What Drake can teach us about a progressive, growing, musical Career
Once again, Iím going to illustrate the reality of Progress, especially progress in the music industry through the career of Drake. Aubrey Drake Graham, first started out as an actor. He was famously known as wheelchair Jimmy of the teen show Degrassi. I never really watched that show so I canít really go into detail. Although Drake was acting at an early age, he was still heavily interested in music, and he had hopes and ambition to become a rapper. He first started his run through a series of mixtapes, Room for Improvement, Comeback Season and then the very successful So far Gone.
So far Gone allowed him to be seen by the industry as an artist with potential and talent. He would later sign with Cash money and release his debut album Thank Me Later. Drake would later follow that up with Take Care, which won him a Grammy, and then Nothing was the Same. After Nothing was the Same, he would follow it up with If Your reading this itís too late, and his most current album, the highly commercially successful Views.
Drake has had a damn great run so far, but that doesnít mean his career has been an easy ride. Drake has proven time and again that no matter what came his way, it wasnít going to stop his progression to the top of the rap of the game. One of the many things that held drake back was the accusation that this nigga was Pillsberry dough boy soft. It was really around the release of Take Care that this accusation went to a new height. While this did not really hinder his albumís success, it did stop the industry from treating him very seriously.
Throughout his career, Iím willing to assume that because of his background and how he got so personal in his songs that people took to ridiculing him more than they did respect him. The real year that tested Drake was the summer of 2015, when his infamous beef with Meek Mill began. Meek Mill, a well-known gangster rapper began firing shots at Drake. Iím assuming Meek thought heíd be able to get away with it by taking shots at drake and bringing up one of the most notorious accusations that has haunted Drake since it was stated, that he has ghostwriters.
Well this was not going to sit well with Mr. Aubrey and he made sure Mr. Mill knew that. Drake would take a jab at Meek Mill with his track ďCharged up,Ē which was very subtle and subliminal. Nobody thought nothing of it, just a typical Drake track. I thought it would end at that, but boy was I wrong. He would later release ďBack to BackĒ, a catchy and potent track that would flip the table on Meek. It would be played all over the country on all the hip-hop radio stations. The track landed a fatal blow on Meek Mill, who like most people didnít see it coming. Drake would take shots at Meekís career, twitter fingers and ridicule him the same way Meek tried to do to him.
Meek would take jabs back at him with a mediocre track, whose name Iím too lazy to remember right now, but it went nowhere. Drake would successfully beat Meek Mill in the beef and go on to finish the year of strong with not only a win in a beef but a very successful album. The next year, Drake would release his highly anticipated Views and sell about 1 million plus records in the first week alone. For the remainder of that year, Drake would successfully transition from rap star to global pop Icon.
Now as far as I know Drakeís story is not the grittiest in rap, itís not like Biggie, Jay-Zís or anything like that, but it does show a man who was denied, ridiculed and not taken serious, but despite these setbacks, still made it to the top of the rap food chain through sheer hard work and never giving up. The thing that is the most astonishing about Drake is how his image has changed up since he first started. Coming from Degrassi, Drake was most likely seen as a joke, or something akin to a Disney star trying out the music scene, only to have a hit or two and to fade of into obscurity. Maybe heíd be a good pop act, but it would be mediocre, repetitive songs.
Drake defied that at every turn. Drake proved his a damn good rapper on his first few mixtapes, as well as a good songwriter, even if that became more prominently known later on in his career.
Drake made sure that with every album, he pushed for a different sound, even if it wasnít something crazy new or different, it was still masterful and it showed someone constantly at work with their craft. The other thing to look at about Drake is this. When Drake first started, with his dorkiness and childlike look, would anybody have ever guessed that this light skin worm would one day grow into a global music act with millions of sales under his belts, critically acclaimed albums, and the possibility that he hit J-Lo. Look, I donít care if he didnít even get none, but anybody whose able to hug J-Lo the way he did on that couch gets a win for me.
Anyways, what we can all learn from drake is this one piece of wisdom that is even stated in the 48 laws of Power. Reject what society tells you who you are, be whoever you want, change and work towards what you see yourself as, or what you need to be. If anybody pays attention, Drake has been on a savage, give no fucks streak lately, taking shots at people left and right, even in their own cities while performing. His been increasingly confrontational in his music and his responses to shots sent form other people. This is a huge change from the pillsberry dough boy image he had a few years back, and an outright rejection of that image.
Drake shows us that as artists, we donít have to let our circumstances or what people view us as define us. What we want to be, we can be. After all who the fuck is everybody else to tell us what we can and canít be, Fuck them, do you. So remember, as an artist people will try to tear you down, label you certain things, not take you seriously, that doesnít mean you should let them. Rather you should continue to work hard, work smart, and towards what you see yourself as, and eventually the world will follow suit and believe you.