As one of Hip Hop’s more ground breaking acts to date, Young Money Prince Drake can often be found at the center of heated Rap centric debate.
Loved by some while loathed by others, his arrival and subsequent success on and in the scene has made him the undisputed figurehead of Contemporary Rap/Hop Hip Hop.
Of course, with such attention comes just as much criticism.
With Lil Kim stating that ‘he just wasn’t built for this hood sh*t’ and Common revealing his upcoming release ‘Sweet‘ was written all about him, the suggestion that Drake’s singing has made him ‘less of an MC ‘ is one estimation that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere soon.
So, ever eager to bring attention to the topics you are most passionate about, That Grape Juice asks the question:
Is Mr ‘Marvin’s Room‘ ‘too soft’ for Contemporary Hip Hop?
Perhaps the real issue some members of the Rap community have with Drake is that unlike many of his contemporaries, he does not have a ‘hood‘ context.
Yes, while the like of T.I and Lil Wayne have come to find their run ins with law are just as renowned as their material, Drake’s non-existent criminal record and privileged childhood have often forced his credibility as a Rapper into disrepute.
Indeed, though this has in many ways served to present him as a multi-platinum coin in a box full of silvers, it is also the reason he has become such an easy target for self-proclaimed musical connoisseurs who would suggest Mr. Graham’s art isn’t ‘hard’ enough to fall under the category of ‘real’ Hip Hop.
In reality, their issue with him is not the reflective nature of his sound, but rather the crabs in a bucket mentality black music is often guilty of endorsing.
Much like Whitney Houston at the 1989 Soul Train Awards, the Degrassi alum has found himself labelled ‘too soft‘, ‘too sweet‘ and ‘too inauthentic‘ by critics unable to deal with his unashamed ability to pull in mainstream and underground audiences alike.
For, now that 50 Cent‘s brand of Gangster Rap no longer has impressionable valley boys reaching for their wallets, and Nelly and co. struggling to achieve the notoriety they enjoyed ten years ago, Drake – much to the contempt of his detractors- has become the best alternative to any in need of Hip Hop music sans grills, gangs and gun shots.
Only time will tell if Graham will be able to prove himself to those who question his credibility, or if the coming years will see his unique style breed a new troupe of note hitting lyricists formed in his likeness.
Until then, here’s to the continued success of ‘Thank Me Later‘ and ‘Take Care’ alike.