Drake, the self-proclaimed “6god” who was recently crowned Billboard Artist of the Decade 2010’s, is one of the hottest artists not just in hip-hop, but across the entire music industry. Drake is known for innovating in the scene by blending rapping and singing together to create this current generation’s inclination toward melodic rapping.
YouTuber and popular music critic Anthony Fantano posted a satirical video in which he discusses Drake sending him the recipe for vegan chocolate-chip cookies. Drake was unamused by Fantano’s chocolate-chip jests, as he took to Instagram to leak the actual DMs that he had sent to Fantano. The disses are worse than anyone initially thought, as the actual messages simply read “Your existence is a light 1. And the one is cause you are alive. And cause you somehow wifed a black girl.” Fantano has previously rated Drake’s 2021 hit album Certified Lover Boy as a light 3 out of 10, and the recently released Honestly Nevermind as simply “NOT GOOD.” Fantano recently reviewed fellow rapper Destroy Lonely’s debut mixtape NO STYLIST a light 1, prompting Drake to diss Fantano through these Instagram DMs.
It’s clear that Fantano’s satirical cookie recipe video got under his skin, something that would appear out of character for the “They got me feelin’ like the one again” rapper. Another message Drake sent to Fantano read out “I’m feeling a light to decent 1 on your existence,” a reference to Fantano’s own music rating system. The reference confirms that Fantano’s criticisms have been in Drake’s ear for a while now – long enough for him to know that Fantano has had an African-American wife. Living “rent-free in his head” is the term Fantano uses in his victory lap IG live shortly after Drake posted the DMs. All of this insecurity is bad publicity on Drake’s part, as fans and skeptics alike tore Drake apart for being “in his feelings.” Drake never addressed the criticisms, choosing to ignore his critics.
I guess Drake can’t stand the sheer amusement Fantano got out of this and decided to take the emotional approach that we know all too well. While we’re stranded in Drake’s pettiness, let’s turn back the clock to some other Drake tragedies.
In 2018, hip-hop’s legendary coke-dealing, hard-hitting Pusha T dissed Drake for using ghostwriters. It started off with the track “Infrared” off Daytona, which indirectly dissed Drake, his mentor Lil Wayne, and their label Young Money. The OVO Sound boss quickly countered with his diss track “Duppy Freestyle,” in which he gets back at both Pusha T and his longtime collaborator Kanye West for wasting his time during the Wyoming sessions and for not crediting him on “Father Stretch My Hands Pt. 1.” Pusha punched back with “The Story of Adidon” (whose cover features Drake from his acting days covered in blackface), roasting him for hiding a child he had with an adult-film actress. After that, Drake chose not to engage with Pusha T, giving fans the impression he didn’t have the info needed to push back. Fans criticized Pusha T for going too far, but the general consensus is that “The Story of Adidon” is the better diss track and Pusha handed Drake the L.
In 2019, Drake made headlines by being booed offstage at Tyler, The Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw festival. Tyler had previously alluded to fans that there would be a surprise guest at the festival. Fans were expecting this to be Frank Ocean, enigmatic R&B extraordinaire and founding member of Odd Future alongside Tyler himself, who had never graced the stage in the 7 years of Camp Flog Gnaw’s history. Concert-goers were not excited to see the “6god,” who got vehemently booed off stage within minutes. Drake walked off, not facing the crowd or pushing back with fans. In a viral Rap Radar interview, Drake laughed it off, saying that “he walked right into it” and that he had even joked about it before going onstage. While Drake may not take this too seriously, it’s still an L for Billboard’s “2010’s Artist of the Decade.”
Fast forward a couple of years later to 2021: Drake releases his wildly popular Certified Lover Boy to much commercial success, breaking both Spotify and Apple Music first day streaming records. Kanye West recorded a diss track aimed at Drake, titled “Life of the Party.” Much to everyone’s surprise, Drake ended up leaking “Life of the Party ” the next day after the release of Certified Lover Boy. The near 7-minute track had disses aimed at himself, a questionable move for someone trying to get the upper hand on his rap enemies. The diss included verses from rapper André 3000, and was originally a leftover track from Kanye West’s Donda. To this day, it’s still unclear as to why Drake would release a diss track aimed at himself during his own album rollout. The extra attention generated by “Life Of The Party” did get André 3000 to issue an apology, but fans still handed Drake the L for this.
Let’s also not forget about the elephant in the room: the meteoric fall in quality of Drake’s artistic output. At this point, it’s consensus that Drake has traded in artistic integrity for commercial success. No album he’s released in the last 5-7 years has had the focus and lyricism of If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (IYRTITL) or the reliability that Nothing Was The Same had. Certified Lover Boy was carried by its star-studded lineup, including Jay-Z, Giveon, Kid Cudi, and Travis Scott, to name a few. Drake himself got outshined by his features, leaving us with an hour and a half of bars, styles and beats that feel recycled and reused. Nothing in the album was cleverly crafted to put together a clear narrative like IYRTITL or Nothing Was The Same.
It’s painfully clear that Drake has stopped innovating, stopped pushing the boundaries. He’s instead opted for a luxurious lifestyle and commercial accolades. I still listen to IYRTITL, hoping that Drake will one day come to his senses, but it’s been a ride of lackluster album releases since then. He’s made questionable decisions to say the least in the last few years, and it’s clear that his lack of focus and artistic direction has spewed out in different areas of his life, culminating at different points in the last few years. Drake is no longer the legendary groundbreaking actor-turned-rapper that we know him, nor does he have the hard shell needed to write tracks like “Started From the Bottom.” Drake is as sensitive as ever, spending all his time living a life trapped in his feelings.