INTROSPECTIVE: Drake’s 2018 so far

Drake, the undeniable triple threat of a rapper has been hitting the heart chords lately. His infectious, trap inspired “smooth rap” ( as I mentioned in previous postings) has granted him a length of consecutive music wins, but his past few releases might be his best- and not for the reasons you think.

“Look Alive,” a trap infused single accompanied by a stuttering piano is reminiscent of the Hip-Hop minimalism made popular by southern artist like Soulja Boy or 2 Chainz. Lead by Memphis rapper BlocBoy JB, Drake anchors the single with flaunting hints, and opinions of the Hip Hop scene. And while Drake finds placement, and pivoting, JB takes center stage not just with his exciting, slightly aggressive flow – but the now viral “Shoot” dance featured throughout the music video.

Then “God’s Plan.” A light pop-inspired single with a bouncy melody and organ-sounding undertone. While the sonic consistency and hook pushed momentum for radio play, the Toronto icon outdid himself with the music video. Giving almost a million dollars to people in Miami with shopping sprees, checks and thick wads of cash Drake single-handedly.

Now we have “Nice For What,” an empowering anthem praising the “working woman,” (cough, cough) and often overlooked sounds of New Orleans bounce. Not to mention he sampled Lauryn Hill. THE LAURYN HILL. Again, the music video just pushed the style and message of the song. Cameos of Issa Rae, Yara Shahidi, Rashida Jones and the Tracee Ellis Ross. THEE TRACEE ELLIS ROSS flooded the video plus many others of course.

Drake, the quintessential Hip Hopper to almost all of the world has finally caught my attention as actually pushing his own limits of sound and image. Usually when it comes to Drake, I have a cynical disregard for him because he is just too safe. His style, music and  behavior is something elusive, and most times I can’t stand it. “God’s Plan,” “Look Alive,” and “Nice For What” on the surface seems like they’re another one of Drake’s self-gratifying business moves to stay relevant, but what intrigues me to think differently is that he seems more like a participant in these movements than a leech. Since the beginning of this year, it seems Drakes been using his superstar resources to highlight different music and ideas. And I like it; but I could be wrong…

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