Coming off of your two worst projects since 2009 being released, arguably getting your throne taken by someone who has always been seen as the No. 2, having hundreds of claims of stealing lyrics and flows, and alienating your true fan base in the process by switching your entire style to a bland dancehall hit-making machine, what’s your next step?
If your name is Drake, A.K.A. Drizzy A.K.A. The 6 God A.K.A. The Boy A.K.A. *insert hundreds of other nicknames here,* you decided to release two of your biggest singles ever, along with verses on tracks that remind everyone you’re still one of the best rappers alive.
It started when you hopped on Lil Wayne’s remix to Jay-Z’s Family Feud, and rapped like it was 2010 all over again, giving fans a much-needed flash of your old self– but that was all it was, a flash, right?
Wrong. You decided to give a quick twelve bar to everyone’s favorite group, the Migos; rapping with the same charisma that made your verse on Kendrick Lamar’s 2012 hit Poetic Justice so much fun to listen to. Spoon feed an anonymous rapper in Blocboy JB a hit with Look Alive, kick-starting a career like you did with The Weeknd, PARTYNEXTDOOR, The Migos themselves, and so many other artists from 2011 to 2015 with guest verses and co-signs.
In between your guest verses, why not drop Diplomatic Immunity, a track that gives bars worthy of being held up against your classics like 5 AM in Toronto and Tuscan Leather. You know what? Why not drop another song the same night? Call it God’s Plan, it’ll become the biggest hit of your career, which is saying something, considering you’ve had 25 top ten hits, and the most ever top ten rap songs by an artist ever.
‘God’s Plan’ isn’t just a song anymore, it’s a movement, with a following bigger than some religions at this point. It’s become a go-to saying when something good happens to anyone and your neighborhood white girl’s favorite Instagram caption for all of summer. “I only love my bed and my momma, I’m sorry,” is going to be every man’s favorite saying for the rest of time; and the hugging meme from the music video is a go-to for every meme maestro’s account.
How do you choose to follow up a No. 1 hit? The only reasonable answer is another one. This time, get an infectious beat that anyone could move to carry the track. In fact, put out a music video too, maybe even a better one than God’s Plan put every famous female you can find in the video as well, for good measure. That’s sure to work.
Voila, like that, you’ve found the perfect balance in being an international superstar and pleasing your original fans, the ones that go-to your concerts and know every word to every song on Take Care.
So Drake, please, be your old self. It works. No one ever asked you to change, just evolve. Don’t let all this new found momentum turn into dust.
What do I expect after your announcement of Scorpion coming out in June? I expect the best Drake album yet. Learn from the awkward position you’ve put yourself the past two years, and capitalize. You’re the biggest thing in music culture by far now, which is a gift and a curse, if God’s Plan and Nice For What are any sign of what’s to come, I’m not worried at all about my expectations.