Music Thread #1 For 6/3/10: The Important Point & Counterpoint On Drake
For the argument in defense of man who's CD leaked yesterday and drops next Tuesday is provided by one of the more competent and underrated voices in all of the Internet in Davey D.
Now this based on a post from the esteemed Marc Lamount Hill basically freely Drake hating and hating constantly, representing those who are tired of the Toronto rapper every 15 minutes they see or hear him (or about him.)
I hate him.
There I said it.
To be clear, I don’t have any personal beef with Drake. While I’ve never met him, I don’t doubt that he’s a decent and well-intentioned person. Still, I hate him. And you can’t stop me. Why? Because he represents several things that I find troublesome about the current mainstream hip-hop scene.
First, there’s the music. While there’s no doubt that Drake is very gifted— even if he too often wastes his talent making radio-friendly confection—he leaves much to be desired as an rapper. Instead of relying on his intellectual and artistic gifts, he too often resorts to tired concepts, lazy punch lines and predictable one-liners. This wouldn’t be such a problem if he weren’t constantly being hailed by the rap world as a dope lyricist rather than what he actually is: a pop song writer.
And Hill does bring up this embarrassing moment, that I remember listening to when Drake was on Funk Flex shot on Hot 97 here in New York. It was his freestyle that every artist does on his now crap show, and I didn't even knew that he read a freestyle off his blackberry!
So that doesn't make it a freestyle. AT all (and it wasn't even a good type up).
Still though, Davey D makes the necessary counter point here that should apply not to just Drake, but all new in-form artists who have a legion of haters grow as fast as their star appeal:
Here, I can understand many of Hill’s sentiments including; Drake being talented but overhyped, him being used as a slick marketing tool for a corporate backed music industry which I should add, is in rapid decline and him taking up precious space in the urban sound scape to the exclusion of ‘more talented’ emcees. But, with all that being said, I think Hill misses a couple of fundamental points about Hip Hop.Criticism of a popular new artist with noticeable, especially a rapper considered a great MC but yet can't "freestyle" without his blackberry on him, is always certainly warranted and needed to counteract obsessed fans of that artist.
First, and foremost, Hip Hop, in particular the art of emceeing, at the end of the day is a form of communication where the only questions that matters are; ‘Do you connect with your audience’ and ‘Did you move the crowd’. Drake has clearly done this-like it or not. We shouldn’t begrudge him.
Now, we can argue and assert Drake is lacking in rhyme skillz or he’s not that good of a singer. We can as Hill did, equate him to being a one man ’boy band’. We can say all that and any number of negative things, but last I checked there’s a significant number of people residing in our respective hoods all across the country who are checking for this cat. They view him differently. Everywhere I go I’m hearing folks bump his music. I’m seeing his shows sell out and in general I’m seeing him generate a type of excitement that I haven’t seen in a very long time. In 2010 Drake is ‘that guy‘.
But know, understand, and even give a little respect to an artist for how he or she has somehow earned a legion of fans, no matter how much you can't stand their music.
The discussion that you can have for Drake is the same that you can have for Lady Gaga as well as any artists that is seriously a lighting rod for conflicting opinions.