New SOTBMusic: Some Thoughts on That @Drake Video

While Drake isn’t the first guy to place our beautiful Black queens and princesses up in the clouds and affirm that they’re awesome (even though, for real, the fact that that “needs” to be a thing is troubling in its own right), Drake is the one who placed a lot of folks people–especially young women–seem to look up to in his video. I mean, the video has everyone from Yara Shahidi (seen straight killing it in the screencap below) to Misty Copeland to Issa Rae. While I would’ve loved to see Zendaya in the video (because, as Drizzle Sez and I have discussed, she’s like a woman who young women should aspire to be like–even if they aren’t Black), it’s a cool video.

The song itself is kind of standard Drake fare, though, in the sense that it’s another Drake song where he’s like “damn, girl, you’re amazing. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise because I love what you stand for.” That’s great. We need that in a world where women are called out of their names in music–no, not just hip-hop–a huge chunk of the time. Hell, I, myself, am guilty of this at times (I’m not perfect).
However, I’m not that big of a fan of the brother using bounce music like he did. I love when bigger artists help push a localized sound, like when Lil’ Jon hopped on the Baltimore Club train with his remixes of DJ Class’s “I’m The Ish” and his work with LMFAO. I’m here for that. And you can argue that this is what Drake is doing with parts of “Nice For What.”I mean, he even gets a Big Freedia intro. It just feels…slightly forced, is all. Now, I know Drake’s been in love with N.O. culture for years, and–as a Baltimore-born, DMV-residing dude–I may can’t speak on the track sounding like “appropriation” or whatever; I’m not straight from there. But, as much as I like the track, the bounce feel on it–as it has on other Drake tracks–just feels a bit forced. It feels a teensy bit like when Calvin Harris came out with his I Created Disco LP in that people who don’t know any better are going to associate this sound with him and neglect the founders and movers/shakers of the original movement.
I rock with Drake, but whenever he trots out the bounce feel, it feels as inauthentic as his patois, like he’s just trying to capitalize on the success/the feel of it.
That’s just my two cents; the song and video are dope, overall, though. Just had to speak on some things about it.
Speed on the Beat

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