Rick Ross and Drake are two of hip-hop’s biggest stars in 2012 due in a large part to their knack for being able to write and deliver extremely captivating hooks. Drake burst onto the scene with his trademarked sing-song approach, while over time Ross developed his own signature style of rapping on the chorus. The question is, which artist is better at it?
XXL will provide the arguments for each MC, but in the end, it is up to you, the reader, to make the final decision.
To most, Drizzy made his introduction to the rap world with his breakthrough 2009 mixtape, So Far Gone. Besides showcasing the Toronto-native’s skills as both a rapper and singer, the project highlighted Drake’s penchant for penning radio-friendly hooks. The most successful (no pun intended) being, “Best I Ever Had,” a chorus so brilliantly sweet and repetitive, it easily implanted itself in listeners’ heads to reach No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
“I say you the fuckin’ best/You the fuckin’ best/ You the fuckin’ best/You the fuckin’ best/ You the best I ever had/ The best I ever had/ The best I ever had/The best I ever had.”
As expected, a label bidding war ensued, a star was born and the hits just kept on coming. One of the most notable was “Forever,” the superstar collaboration that paired him with Lil Wayne, Eminem and Kanye West. The hook found Heartbrake Drake creating a dark, addictive sound that was also inspiring. And this time, he didn’t even have to cheat by using repetition.
“It may not mean nothin’ to y’all/But understand nothin’ was done for me/So I don’t plan on stopping at all/I want this shit forever mine/I’m shuttin’ shit down in the mall/And tellin’ every girl she’s the one for me/And I ain’t even plannin’ to call/I want this shit forever mine.”
Drake’s most impactful hook of last year was undoubtedly on DJ Khaled’s “I’m on One.” By this time, Drizzy’s style had matured into more cold, melancholic music. Compare this with the innocent “Best I Ever Had” of two years prior.
“All I care about is money and the city that I’m from/ I’m a sip it ’til I feel it, I’ma smoke it ’til it’s done/I don’t really give a fuck and my excuse is that I’m young/And I’m only gettin’ older/ Somebody shoulda told ya/I’m on one”