Courtesy of MCT
When I first heard “Best I Ever Had” in the summer of 2009, my girls and I were smitten and I went on a hunt to find out who this smooth-talking new rapper was. I was a little surprised to find out it was Aubrey Drake Graham, who played wheelchair-bound Jimmy Brooks on “Degrassi” — a man I was absolutely obsessed with until I realized he looked exactly like my older brother.
His mixtape, “So Far Gone,” was my most listened-to album at the beginning of my sophomore year. I was excited for this new rapper coming out with a host of others that year, like Wale and B.o.B. The anticipation I had for his first album was high and then it came out and I was, for the most part, disappointed and bored.
The worst thing an artist can do is completely change their sound before their first album even comes out. I felt weirdly betrayed and have been bitter about it ever since.
I quickly lost all interest in Drake when I realized what direction he was going in. I can only tolerate whiny rappers for so long, and while I adore the people that produce and guest on his album, like The Dream and Jay-Z, they weren’t enough to hold my attention. Since then, I’ve felt negative feelings toward Drake that I haven’t felt with any other rapper, simply because he got my hopes so high just to let me down.
My anticipation for his second studio album was pretty low and for good reason. It was more of the same whiny, woe-is-me attitude that has infected Drake since “Thank Me Later.” I understand fame is hard, but dude’s making millions and he’s still complaining about it? I guess when you’re a rapper who grew up in a middle class home, you have to think outside the box.
It doesn’t help that Drake is Lil Wayne’s protégée, a man whose sales are kept alive by drunken college kids across the nation and a man I despise. It seems as though Drake tries to emulate his teacher a little too much, but he also strays into an R&B singer, hell-bent on making panties drop.
Yes, Drake is “different” and he makes girls swoon, but he doesn’t have the grit and the flexibility that can extend a rapper’s career.
Yes, his introspective rhymes are intriguing and heartwrenching, but Kanye West did it before and did it better.
On his newest album, his laid-back attitude just seemed like lack of sleep to me. He was carried and outshined by the eclectic mix of featured artists on the album.
His arrogant outlook is straying into a cockiness that’s not as fun as Wayne’s or as entitled as Jay-Z’s. He has no real reason to be that haughty. Two albums and zero Grammy’s does not a legend make.
So, I think Drake needs to take a step back and re-evaluate what direction he wants to continue in before even his die-hard fans start to get bored with him.