Drake: The True Rapper-Ternt-Sanga

So let me get this straight: for the right price, Drake will make your R&B aspirations see reality?

Don’t get me wrong, the guy has a lot of talent, and for the most part I enjoyed Thank Me Later… after I decided to listen to it weeks after its release (or, in my case, weeks after I received my premium RapidShare account version). It’s probably a me thing, but after bludgeoning the world with a multitude of leaks, videos, track listings, interviews, photos, behind-the-scenes looks at photo shoots, sneak peaks, teasers, trailers, previews and the like, I don’t want to hear someone’s music after that promotional blitzkrieg for at the very least a cool couple months.

Eventually I’ll get to 808s & Heartbreak. Eventually.

Anyways, the guy has seemingly become the current standard for rap today: the singing rapper, or a hip hop artist with R&B sensibilities. Popularized by Ja Rule in the late 90s, swacked by 50 Cent in the Aughts and perfected by Andre 3000 and Cee-Lo Green, now Drake seems to be the flag-bearer for this decade’s “hybrid rapper.” Yet where Jeffrey and Curtis’… um… harmonizing efforts came across as forced and contrived more often than not, Drake actually sounds like (or at least attempts to sound like) he’s more comfortable singing than rapping sometimes. I’m not saying that most of it is actually good; hell, I’m confused sometimes at how the hooks to some of his songs have no relation to the bars he spits for them. I’m just saying.

Anyways, if he decides to throw in the towel on this rap game and take up another profession (word to Jeru The Damaja doing photography now), he can definitely get a couple royalty checks ghostwriting for our favorite-to-look-at R&B bitties. He’s already provided background vocals for Alicia Keys and Mary J. Blige, and has threatened to talked about dropping an R&B-tinged mixtape. Sporadic “reference tracks” have been popping up recently, each sounding like they would go to the likes of Rihanna and Ciara. Needless to say, Drake has a backup plan (if not necessarily a completed high school education) to fall back on.

To be honest, more aspiring artists should think more in that sense. I’m not suggesting they should instantly start putting out R&B albums, nor should I think they should even attempt to do so, but in the manner of expanding one’s portfolio outside of gaudy clothing lines and fraudulent oil companies. Besides, El DeBarge just came back after being away for years; the fuck I look like wanting to listen to rappers singing? At this point the only singing rapsters I’ll check out is Three Stacks and Cee-Lo. Anyways, with everybody trying to remain afloat in rap’s waters, it doesn’t hurt to try to add another article to your résumé.

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  • WTF

    The article was ON POINT…

    until the last paragraph.

    Seriously, WTF.

    I thought you were praising him, not omitting him. Total fail.

  • Anonymous

    total fail? how you are kid? 14? 15?

  • NOLAIS504(UPTOWN)

    SMH NIGGAZ OPINIONS GOT OPINIONS.

  • Anonymous

    *old

  • builtitgroundup

    SMH NIGGAZ OPINIONS GOT OPINIONS.

  • Big Wig

    How you gonna talk about Rapper/Singers and not mention Phonte, the best of the Rap/R&B hybrids??

    • oskamadison

      True indeed….

  • big sig nig

    let’s correct the blog. cee-lo was on the seen before others so lets get it right…

  • Sha

    In XXL there was an reader’s blog about authenticity.

    Drake?

    He has absolutely none to me.

    He always came across to me as a really weird dude. From doin’ the T-Pain, to telling the world he was in love with Rhianna after one date, to jumpin’ in to the Lil Kim and Nicki beef…. DUDE IS REALLY STRANGE!

    But this isn’t what kills him. What kills him is that he came into the game on some 50 Cent type hype. He was hailed as the next best thing. And when his album dropped, he didn’t innovate, he didn’t up the stakes…. It was more of a feeling of “We’ve seen this before” (Kanye, T-Pain, and Andre 3000).

    Then he goes off in interviews talking about Kanye as a genius (he might have a point) and also being a MAJOR INFLUENCE.

    An now the R&B mixtape……

    This all seems like buyers’ fraud to me. Wasn’t he an emcee? Didn’t he say, “Last name ever. First name, greatest.” ?

    As far as coping any of his music, you will be hard pressed to find that in my library. I feel cheated.

    • Orange Star Happy Hunting

      I agree I also would not group the Love Below in as R&B, that was so far out of the r&b box young, no where near it!!!!

      See this dude tries too hard IMO to cater to women, but comes off as wack and corny, a simp, maybe even a suspect.

      • swype-matic

        Honestly, wack, corny, and simp are the first things that come to mind when I here Drake. People praise him as the next big thing, but when you sound unconvincing, forced, and fake, as if Birdman’s holding a gun to his head, forcing him to rap, there’s nothin’ you CAN do but be confused as hell.

      • swype-matic

        Honestly, wack, corny, and simp are the first things that come to mind when I hear Drake. People praise him as the next big thing, but when you sound unconvincing, forced, and fake, as if Birdman’s holding a gun to his head, forcing him to rap, there’s nothin’ you CAN do but be confused as hell.

        • Prince Infamy666

          everything said above is on point about this cornball

  • killa

    Well there are other artists who sing and rap.

    GemStones (a.k.a. Gemini from FNF-Lupe) And he does this effortlessly!

    Pharaoh Monch

    Mos Def

    Q-tip (to a degree)

    Pharrell (to a degree on both)

  • killa

    Well there are other artists who sing and rap.

    GemStones (a.k.a. Gemini from FNF-Lupe) And he does this effortlessly!

    Pharaoh Monch

    Mos Def

    Phonte

    Q-tip (to a degree)

    Pharrell (to a degree on both)

  • LOKIU999

    He doesnt sing good. Hemay be one of the worst rappers ive heard in my life. I understand girls are feeling him but i get mad when poeple says hes good rapper and singer. If we going to compare him in need sto be against britney spears or justin beeber or some one like that.Everyone Killa said actually could rap except for Pharrell( who hasnt made a hot beat in 10 years as welll as Swizz Beats)but people got start putting drake strictly in that pop category he cant be compared to any rapper or real singer. Im not big in to RnB but I listent to Ryan leslie and he would kill drake in rapping singingas well as neyo or try songs in both rapping and sining. Im mad high and wroite to much. Im out

  • what

    nobody even heard of this nigga he from canada no canadians allowed plus this bitch is half white that automatically makes him a hoe ass nigga a fraud ass nigga a snitch and a slave owning piece of trash.

    • Say What Again

      Racist ignorant ass baboon nigga

  • Jamal7Mile

    Funny… I’d rather hear a rapper who KNOWS he can’t sing, singing on a track.

    Biz Markie – “Just a Friend”
    AMG – “Yo Mama Told Me”
    ODB – his whole style
    No Face – The “Wake Your Daughter Up” album
    2nd II None – who actually can RIP on the vocals

    Them cats above come across as more entertaining to me. And they all have my money in their pockets from me purchasing their albums.

    Just saying…

    • bad smellin plate a eggs

      all dem nigguz gay

    • http://www.bboycult.com Don mcCaine

      J7M I was going to say that same sentiment…

      add Eric Sermon…

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  • 2Deezy

    What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in this rambling, incoherent blog post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this site is now dumber for having read it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • 6 100

    Meka, you sound like a fat gitl who read all the Twilight books and now wears alot of mascara.

    The only part of your Drake love that made and sense was “the hooks to … his songs have no relation to the bars he spits for them.”

  • J

    Every R&B artist should be offended that he is moving in on your genre. Terrible…just terrible. Those are not good vocals. LISTEN

  • doclvly

    its so easy to see the difference here. The people who have heard a few drake songs, mostly from the radio, vs anyone whos sat there and listened.So many haters are thrown off by his voice mostly over those empty airry beats, reminiscent of aaliyah (to whom he credits). I know hood ass people bumping this shit, and there not 12 (more like 30-34). I know some students and scholars and there bumping this shit.

    Hate him all you wan’t, hes socially permeable for a reason.
    Its just the sign of the times repeating, as always. The older rap generation always hates the young, it scoffs at tradition often.
    I’d imagine especially because hes too “soft” that he breaks one of the major rap commandments.

    I WILL say… things i HATE about drake…

    1.stop talking about hoes/bitches nearly as much as you do, your not an actual player.

    2.PLEASE don’t sing more than you rap. You kill a mean hook, but that R & B shit dosen’t always sound great (never for me), your a better rapper, period. oh, and let phonte know too.

    3.For the haters, freestyle more and release those tapes. STOP talking about tapes. You don’t need to be in the public eye, if your actually ill and established, stop making promises you may be able to keep.

    4.That said, I am skeptical of your freestyle skills. it always seems a little memorized.

    and yes, his hooks don’t match the versus quite right ever.

    BUT dudes only made ONE ALBUM, and it went platinum.
    There are so many rappers that give him the lyrical co sign. Not just features, pick an interview. I like that nas thinks hes ill (even tho i think drakes is nothing like nas, despite what he says)

    end rant.

    • listen up

      u a fag

      • doclvly

        hhahahhah, nice, did you finish school to learn that (prob not). dudes prob gay anyway, only a quier calls fag.. SMH!

        • doclvly

          disregard what i just said i was too busy sucking my dads cock to type out a proper response

    • http://www.bboycult.com Don mcCaine

      I can tell you are a smart youngblood, so this will be easy.

      “The older rap generation always hates the young”

      ^ the older generation always tries TO WARN THE YOUNG. Fail for you EVER thinking this. OUR CHILDREN ARE THE YOUNG, WHY WOULD WE HATE THEM? The media told y’all he’s the new king. We tried to put y’all on to game and y’all threw darts at us.

      Stop thinking a “co-sign” is a legitimate form of support. Most of these dudes just want to ride the wave, and behind the scenes talk smack about dude.

      The sign of the times is, a lot of y’all believe in this media posturing. He’s socially permeable because HE IS MARKETABLE. Do you really think if he was dark skinned with big lips that he would be in the position he’s in?

      I’m not trying to diss you, but go back and study. You don’t see it yet.

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  • KNUO888

    Maybe Zack Morris from saved by the bell should come out with an album

  • Enlightened

    For real, Andre 3000 singin shit really ain’t that cool homie. He had a couple here and there, but he is a nigga who raps WAAAAYYY better than he sings.

    You can’t compare him to Cee-lo on that type of shit.

  • http://freddyo.com lola_mcfly

    @Big Wig WORD!! Phontigga is way more skilled at rapping and sanging than Drake. Even Drake is a fan of his.

    and how did DMX get omitted from this list? He is responsible for the Ja Rule-50 Cent blueprint.

  • wordisbond

    Internet niggas. Just take it and converse amongst yourselves, you know, in real life. Critiquing the critic on them ‘nets is suuuper lame. Get your own column.

  • doclvly

    Actually I think if he had big lips and was darker skin he WOULD be MORE SOCIALLY PERMEABLE. Do you see what industry is on top in music these days… oh yeah rap. Don’t matter if your indie underground or major. RAP/hip hop is the shit, globally, and its a mostly black industry. white people love “black(even those it samples alot of white) music”.

    It’s unfortunate if this is still a color thing for you, because just to let you know your race is determined by your cash flow now. If somone can make a buck off you they don’t care WHERE you come from. Just don’t build a mosk neareground zero and the racisim isn’t as improtant anymore.

    On my young hatting the old argument…
    90′s uber hood shit said fuck you to the old school sound. Glam rappers later on said fuck you to being poor, and anything afrocentric that came out the jazz era of hip hop(despite this coming out of poverty in the first place) Now those muscle bound fashion rappers are now all pissed at “skinny jean” rappers, because there starting to making the money there not(this isn’t about money, but there mad about something…).

    about him being an artist and skilled and socially permeable. Sounds like you don’t even give dude a chance, and if your a person who’s about lyricism (like it sounds) you would be able to tell he rips most of his sound/flow style off of slum village/phone/wayne, his tone is just nasal, and is an acquired taste over those space ecstasy ridden beats.

    I appreciate you not actually dissing me (this is a discussion), but speaking of school, I majored in advertising and marketing before I decided I didn’t wan’t to spend my life in a cubicle manipulating people for pocket change. Then I wen’t to school for more business art, and learned more marketing anyway. I understand the dark machine that is advertising VERY well, and I would still say this dude is real, maybe young naive, and caught up in the lime light a bit much, but he does it because he LOVES music, not a check.

    I say co-sign but I mean A real quip of comradery. You think drake is paying every ill rapper to talk good of him? Dude isn’t paid like that, and these rappers have there own stack already. Phonte, loves his shit, and that dudes one of my favorites. Now I’m not saying just because someone else says its good, it is good, I am however saying that YOU or anyone else for that matter need to give him a chance.

    TRY, not to think about these things and see if you like him, then go listen to slum village fantastic volume 2 and tell me it doesn’t sound like hes on the album….

    ignore the beat (u wanted a club banger sorry hes not for you)
    ignore the club bangers/singles (I have to agree with everyone that these are some bad songs, bad music alltogether. best I ever had is excruciating)
    ignore the fact the chorus doesn’t fit the song as well.

    keep those in mind, hes still new to shit. I think dude has tremendous potential.

    • http://RatherUniqueFLA.blogspot.com ryandinho

      If you were a marketing major(as was I), that some things are just more marketable. He is a non-threatening, light-skinned, teenybob actor.period. He is average lyrically. Period. People saying that they co-sign him, in reality, means absolutely nothing. People will cosign anything they have stake in.

      Anyways..

      RatherUniqueFLA.blogspot.com
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    • http://www.bboycult.com Don mcCaine

      @ doc

      I don’t know how long you have been here @ XXL, but I’m one of the dudes who said enough of the promo hype early, and let the rookie prove with some music he is qualified to be a starter. They had this guy as king of rap with just a mixtape out. Look at how foolish that sounds. Let’s see if he’s around 5 years from now to talk about that king stuff.

      There is minimal comraderie in the game. The vultures are around to ride the wave via co-sign and collaboration. Asher Roth had co-signs and collabos on his album and it went nowhere. Back then you couldn’t get a collabo unless said artist was on your label.

      As for the marketing thing, like homie said above. A good example? B.o.B. The movie Dreamgirls. Smokey Robinson & Marvin Gaye.

      Rap WAS at one time THE industry. Not anymore. At one time you had pop artists trying to rap. Now you have rap artists trying to going pop style.

      “90’s uber hood shit said fuck you to the old school sound.”

      ^ not true homie. Don’t forget Onyx was JMJ’s group. Puff was sampling old school music. Fat Joe ran with legendary producers. Jay-Z even was running w/Big Daddy Kane. Redman went Funkadelic on us. Young Nas had Rakim buzzing in his ear.

      Just like I stated above, this is in no means trying to diss you, because I can see you have smarts. You’re just missing the points to enhance that knowledge you have.

  • doclvly

    correction to post above:
    *even though is samples alot of white music

  • lmao

    yall dumb as fuck rap will be the death of black ppl just yall wait n see

  • Anonymous

    was a teeny bobber actor the man is not 19 anymore. nobody hatted on tupac for being a fking dancer

  • Dub

    Only rappers who really have vocals on the singin shit are Cee lo and Lauryn Hill…

    Drake can’t sing, but neither can Ashanti, B2K, Ciara, Cassie, and a host of other exclusively R&B artists who made money off music

  • Ay Ta Z

    Only muthafuckers who should sing and rap are Rock City

    Andre should stick to Rapping, Cee-Lo should stick to singing, Drake should retire

    Wait… Lauren Hill can do both aswell

  • Technique

    What ever happened to that dude Nas was trying to put on, Quan? Now that motha fucka could rap and sing his ass off!

  • http://youtube.com/reelmuzik ReelMuzikRep

    Drake is nice. But his advisors, team, label…can have a huge influence on what they would like him to be. This is called an “Industry” for a simple reason. Come to youtube.com/reelmuzik for some great tracks YOU or Drake could spit to. R&B or Rap! Go! -GoodMike

  • Dub

    @Technique

    Yea I remember hearin a couple joints from dude, he was pretty talented. Wish Nas could’ve gotten some more push behind him, but then again he was kinda in that Neo Soul/Conscious realm and they usually don’t get mainstream looks