Turn on your local hip hop radio station right now and its very likely that there is a Drake song playing. Stations have Pop Style, Hotline Bling, Too Good, Controlla, Childs Play and One Dance to choose from and that does not even include the remixes. All of these chart topping singles are from Drake’s fourth studio album, Views, which was released earlier this year.
This past Sunday night Drake announced on his Beats 1 show that he will be releasing another collection of music in December called More Life. During this announcement Drake also played four new singles from the upcoming mixtape and made two of them available to stream on Spotify and Apple Music (Fake Love and Sneakin).
Drake is without a doubt the hottest rapper in this universe and the next. However, the amount of music he has put out and plans to release real soon has to have one considering if this is too much Drake. Is it possible for a rapper who is hotter than July to over saturate the market with his product?
There are two ways to think about Drake’s history releasing music.
The first, quality over quantity, which means having the best or perceived best of something rather than a lot of cheap or less valuable versions. Since 2013, Drake has released Nothing Was the Same, If You’re Reading This Its Too Late, What a Time to be Alive and Views. Each album/mixtape had an average of about 5 singles that were on consistent rotation on every hip hop station in the world.
The flood of music and the frequency of its release makes music critics question the time, energy and detail put into each track.
Also, since Drake is hotter than the sun, radio stations have to play about two or three songs each hour. There are 24 hours in a day. That is a lot of Drake. Getting some sun at the beach is great, but too much will turn you into a crispy slice of bacon.
The second way to approach the tidal wave of music that we get from Drake is to be grateful for it.
Hip hop fans can always count on Drake to put out music. The knock against a lot of hip hop artists is that they just do not put out music. After the legendary hip hop producer/artist Dr. Dre released The Chronic in 1992, his second studio album did not drop until 1999 when he released 2001. And its does not seem like we will get The Detox until we walk on Mars. The great Lauryn Hill had no credible follow up the classic The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, released way back in 1998.
Even current hip hop artists that we love have had trouble provided content to their fans. Jay Electronica and Andre 3000 are great examples. Andre 3000 ranks very high when considering hip hop’s all time great lyricists. However, we have not had packaged music from him since 2003. The few and far between verses that he has had pop up on other artists albums is not enough. Hip hop fans want 20 songs of pure Andre 3000 creation that he has been unable to provide for them.
Drake lets you consistently bounce it like whoa, while making you feel like you won the grammy. Regardless of anyone’s opinion on the quality or quantity of Drake’s music, he always seems to give the people what they want.
The Basketball Hall of Fame last night announced that Shaquille O’Neal, Yao Ming and Allen Iverson will each be inducted as part of the 2016 hall class. While there are hundreds of all time greats who have been inducted into the hall for the past 57 years, these three stand out as individuals who appealed to groups that had not been represented in any professional sport before. Yao introduced NBA basketball to billions of Chinese citizens and made the game global. Shaq was a dominant big man in the mold of Wilt and Kareem but could run the floor, sell rap records and be marginally funny. Iverson was the one who broke the mold though.
Although Allen Iverson is being inducted into the hall based on his ability to dominate on the basketball court and his jaw dropping statistics, his impact as a cultural icon is what will keep his name in the minds of his fans forever. Iverson was unapologetic when it came to his love for and expression of hip hop culture.
Iverson’s style was his own. He arrived at arenas looking more Method Man than Michael Jordan. The long white tees, baggy jeans, throwback jerseys and durags were something that the casual NBA fan in 1996 was not used to seeing on a budding superstar. The genesis of the Iverson era also coincided with the release of some of hip hop’s most creative/innovative albums in 1996. All Eyez on Me (2Pac), It Was Written (Nas), The Score (The Fugees), ATLiens (OutKast) and Reasonable Doubt (Jay Z) all dropped in 1996.
While Iverson’s rookie year was an introduction for most to what a professional athlete who loves hip hop culture looks like, he was still on a team that only won 22 games. Also, in the middle of the Michael Jordan era, everything else can seem small. It was not until the second MJ retirement and the development of a winning organization did attention turn to Iverson and his different approach to everything.
By 1999, the Sixers were a playoff team with a credible coach, Larry Brown. At this point, Iverson is on a national stage and stays there for the next ten years. He ultimately becomes league MVP in 2001 and steps over the Cavs coach later that season in the NBA Finals.
However, even though Iverson’s star is rising, his hip hop style becomes an issue for owners and NBA commissioner David Stern. In 2005, the NBA instituted a league wide dress code which basically ruled out everything in Iverson’s closet. The impact Iverson had on NBA style was seen a threat to the brand and profitably of the NBA. Even though his talent and leave it on the floor mentality was selling out arenas around the country.
After 2005, Iverson did not win much as a member of the Nuggets, Pistons, Grizzlies and one final stint with the Sixers. However, his legacy remained intact. Current NBA superstars like Stephen Curry and LeBron James all look to Iverson as a reason to play as hard as you can each game. Iverson’s willingness to express himself make it easy for Melo, KD and Russ to openly express their love for hip hop music and culture. This is something that MJ, Scottie or Chuck could never relate to.
The induction of Allen Iverson into the Basketball Hall of Fame equates to the induction of hip hop into the hall. Cant wait for his speech.
Speaking of Jordan…
I admit it, I’m a fan of ratchet reality. The first step in fixing a problem is admitting you have one. I am well aware of the drama and negative images that ratchet reality displays. But its just so damn entertaining!!!
Lately though, the plot lines and drama have become a little monotonous. The champagne throwing, hair pulling, parking lot fighting and unfaithful men/women in relationships can only stimulate my college educated mind for so long. The best cure for this fading reality show formula is to put people in these shows who are actually relevant.
The Love & Hip Hop: Relevant Edition (LHHRE) cast should include:
Jay Z & Beyonce: The most accomplished married couple in the history of hip hop should definitely be cast in the most relevant edition of ratchet reality. Cameras will follow around Jay and Bey as they sit at home and watch awards shows they are too good to attend. Also as we get a sneak peak into their home life, we get to find out how Blue Ivy really feels about the fact that her hair has never been combed. Finally, we get to see the conflict between Jay and Bey as Memphis Bleek spends one too many nights sleeping on the couch. Bleek tries to make it up to the Carters by making his famous Memphis meatloaf and babysitting Blue Ivy as Jay and Bey dance on a random beach.
Drake: The hottest artist in the industry lets us follow him around as his hotline bling’s and he coats his bread with truffle butter. Drake’s main story line will include his new goal of trying to bench press more than Serena Williams. Their relationship takes a turn for the worst when Serena catches Drake working out with Ronda Rousey as Worst Behavior plays in the background. The fight that ensues between Serena and Ronda rivals that of Iron Man and the Hulk. The ground shakes and buildings collapse. Drake tries to break up the fight but ends up with a horrible spinal injury that confines him to a wheel chair (sound familiar).
Fetty Wap: The New Jersey native with the permanent wink, lets us follow is meteoric rise in the hip hop industry. Fetty lets cast mate Beyonce help him find his Trap Queen after a lifetime of casual dating. On one of Fetty’s first blind dates (couldn’t help it) he is set up with Taylor Swift. Fetty and Swift connect instantly. Trap Luv ensues as the couple playfully argues over who’s song was number one on iTunes the longest. Unfortunately, like many ratchet reality relationships, Swift leaves Fetty when she finds out his eye has been wandering. Swift pops up unexpectedly at 1738 Trap Avenue and finds Fetty in bed with one of the girls from the Hotline Bling video.
Dej Loaf: The female version of Big Sean rounds out our cast. Dej will let us into her remarkable ability to rap off beat and still sell records. Deja is introduced to Lil Kim by Jay Z to help her find her way in the industry as a rising female star. The relationship sours when Dej spends the night drinking Hennessy and mistakes Kim for a human size cat like alien creature. Dej is brought back to reality by being shown pictures of Kim from 1996.
(Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj did not return phone calls to join the show once they discovered Drake had already been cast)