last of the two features between the pair, but is the first song to pop up when you look up Bun B on Google. No Guns Allowed – Snoop Lion feat. Drake (2013) Snoop Dogg smoked a whole lot of weed one year and made a peaceful album called Reincarnation. He even changed his name in the process to Snoop Lion because he was so high. He’s smoking on the album cover so it leads me to believe that he was blunted for the entire process of recording the album. So it isn’t necessarily that strange that he got Drake to rap on a political track called “No Guns Allowed.” Political hip-hop isn’t Drake’s niche but he does a half-decent job with his verse. The decision to not back it with any drums leaves a little something to be desired, though. Who Do You Love? – YG feat. Drake (2014) Similar to Kendrick’s debut album, My Krazy Life depicts a street narrative based in Los Angeles. YG is from the streets of Bompton, Drake is from Canada. Like the major differences in climate between hometowns, the two have a totally different background. So YG’s decision to get Drake on the album depicting his “Krazy Life” is obviously a financial one. A funny detail emerged shortly after the song’s release, as it seems that Drake was squeezed for time when it came to the writing portion. Drake almost entirely ripped Rappin’ 4 Tay’s first verse on “Playaz Club.” The resemblance is obviously plagiarized and it would have had Aubrey expelled from any university. Luckily for Drake, he paid off a cool $100,000 and told TMZ he was “content to dissolve the feud in light of those six figures.” Being rich is great. Being Drake is great. Only – Nicki Minaj feat. Drake, Lil Wayne, & Chris Brown (2015) Yeah I know, it’s a Young Money collab, but hear me out. Imagine you were Meek Mill (sorry). Your girl is recording a song with that (Drake) guy who has previously said he wanted to marry her. Let’s breakdown the lyrics to this starting with Nicki’s verse: “I never fucked Wayne, I never fucked Drake.”
- Okay, good start.
“If I did, I’d menage wit’ em, let ‘em eat my ass like a cupcake.”.
- Hm, a little discouraging. Let’s get to Drake’s verse.
“I never fucked Nicki ‘cause she got a man…
- Okay, nice of him to say I guess.
… but when that’s finished then I’m first in line.”.
“And the other day in her Maybach I thought ‘God damn, this is the perfect time.”
- This is getting uncomfortable.
“She was sittin’ down on that big butt, but I was still starin’ at the TITTIES THOOO”
- The fuck he say?
Some other goodies include: “I been peeped that you like me,” or “Who you really want to be with besides me?” All the while in the music video Drake is very obviously checking out Nicki the whole time. Hilarious! Considering the fact that, you know, Meek’s a rapper, he would have been the more politically correct choice for a verse of this nature. But, fuck that. Overall, the song is way more funny in retrospect because of the beef, and Meek takes yet another L.100 – The Game feat. Drake (2015) Compton rappers seem to have a thing for Aubrey. The Game and Drake have had affiliation since Drake first appeared on Game’s The R.E.D. Album in 2011. Despite this, you would think that Jayceon would choose someone other than Drake on a song that talks about keeping it real (try any other rapper ever). The Game isn’t much better himself. He lives in some fantasy world where it’s awesome to name drop every other line, while pretending his daughter isn’t scarred by his 18 year old Instagram model girlfriend. Meanwhile, Drake is somehow on par with Biggie in terms of assassinate-ability. The collab sounds especially awkward when Game is rapping about shootings, and bulletproof vests, meanwhile Drake goes with the whole, “I would have so many friends if I wasn’t awesome” approach. Even further, on the hook we get Game telling us how “L.A. niggas be the craziest” while the Canadian pleads his peers to keep it “100.” Just another example of Drake pretending to be a thug. Regardless of whether Drake belongs on any of these songs is questionable. What isn’t up for debate, though, is his elite status in the rap game. For an artist at any level, having a Drake feature promises an enormous amount of hype and sales. As long as Drizzy keeps putting up these types of numbers, he’ll be around and we will be there to listen.