Crap or WAP: Is Drake’s music still relevant in the 2020 Hip-Hop scene?

Towards the end of October Drake released a small video clip trailer to his upcoming album Certified Lover Boy which will be dropped in January 2021, but where does this Hip-Hop icon stand amongst the age of Cardi B and Megan thee Stallion’s Tik Tok fame?

Having released his new song Laugh Now Cry Later at the end of summer, many expected that Drizzy’s newest album would come out before the end of the year, but amidst the uncertain background that is a global pandemic, it seems this is a tactical change by his team. With other rappers such as Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole rumoured to be working on new collections at the moment too, Drake announced in a YouTube clip his was to be delayed until next year.

The teaser appears to be an ode to Jay Z in that it reminisces over album covers of past, which he once did in an advertisement for Rhapsody. Drake is seen to recreate So Far Gone, Take Care and Nothing was the Same cover art, and some people are questioning as to whether this reflection on his journey to this point is forecasting his retirement at the beginning of 2021. Although expectations as well as his numbers are still high, perhaps he is sinking to the new wave that is encapsulated by Cardi B and co.

Among the conversation for the greatest rappers of all time, Drake is often dismissed for his amenability to whatever is trending at the moment, while also shying away from meaningful lyrical comment in favour of more digestible content for mainstream media. As well as being a world renowned superstar for the last decade with his sonic styling and quotable music, he is first and foremost a marketer who caters to audiences around the world, sometimes to his own detriment.

The quality of his recent releases has often had doubt cast on them as songs such as Toosie Slide seemed to many to be a blatant attempt to join the viral dancing scene, while the recent successes such as WAP and Savage have a more authentic feel to them as neither mince their words.

Cardi B, having bust into the limelight in 2017 when  Bodak Yellow skyrocketed, is infamous for her lack of censorship and her ability to be express herself no matter what people have to comment on the matter. Similarly, Megan thee Stallion, Doja Cat and Cookiee Kawaii have all excelled on the Musical.ly heir, Tik-Tok, which is one of the quickly growing sure fire ways for a fruitful place in the Top 100 Charts.

Perhaps one of Champagne Papi’s downfalls is in his inability to be truly genuine in the face of pandering to the wider pop community and indulging his own bank account.

Alanna Cunnane

Image Credit: Dan Garcia, Flickr