As an artist, one of the reasons why I support Drake is because his music is gratifying. To appreciate his brand fully, I do not compare him to other artists. His new playlist, “More Life” is a clear indication of this fact. I can say first hand that Drake’s music is appreciated by many people all over the world. His “Views” album is living proof that he is the Boy George, Prince or Michael Jackson of this era. The only difference is, he is a crossover Hip Hop artist. He’s a Hiphopppa that’s great at Pop when every Pop artist is terrible at Hip Hop!
I lived in Canada for a decade. During which time I naturalized, wrote several books, released several albums and garnered a Grammy nomination. I visited the country’s most talked about provinces and cities. From what I experienced there, musically, when it comes to entertainment, most Canadians are into Hip Hop music. Hip Hop is also a mighty Kulture. And this Kulture is driven by its music, fashion, slang and the potential that it has to make its entertainers rich. It is a black culture that dominates by changing the mentality of other people. Even so, the Canadian scene has other elements that make it more difficult for Hip Hop to take root.
Diversity & Versatility
One of those elements is diversity. People are representing different cultures from all over the world. In Canada, regardless of the public demand, people complain about biases when one group receive more attention than the other. Canadians are quite anal about the equal distribution of resources among gender, race, sexuality or cultures there. In this police state, where most people are either Caucasian or East Indian, you will find that the rapid progress of African-American or African culture is quickly sabotaged. Caribbean literature has its own genres, and like Hip Hop, they also have their own battles to fight. This means, as a people, they won’t have time to fight for Hip Hop.
A second reason is that of feminism. The Canadian feminist community does not respond optimistically to maleness. Men’s activities and denounced feminism, where the majority who do not adhere to Reggae, Soca and Hip Hop culture become somewhat passive. This is also barren ground for Hip Hop, since groupies, thots, models, prostitutes and other openly loose females who adore the masters of this craft, play a vital role in this Kulture. Anything masculine that attracts women because of its masculine state is quickly undermined in Canada. It should be redefined to a neutral characteristic before its accepted, but the same is not valid for things feminine. This is fundamental in Canadian culture.
The only setback most local artists face in Canada is that the mainstream media does not recognize their work until after a foreign media do so first.”
The Culture & the Rap Game
Remember Pink? She entered the music industry years ago as a Hip Hop artist, but once famous she switched to Rock and Roll. Today, Pink is an accomplished Rock artist. Well, I’m willing to bet that Drake being a Canadian, is very adept with diversity. He understands how to disguise his masculinity to seem vulnerable to feminists. The only setback most artists face in Canada is that the local media does not recognize them until after a foreign press does so first. The Canadian communications often ignore new talent only to claim it after it has blossomed elsewhere. Drake overcame this setback when he got his contract from Young Money Records.
Now, let’s look at Hip Hop and see how it has annihilated most, if not all of its predecessors or counterparts. For now, it should be safe to say R&B has merged with it. Before discussing that, let’s look at something called “Top of the Pops.” Hip Hop literally turned off the lights on this once massive showcase of the world’s most popular Rock and Pop bands. Musical legends like Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Prince and a lot of other great musicians who ruled the industry before the appearance of Hip Hop, suddenly became “has been,” watching from the sideline.
Let’s leave our musical legends alone. After all, Hip Hop respects and honors them all. We often sample their songs, remake their hits, include them in our work, and so on. What about the genres themselves? The Caucasians had identified Country, Pop and Rock and Roll as their type of music. They used it to represent their way of life. But today, a Country, Pop or Rock, and Roll song have to have some elements of Hip Hop in them, or the band could fail. With all the sabotage of progress, negative press, police harassment of Hip Hop fans and legends it can be clearly seen that this Kulture has a considerable influence on other genres. In fact, this influence is more profound than I can express with words.
Here comes a dangerous and annihilating situation for the culture of Caucasian music. No one is buying Jazz, Classical or Opera music, nobody is checking for Folk music. White and Asian teens who check for Country, Pop or Rock and Roll are easily attracted to Hip Hop because most of the contents in their music culture are ideas that were borrowed or stolen from Hip Hop. It’s all Hip-Hop. And here comes a Canadian rapper that is appealing to Country, Pop and Rock and Roll fans. One who understands the emotions of atheists, feminists, and even gays.
Drake as a Pop Artist
It would be great for the Recording Academy if Drake sang R&B and rapped only to Hip Hop beats. This would be safe for the other genres. Instead, he wants to sing Pop and his songs are hitting. He’s outselling Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift and closing in on Adele. Justin Timberlake has disappeared, Beyonce and Rihanna have had to disguise as Pop when they are R&B artists, and Drake is still outselling them all. The “More Life” artist promotes Hip Hop by attracting Country, Pop, and Rock and Roll fans. And he’s the perfect guy to do this since his Canadian upbringing has prepared him with a clear understanding of how Caucasians relate to music, fashion, and entertainment as a whole.
This could be the reason why when Drake releases an outstanding Pop album, the Recording Academy or the Grammy Awards deliberately refuses to slot the record among other Pop artists. The Recording Academy is afraid to honor Drake as a Pop artist because he has the power to change the genre from what it is. As I pointed out earlier, this has happened before. Hip Hop has a Jesus effect that has wiped out many legends in music. They may not admit it, but they know this. This is the reason why the Academy wants Drake as Hip-Hop. So he can be vulnerable to the misconceptions of the Kulture and to protect those other genres from being annihilated.*