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What Do Drake & Shyne Have In Common?

Doing what I do, I’m subject to a lot of solicitations from every MC Stab-N-Kill, two-bit hack rapster from the deepest, darkest regions of North Bumblefuck, USA. And to be quite honest, a good 93% of every individual who feel they can sustain a worthwhile career in rap should just stop. Seriously, just stop. It’s not like any of youse will do anything worthwhile outside of serving up KFC Double Downs for the rest of your lives. Each and every day I get a new email from some up and coming rapper who – foolishly inspired by past and present acts, something they saw on television or, in yesterday’s case, the unofficial weed holiday – thinks that they can rap their way into a life of luxury.

If things were that easy, I wouldn’t have spent the latter part of the last decade on unemployment.

If there’s anyone to blame for this, the finger could be pointed at these record labels signing artists – the same labels that C&D my ass for posting the very song they send me, mind you – like Drake and Shyne to multi-million dollar deals, despite the fact they truly haven’t proven themselves as a viable commodity. I’m not suggesting that these two will crash and burn faster than an overpacked Cessna, but at a time where labels are doing anything to squeeze blood from the proverbial turnip of rap just to turn a profit, tossing seven figures to rappers like they haven’t been in the red since ringtone, “get-rich-quick” style rap imploded just seems off to me.

Dubious acting past, Shredded Wheat kneecap and Kanye West-directed soft-core porn of a debut music video aside, Aubrey has been able to overcome his missteps to become one of the most popular acts out now, thus far having the far better chance at sustaining in today’s “now you see me, now you don’t” rapster economy due to his high-profile affiliations and penchant for crooning his way into the hearts and labia of prepubescent girls. And he didn’t have to run through Kat Stacks to do so, which is more than I can say for the rest of Lil Wayne’s crew of Percocet pocketers. Oh hai Lil Twist.

On the flip, Jamal Michael Barrow… Moses Michael Leviy… whatever he’s calling himself these days doesn’t have a modicum of Drake’s buzz, but that didn’t stop L.A. Reid from foolishly flying down to Belize to personally give him a financial reacharound after he was sprung from the pokey for autographing a woman’s face with a Beretta over a decade ago. And this was before anybody actually heard him actually rap. Now, given that he now possesses a voice that sounds like his throat was used for all the wrong reasons while in prison, has dropped a bunch of underwhelming songs that show his rap rust, has no commercial viability at this point and the fact Def Jam’s recent track record with rap has been shaky at best (the label hasn’t released a platinum-selling rap album since Young Jeezy’s The Recession back in 2008), I’m still wondering why Reid still has a job in the first place.

In essence, these two could be held as examples for tragically inspiring a nation of millions to pick up a microphone instead of a book. Because, really, who wants to spend four-plus years in college only to settle with a crappy, underpaying job and a stack of loans to pay back when, if lucky enough, one could feast on the finest of crab meats and slores just for rhyming “trigger” with “jigger?” In that case, don’t look to me to get your career off the ground; I’ll just end up throwing your music in the trash the second I see it. But if Drake and Shyne fail – and at least one of them will – will it stop a nation of millions from trying to rap? I wish.

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