All Articles Tagged "drake"

Serious Question: Is There Room For Ghostwriters In Hip-Hop?

August 4th, 2015 - By Nneka Samuel
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Drake and Meek Mill


Even if you weren’t seeking it out, chances are the beef between Meek Mill and Drake found you.  It popped up in your Twitter feed, while you were updating your Facebook status, listening to the radio or chopping it up with a friend.  A gift from the meme gods, it’s the kind of online fodder that keeps on giving.  But for the 2.7 of you who have no clue as to what I’m talking about, here’s a brief recap. On Twitter, Meek Mill called Drake out for allegedly using a ghostwriter on his verse for their collaboration “R.I.C.O.” off Meek’s new album, Dreams Worth More Than Money.  Meek also told people to stop comparing him to Drizzy because, unlike Drake, he doesn’t “trick” his fans into believing the raps of an unknown author are his own.

In true beef fashion, Drake responded with not one, but two diss tracks, “Charged Up” and “Back to Back.” After referring to Drake’s efforts as “baby lotion soft,” Meek released “Wanna Know,” which, ironically, left fans wishing the Philly-born rapper employed the use of his own ghostwriter.  All of this back and forth raises a valid question: is it earth-shattering (or that much of a revelation for that matter) if a musical artist, a rapper specifically, uses a ghostwriter?

In a machismo-heavy genre of music like hip-hop that’s often all about keeping it 100, I understand the concerns and raised eyebrows that ghostwriting elicits.  In rap and hip-hop, your rep and your word are king.  But if 50 Cent or Rick Ross has taught us anything, it’s that you can’t take every word that comes out of a rapper’s mouth as a fact.  That applies to whether or not an artist penned their lyrics by themselves or had assistance.  Rappers, like any other artist, tell stories.  Storytelling – I’m not saying anything we don’t already know – can be rife with embellishments that progress a plot, sell a point, appeal to an audience, etc.  It’s called artistic license.  So just because you’re rapping about one thing, I as a musical consumer don’t have to believe that everything you’re saying is real or immediately assume it’s a fantastic tale.  And this, my friends, is called suspension of disbelief.

Some of our most treasured artists never wrote a word of some of their biggest hits. From Whitney Houston to Chaka Khan and Diana Ross – the list goes on and on.  Even if these artists employed writers, the love would still be there because fans fall for the voice.  It’s all about talent and delivery.  Yes, lyrics play a crucial role, but in the wrong hands, a well-written song can fall completely flat.

In music, regardless of the genre, ownership falls on the artist singing, or in this case, rapping on the track.  When most people hear a song they like, they don’t say, “I wonder who wrote this song.”  Rather, they ask, “Who sings this song?”  It’s the same reason in a band of equally talented artists, the lead singer is the one who garners most, if not all, of the attention.  They are both the visual and aural center, focus and hub; not the songwriter.

Let’s also remember that ghostwriters have been around forever and a day.  Their efforts are utilized in novels, screenwriting, songwriting – practically any written form.  And the world has neither stopped nor ended because they exist.  Ghostwriters punch up lyrics and dialogue. And who is to say that they’re behind entire songs and not just helping stuck lyricists with punchy lines and choruses? They help artists find their voice.  And they do it anonymously because either their contributions weren’t enough to garner a “written by” credit, because of the type of contract they signed, or because they’re part of a team created to take an artist to new heights (see Bad Boy’s Hitmen production team).  So even if Drake used a ghostwriter, is that cause to turn our backs on one of the most celebrated, chart-topping rappers in the game right now? Is it cause to get that bent out of shape? Does it destroy his cred, suddenly wipe the slate clean or strip the man of his obvious talents?  I don’t think so.

In my opinion, what makes a rapper or a music artist, in general, authentic is their unique spin on the music they present to the world. That includes their ability to adapt and grow as an artist.  Hip-hop has a bonus element of smart and clever wordplay that garners respect from fans young and old.  (Well, maybe not that old.)  And as we well know, rappers are given respect partly based on their ability to deliver on that front, along with other status-invoking accolades like their number of albums sold, freestyling abilities, mixtape popularity, and, as evidenced by Meek and Drake, beefs won.

Meek certainly garnered a lot of attention following his initial Twitter rant, but let’s not forget that music was at the center of those tweets.  Based on the delivery of the tracks we’ve heard from both him and Drake in the days following (which Meek even acknowledged sounded like Drake’s own words), I’d say Drizzy is the clear winner.  Ghostwriter be damned.


#WhoPeedOnDrake: How Meek Mill Is Winning This Beef

August 3rd, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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meek mill violations probation


Unpopular opinion: Meek Mill won the battle.

No, seriously. And I am not just saying this because I’m from Philly and want to give Meek the benefit of the doubt. I am saying this because I am from Philly (#TeamWhoPeedOnDrake) and I truly believe that he won.

Think about it: This “beef” supposedly all started with a couple of tweets in which Meek accused the Canadian singer of having a ghostwriter. In a genre of music, which values authenticity and writing one’s own poetry, an accusation like that has the potential to damage a career. The potential at least.

The reality is that most of the top rappers have either been accused of or have admitted to having other people write their rhymes. Heck, Rick Ross has been accused of ghostwriting his entire image, and he is still winning. The same for Drake, who back in 2009 was accused of faking the funk after appearing on New York’s Hot 97 and reading his “freestyle” off of his Blackberry phone. And despite being clowned relentlessly for a couple of months during that time, no one brings up the Blackberry incident today. Most fans appear to have forgotten.

Although having someone pen your joints is supposed to be a career killer, most rappers are able to bounce back. In particular, the popular ones like Drake. And that is why it made no sense for Drake to have responded. I mean, I’m not trying to disrespect the home team, but Meek is not really a household name. And although he recently released a No. 1 rap album, folks know him more for being Nicki Minaj’s boyfriend than they do for his music. In fact, the second most asked question by the general public in this rap beef (besides “Why Meek, why?”) is “Who is Meek Mill?”

Also, outside of the normal lot of gossip rags and rap magazines, very few were talking about what Meek said. Had Drake not responded, Mill’s entire Twitter tirade could have been another misfire in the air of people who get on Twitter and take shots. But Drake took the bait. And he didn’t just take the bait once, but he threw himself back in the ocean and took the bait one more time with a follow-up diss track.

By responding in such a heavy-handed and timely manner, Drake not only gave validity to the idea that what Meek Mill accused him of could have some truth to it, but he also made Meek more relevant than he had been before. As not only are the usual suspects like The Source and Vibe Magazine covering this story, but Entertainment Weekly, People, and CNN are talking about him as well. If anything, this beef has helped Meek’s career more than it hurt it.

Likewise, most fans of the genre likely had the Philly rapper as a long shot to win to begin with. Again, nothing against the home squad, but Meek as a rapper is average at best. It is not that he doesn’t have a decent flow, but his range of subject matter and even vocabulary is limited, at best. This is especially true when we compare him to Drake, who as a rapper is more thoughtful and introspective. In short, this beef wasn’t evenly yolked. And Drake “winning” this battle is the equivalent of a National Scripps champion “winning” in a spelling contest with Floyd Mayweather.

I get that Drake is tired of the Internet calling him “baby powder soft” and making fun of him singing on every song. And it is likely that he thought a successful win over a hood dude with a microphone would help him gain some street cred. But If Drake won this battle then it should be a win with an asterisk next to it. Meanwhile, the current G.O.A.T Kendrick Lamar hasn’t gotten a response yet, and he called Drake out about his lyrical abilities almost two years ago.

Crazy in Love: 15 Artists Who Collaborated With Their Boos On Hit Songs

July 30th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Image Source:

There’s always a special spark when two artists make love and art together. While the unions may not always last, the music lives on forever. Popular music is at its best when couples collaborate. Check out 15 artists who put their boos on the track and made beautiful (or at least decent) music together.

The Thirstiest, Most Hilarious Reactions To Drake’s Beard

July 8th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Chile. While some of us have always noticed and appreciated Drake’s fineness, this particular summer, homeboy is hitting on all cylinders. Your favorite rapper has not only gotten that summer glow that makes Black skin shimmer, he’s also been in the gym getting his body right and tight. And Lord knows we’ve taken notice. The beard is so powerful that PostBadBeards declared yesterday #AubreyAppreciationDay.

They messed up when they started asking women to send their reaction when they first saw the beard.

Check out some of the most hilarious reactions on the following pages.

15 Reasons To Follow Drake’s Dad On Instagram

June 9th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Instagram

Did you know that Drake’s dad is on Instagram? Dennis Graham’s 84K followers certainly do. He’s quickly becoming everyone’s favorite celebrity parent, and he uses his IG just like your everyday dad. And it’s adorably hilarious.

Move Over, Tidal! Drake Introduces Apple’s New Music Service

June 9th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

Forget Tidal! Drake is now endorsing Apple’s new streaming service, Connect, according to The Daily Beast. The service is part of a larger Apple Music offering.

“The new service will blend streaming, radio, music for purchase, and a social network all together,” says The Daily Beast. Its 24-hour radio station, Beats One, will be hosted by famous DJs from New York, San Francisco, and London.

It’s a synergistic relationship — the How About Now rapper got to announce his new album as he introduced Connect at Apple’s 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) and the tech giant gets a co-sign from a prominent rapper. Win-win.

“[Apple Connect] is something that simplifies everything for the modern musician like myself and the modern music consumer like you,” Drake said at WWDC in San Francisco on Monday. The Toronto rapper will be releasing his new album on Apple’s new streaming service.

Drake championed Connect for creating a platform for artists, signed or not, to directly reach their target music audience.

“Connect is slated to allow artists to interact with fans,” HipHopDX wrote. “The material will then link to social media and the artists’ websites.”

“Instead of having to post your stuff on these different and sometimes confusing places, it’s all in one place: Connect,” Drake said.

Our time now.

A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

Rumor has it that Apple Music expects to reel in 100 million users for the app, according to Business Insider. But not even Spotify, the industry leader in streaming music service, has those numbers — it only has 60 million active users and just 15 million of those are paid subscribers.

Apple sells 85 percent of all music downloads worldwide. But Spotify, in comparison, captures 86 percent of all music streams — and Apple is aiming for Spotify’s neck. As Business Insider, puts it, “Apple is trying to kill Spotify.”

As for Drake, it might have been a good thing he backed away from Tidal two days before its launch. According to Time, Apple Connect has an advantage over Spotify.

“The biggest advantage Apple Music will have is that […] it will be automatically installed when iPhone users upgrade to iOS 8.4 later this month.” If Apple converts enough trial users into paid subscribers, Spotify will topple down to second place. Apple Music will be a subscription service — $10 per month — but The Wall Street Journal crunches the numbers and finds that Apple customers tend to spend $30 per month to purchase music from iTunes. So those customers may see it as a bargain to spend their money on a music service rather than just a song.

Apple Music will launch in over 100 countries on June 30.

Image via Instagram

15 Must-See Summer Concerts

June 4th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Summer begins on June 21, but the summer concert season is already in full effect. From New York all the way to Los Angeles, let’s take a look at 15 concerts that are a must-see!    

Drake Ditched Becoming A Tidal Co-Owner Two Days Before It Launched

June 2nd, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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Drake Ditched


Billboard magazine is confirming that Drake and Pharrell are on board to partner with Apple on a different projects that will be introduced at next week’s 2015 Worldwide Developers Conference. At the same time, we’re also learning that Drake may have turned down the opportunity to be one of Tidal’s owners just a couple of days before the big press conference announcing the celebrity collaboration.

According to Billboard:

Jay Z confirmed that Iovine had been trying to poach the same artists he was courting for Tidal, telling Billboard in a March 30 Q&A: “I think that’s just his competitive nature, and I don’t know if he’s looking at the bigger picture: That it’s not about me and it’s not about him; it’s about the future of the music business.”

Yesterday, there was speculation that Drake would sign a deal with Apple for $19 million to work with its iTunes Radio service. However the nature of their involvement and how much Drizzy will get paid is up in the air. One source told the magazine, “Apple doesn’t normally pay artists for those types of collaborations.”

Apple has a new streaming service in the works, and likely hoped to make a big announcement on that front during the conference next week. However, there’s an ongoing investigation by  the Federal Trade Commission over allegations of antitrust practices that pressure music labels to force Spotify’s free streaming subscription shut down. At the same time, the iTunes revamp that’s expected is meant to be a direct competitor to Spotify, and the many other streaming services that have taken root in the past couple of years. With millions of music lovers out there — and millions of Apple stans — there’s definitely room for one more streaming service that gives the people what they want.

Did Drake make the right decision regarding Tidal?


This story was updated on June 4.

Apple (Could Be) In Talks With Drake For $19M DJ Gig

June 1st, 2015 - By Tonya Garcia
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Drake at Coachella. Credit:

Drake at Coachella.

The New York Post is reporting that Apple is talking to Drake to serve as a guest DJ for iTunes Radio. The job would come with a $19 million payout.

According to the Post‘s sources, the effort is in preparation for the company’s Worldwide Developer Conference taking place next week. The company wants to be able to offer a three-month free trial of its $10-per-month subscription service. The company would also like record companies to give them the rights to the music for free during that trial period.

Having Drake to curate music for users would be a draw to potential paying customers. Other musicians being considered for an Apple gig are Pharrell and David Guetta.

“The laughable request from the most valuable brand on the planet comes at a time when music buyers might opt to ditch the downloads in order to try a new free offering, creating a potential quarterly revenue shortfall for rights owners,” writes the Post.

It’s also one more indication of just how much the streaming music service industry is heating up. Tidal has been doing its best to get the word out and offer something different from what is already readily available to music lovers. The problem for many companies is getting consumers to pay for a subscription. Many people will listen to a couple of ads if it means they can listen to their music for free. So offering a value-added perk is where it seems companies are turning.

Do you have a favorite streaming service? Which one and why?

It’s Not Monday, But Drake Might Be Our #ManCrush

May 28th, 2015 - By Brande Victorian
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@ovojonnyroxx Tank got me working at the Palace!!!!! Push Pounds

A photo posted by champagnepapi (@champagnepapi) on

Every now and then you come across a post on Instagram that makes you pause and ask, hold up, is that such and such? Last night, this was that post.

I don’t know if it was the beard, or the newly forming abs, or the low-riding Calvin Klein boxers cleverly revealing that nice “V,” but when I saw this shirtless image of Drake lifting weights reposted on my timeline I was like dayuuuum daddy. (Not that I regularly call men who aren’t my father daddy, but you know what I’m saying.)

Somewhere out there I know there’s a woman saying, Drake been fine, and for those of you who already knew that, kudos. I, on the other hand, never really looked twice at Aubrey ’til a fellow friend reposted this pic with the hilarious caption, “That moment when K. Michelle’s song, ‘Drake Would Love Me,’ finally resonates with you,” and I was at home in my bed like yaaaaaaaaas.

So, for any woman who needs a little eye candy in their lives this Thursday and doesn’t already follow the Canadian rapper on IG or know that “Drake been fine,” this is for you. Enjoy! We see you workin’ Drizzy!