Drake is probably the most hated rap star in recent memory, even though he is also one of the most prolific entertainers in years. For awhile, Hip Hop’s general hatred bounced around between him, Rick Ross The Rapper, Lil B, & Soulja Boy. But Ross The Rapper has since transcended his detractors through his music, Lil B has started a somewhat successful cult, & Soulja Boy has become a cartoon character. That leaves Drake to catch most of the flack, at least until Childish Gambino & J. Cole become more accessible to the
wolves waiting public. This puts Drake unavoidably in the position that most MC’s eventually find themselves in: defense mode.
He’s been defending himself against subliminal disses & sneak attacks for the better part of this year. & earlier this week, Ludacris released a not-so-subtle response to Big Sean (as well as Drake, according to most people) insinuating that Luda stole his style of rap from him/them, which inadvertently puts him under more scrutiny for not properly respecting his rap elders. It’s a good thing that “Take Care” fared so well with the “fans,” otherwise he would’ve been written off as another one dimensional, mulatto rap singer who got by on the “Al B. Sure Factor,” but obviously that’s not the case.
Drizzy has managed to shadowbox & downplay any legitimate beefs that have manifested, & at this point in his career, he’s the proverbial target of the hour. But, instead of going at an imaginary bunch of rappers with a gazillion bars or dropping an angry mixtape, Drake has opted to suicide bomb his own record label by challenging his “boss” Lil Wayne to a Sound Clash (under the guise of it being a record release concert):
- “I don’t want to just do an album release concert. So, me, I go to Jamaica a lot – I love Jamaican culture – so what I’m gonna do, I’m challenging Lil Wayne to a sound clash, that’s what I want to do…I don’t want to just perform by myself, so I want Wayne to come out on stage with a mic and I’m gonna have a mic, and we’re gonna have both our DJs, and we’re gonna battle song-for-song and see who the people love more. And that’s how it’s gonna go.” -via Billboard
Back when rap music wasn’t out of control, to go at one’s own boss (or even his favorite blunt roller) spelled certain doom on the compound. This is (sort of but not really) the equivalent of Kobe Bryant challenging Mike Brown because he has something to prove to the rest of the league. Jellybean Jr. can undoubtedly ball all over that old(er) man, but in the long run, how smart would that be?
That said, let the record show that Lil Wayne was dangerously close to losing his top dog status to Drake beforehand, & this may be the million dollar straw that breaks the camel’s back.
There’s also the fact that Drake’s contract with Wayne’s company is almost up. If he wins this “battle,” he’ll likely have major labels throwing space shuttle money at his gold moccasins, & both gentlemen know this. For all intents & purposes, Lil Wayne may need to put the skateboard down & review the entire “The Drought” mixtape series (search it) as some sort of post-game footage. I’m not sure if introducing new songs is considered cheating in a Sound Clash, or if Wayne is even concerned with losing Drake, but it’s a dog eat dog world out there. May the best owl or martian win.
& best believe that if/when Aubrey serves his boss in front of thousands of crazed teenagers (& some delusional adults), Nicki Minaj will be right behind him on the way to the other money. Assuming Wayne is the businessman he appears to be, he’s fully aware that those two acts have grown beyond the parameters of his umbrella. They are virtual superstars now. Drake has more to gain than lose, & in his interview he used the word “challenge.” That has to count for something. & all bullshit aside, how much can you respect a “boss” who rocks leggings, fur hats, & rides a skateboard at work?
I’ve often wondered (to myself, of course) who helps Drake make professional decisions. They should’ve had him in no less than 3 movies since his buzzed picked up, at least. If nothing else, he should have a cameo in every Tyler Perry film, like Stan Lee does with the Marvel movies. But that’s neither here nor there.
The show, whenever it occurs, will undoubtedly be awesome. All I ask is that they not be allowed to sing love songs at each other in a competitive way, because that would be wrong on several levels.