This article has been a long time coming. A few years to be exact. Over the years I have popped many a blood vessel talking to friends, acquaintances alike trying to explain why Drake is the most overrated artist of our generation. And since I now have this platform, I feel like this is the perfect time to gather all the grievances I have spewed over the years and place it all nicely on this here site and page. So. Without further ado.
Let me say right off the bat that I do not mind Drake's music. I don't go as far as having his music on my regular rotation but if I'm in a club or at a party and "Jumpman" or "One Dance" comes on, I jam to it. I'm not a robot, I know a good song to dance to, my feet let me know. I'm just very protective about Hip-Hop.
Minor disclaimer out of the way, my first problem. The mainstream audience. Now this is nothing new, you guys long have had a love for mainstream rap, by that I mean a tune your grandmother can jam to. Your grandmother isn't bobbing to "C.R.E.A.M" obviously. You're playing Drake at a wedding not 2 Live Crew, I get it. The mainstream doesn't like the fully fledged Hip-Hop, you like the watered down versions where the artist in question takes elements of Hip-Hop and makes them suitable for the airwaves, your family parties and weddings. That's all well and good. BUT. Because the mainstream is like this, you guys seem to think it's fine putting Drake in the same conversations as 2Pac, Biggie and other legends.
That's where I draw the line.
I'll happily give you the fact that he's, what I like to call, a "Legend At The Bank", but he's not going to be considered the greatest in Hip-Hop history regardless of how many chart records he gets and money he makes. Sean Combs is the richest Hip-Hop mogul on Earth, do you see anybody hailing him as a rap God? No. If anything Combs is a business genius.
Do basketball fans call Bill Russell the GOAT (Greatest of All-Time) because he has the most NBA Championships? No. It's the same with Drake. He gets money, he has his own brand, I have nothing wrong with that. Get your money. But none of you can fix your mouths to EVER put Drake in the "Greatest Rappers" conversation. It makes my blood boil more because (referencing the fact that mainstream fans are the ones bigging him up) you guys don't absorb the full blooded Hip-Hop! Do you know that Kendrick Lamar has only one chart topping song? It's not even his! It's for his feature in Taylor Swifts' "Bad Blood". How can you guys say that Drake is one of the greatest when you know nothing about the subject?
Now I recently discovered another reason why Drake is so popular. It was in front of me this whole time and I have fully realised it. There's no competition.
Well let me rephrase. For YOU guys there's no competition, for me I could easily name 30 active rappers that are better than him lyrically (not mentioning the ghostwriters... Whoops, just did). The only type of Hip-Hop competition he has had this year is Kanye and because Kanye isn't as radio friendly as Drake, there's nobody else there. And I give Drake credit. He was so smart to do a project with Future. Because he's collaborating with someone who sets a stupidly low bar lyrically, so when you hear a Future verse, a Drake verse would sound like Rakim wrote it in comparison. Well played Mr Graham! But you're not fooling me.
Remember "Forever"? The track Drake, Kanye, Lil Wayne & Eminem did for the Documentary "More Than A Game"? (Amazing documentary by the way, a must watch.) Who's verse do you remember most? Eminem's. When you listen to "Crew Love" which bit do you like most? That's right, The Weeknd's voice flowing through the track. There are many examples where Drake has been on a track and is totally unmemorable. It's hard to find some recent examples because he has learned that he's just lyrically not on par with his counterparts. Hence why he did a Mixtape with Future at the height of Future's popularity.
Ever wonder why Drake hasn't been on a track with genuine lyricists? Now you know why. He knows he can't compete.
But maybe I'm the idiot because he's making all this money. Sure. But we all know that money doesn't make you happy. Drake wants to go down as the best rapper. Every self respecting rapper, DJ, writer, sportsperson wants to be the greatest. It's the mentality you got to have when you want to make it.
Except people like Lil Yachty. That's an article for another day.
My main problem with Drake though ? The fact that there are so many artists that create such great music and would do anything to have the platform Drake does. The fact that people like Cole, Kendrick, Chance, Common, even Big Sean to name a few, use their music for something bigger than themselves instead of making a hot tune that'll be played on the radio. I think it's sad you guys refuse to look around and discover something new instead of being content with whoever is charting.
Drake is the Floyd Mayweather of rap. You'll only understand this if you are into boxing but because he's the Mayweather of rap. He gets money, he's, quote "undefeated" unquote but will never be considered the greatest.
I'll end it on this. You might finish reading this and think one of two things. Either Drake is smart to avoid people clearly better than him, besides, he's getting money.
Or you can realise that he's bang average at his craft. No matter how many OVO hoodies he sells, he'll never be a money mogul like Jay, Dre & Diddy. No matter how many no.1 albums he releases, he will never be lauded as the greatest at his craft like the legends before him and people like Kendrick Lamar can be.
Congratulations Drake, you're bang average everywhere you look. But I'm sure you can't hear me because you currently swimming in money.