Until just now, the idea that Drake was some guy the TIs found in Central Casting and tried to turn into the new, improved Lil’ Wayne seemed a little bit too ridiculous for me to believe.
If they were gonna try to pull some shit like that, why would they use a guy who was on Degrassi Jr. High, or whatever it’s called now? Even in an age of Rick Ross, the middle aged, rotund, crab meats obsessed ex-prison guard becoming one of the most popular MCs, that seemed like a bit of a stretch.
It was only a matter of time before some douche found a picture of him as Wheelchair Jimmy and turned it into one of those Chamillionaire motivational posters, not to mention the footage of him getting shot in the first place, and god knows what else is out there. I’ve heard there was some footage of him talking to his grandma about how he wanted to become a rapper and then his grandma said something in ebonics.
They could have just as easily found some random-ass kid, who wasn’t on the Noggin Network, like J. Cole, this other light skinted ninja we’re supposed to like now. Then they wouldn’t have had to worry about white underground rapper and troofer rally attendee Diabolic calling him a studio gangster, and whatever else is in store for Drake.
Nah, this had to have been one of those bizarre facts of life I’m just gonna have to come to accept. Like Michael Jackson being dead. Or Lil Wayne being considered by many the greatest rapper alive. For all we know, Drake won’t even be the least credible rapper to become a star in this age of beta male rap, though I’m at a loss for how you could find anyone more suspect.
Then I saw that interview where 50 Cent said Drake is being pushed by the TIs, and I’m not sure what to think. (If only we could get him and some of these other rappers to start using the term TI.) Is it true what Fiddy said, that there’s no way Drake could become as popular as he is, with his song on the radio 15 times a day for three months (funk dat!), without leaving a baggy of coke on Funkmaster Flex’s desk, or however independent radio promotion works.
You’d think that Fiddy Cent, of all people, would know. He once famously flew some ridonkulous number of DJs out to Las Vegas and bought them all lap dances. I can’t remember if I wrote about it at the time, or if it was before I was blogging for this site, but it was after he was already pretty well-established. As a matter of fact, wasn’t the nominal boss of this site, “Hot” Carl Chery, once flown down to Brazil by Fiddy. You know what goes on down there.
Fiddy, if you’re reading this, holler at your boy. I could use some stank (nullus), and clearly you could use some PR help.
No but really, Fiddy got me to thinking that Drake probably is a creation of the tall Israelis. Otherwise, why would he even be considering signing with a major label. Of all people, he would be well-suited to make a shedload of money independently. Er, of all people who haven’t already built a career on a major label.
These music biz these days is full of stories of artists who realized they didn’t need the TIs anymore. Radiohead gave away their last album for free and made more money than they ever did when they were on Capitol. Trent Reznor has put out more albums in the past year or so than in the entire 20 years or however long he was on Interscope. He once famously made something ridonkulous like a million dollars in a day selling some shit he had lying around in his studio. And then you have artists like Madonna and Jay-Z receiving exorbitant sums to sign directly with concert promoters.
Of course, as one of the guys from Sonic Youth recently pointed out, you gotta already be big time in order to give your shit away for free and expect to make any real money from it. Hip-hop is full of people who give their music away for free all the time and don’t make shit. Take for example Charles Hamilton. He’s gonna need Jimmy Iovine to spread a little money around, if he’s ever gonna get on the radio. Drake, meanwhile, supposedly already managed to get on the radio, on the sheer basis of talent.
The TIs are supposedly willing to break the bank for Drake, offering him as much as $2 million, i.e. twice what Fiddy got. But how much is $2 million, really? Didn’t they give Papoose $1.5 million, part of which presumably went to pay for the leather coat he’s wearing on the flyer for his swagacation website? If I was Drake, and I really did somehow manage to become one of the most popular artists out right now without the help of a major label, I’d tell them to take that $2 million and shove it up their asses. I’d either demand way more money, or attempt to go it alone.
Then again, it’d take me 166.67 years to earn $2 million, so what do I know.