Dear Drake

Posted: January 27, 2014 in Hip-Hop, Rap
Tags: , , ,

Dear Drake,

Let me start off by saying I am sorry. Since you made a mark on the music scene I have had mixed feelings about you. Uncharacteristic to my general nature, I made assumptions about you, and I was wrong to do so. I have never doubted your talent: I just thought you created a phony image. I felt it was not a real indication of who you were, and I was not about to be fooled. I respect any musician, irrespective of genre, who is true to who they are, and honest. It was like you were trying to sell something that did not exist.

I have been following your career (not in a creepy way) since your days on Degrassi: The Next Generation. You graduated from the Canadian TV series, and shortly after, released your first EP So Far Gone, along with your first hit track “Best I Ever Had.” It was inspirational to see a kid from Toronto break through in such a big way on the rap scene. Your rhymes were tight, and in the beginning, I was on your side.

Then with your future releases, you started teaming up with Jay-Z, Nicki Minaj, Rick Ross, Rihanna, and several other artists. I am not knocking your for that – in fact I commend you for reaching such great heights, so early in your rap career. But along with that new found success, seemed to come a bigger ego. You developed more swagger, carried yourself differently, had an attitude. You had petty fights, via “diss tracks” with other rappers, which made you look juvenile and immature. Just another artist caught up in the drama, instead of rising above it. I thought Toronto would have taught you better.

You then launched your own label OVO (nothing wrong with that) and started OVOfest. A weekend music festival held annually in Toronto, where you are always the headliner, which just seemed self-serving. The final straw for me was the track “Started from the Bottom,” off your most recent release, Nothing Was the Same. It irked me to hear you go on about living in the ‘hood, when it was common knowledge you grew up in Forest Hill, one of the more affluent neighbourhoods in Toronto. You use the derogatory “N” word like you grew up in the kind of place where that was accepted. It was all I needed to write you off.

However, after much insistence from trustworthy parties, I opted to investigate your rise to the top more thoroughly, instead of simply judging a book by its cover. What I found out was that I only had part of the story. Your parents got divorced when you were young. You were raised by a single mom who fell ill early on, which forced you to become more responsible. You did grow up in Forest Hill, but in part of a house, the whole thing did not belong to you. Your dad had run-ins with the law; your mixed ethnicity (half black, half Jewish) undoubtedly came with built-in adversity. You were also involved in an altercation with Chris Brown; whatever the circumstances, I am sure he deserved it. So thank you for that.

Drake, I truly am sorry. I should have known better than to jump to my own conclusions without proper research. I apologize for the times I did not defend you to your haters; for not believing in you. I have always admitted you are a great rapper: my issue was everything but your abilities. Now I just feel like a jerk. Although I may not enjoy all your music, I can appreciate it, and respect you as an artist. Thanks for hearing me out. Keep it real.


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