Drake Roundtable Discussion Presented By HipHopDX

Everybody has different opinions on Drake on the mic, off the mic and his #1 album "Take Care." After giving him "Mixtape of the Year" in '09, and mixed reviews since, the HipHopDX staff opens up.

Thanks to every one for tuning in to our roundtable discussing one of Hip Hop's favorite emcees and singers as of late, Drake. My name is Kathy Iandoli, Music Editor at HipHopDX. We have Jake Paine (Editor-in-Chief), Omar Burgess (Editor-At-Large) and Steven Horowitz (News Editor). We wanted to discuss [Take Care], and there's been a lot of back-and-forth on the rating, the reviewing of this album and what the public thinks about it. From a DX perspective, we're back-and-forth on this album - half fans, half critics. On [So Far Gone ], we made it the Mixtape of the Year in 2009. Take Care is now rated 3.5, and somewhere in between was Thank Me Later at 2.5 out of 5.

Listen to this discussion here .

Drake's Take Care

Kathy Iandoli: Let's get the dialogue going, as far as this [Take Care] album is concerned. Just overall, what did we think about it?

 

Jake Paine: I think Drake demonstrated a lot of growth with Take Care. I think that the things that we weren't ready for, as a Hip Hop audience with Thank Me Later, Drake executes very well. One of the things that I thought was cool with this album is its ability to fuse genre. I thought that last year we got a strong dose of that, both with Kanye [West's] My Beautiful Twisted Dark Fantasy as well as albums from Big Boi and The Roots, as far as just getting some Rock, getting some Electro, getting some Experiment/Noise-sounding records. The interesting thing is Drake took his budget and made a project that whether you love it or hate it, I feel is worth buying. It's an experience. In 2011, to pay $10 at Best Buy first-week or to get something for $16 later on at FYE, or you buy it on iTunes, you want an experience. And you want to make that decision. I think that's why we're all here talking about it today. I definitely commend Drake, 40 and Boi-1da on the growth demonstrated here. I don't think it's a classic album, but I think it's the biggest album so far this year.

Steven Horowitz: Personally, I actually really enjoy this album. Compared to Thank Me Later, I think he really showed a lot of risk. And I think that's important as an artist, particularly someone of Drake's stature. Emotionally and musically, this album is very risky. And I think it's very well executed to the point where both things really can't be needled. Emotionally, he's not afraid to talk about his experiences with women; he's not afraid to take it to places where other rappers might be too "gangster" or too "thug" to take it. Musically, this is a very patient album. At times it requires a lot of time; you need a lot of patience to get through this. The pay-off is great. There are certain tracks that you may not come back to again, but there are certain tracks that have a lot of punch. On the flip-side, I think the fact that some of these tracks amble on for six and a half minutes kinda detracts from the overall flow of the album. But that's part of taking a risk. People will enjoy it in some capacity, or they'll delete it from their iTunes play-list. I think being in the position Drake is in, that was a very smart and ambitious move to make.

Omar Burgess: I'd have to agree with Steven that he took a risk. Conceptually, I'm not necessarily mad at anything Drake did because he could've easily not taken those risks and still got a platinum album out of it. Other than taking the risk, and definitely opening up a conversation about how emotional a rapper is allowed to be, there are certain things that are on that album that I can't cosign, including but not limited to trying to make a ballad out of "Back That Ass Up" by Juvenile.

[Laughs]

Jake Paine: That's a good point.

Kathy Iandoli: I guess I'm gonna represent the female vote here. The thing I think about this album is that what Drake was doing was something that a lot of female rappers have done, and female artists. It seems like new territory, 'cause a guy is doing it. I cringe put to put them in the same sentence, but it is something similar to what Lauryn Hill did with The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. There was this balance of trying to appease the mainstream public, this use of slightly-out-of-tune instrumentation, and then just lamenting about a variety of topics, but still - falling in love, falling out of love, having problems with distrust in the industry and problems with fame and things like that. I don't think [Drake] is trail-blazing, but when you line him up next a rapper like 50 Cent or a Jay-Z, he's exposing this side of a man in his work, something that the greater public in Hip Hop isn't used to. I do think this album has a nice balance of things Drake fans, Pop fans and Rap fans can all collectively appreciate. But I think the interesting thing is, if you were to take those tracks, divide 'em up and hand 'em out to the respective fan-bases, those other fan-bases, would hate [each others' tracks]. So it's a total sound-clash in that respect. I'm sure the Pop audience shuns the Rap one, and vice versa. I think it's a formula Drake perfects; he did the same thing with Thank Me Later. So Far Gone was a little bit different because we were just getting to know this guy.

With Take Care, it's just total curiosity at this point. Would Drake go from a kid out to prove that he was more than just a sitcom-rapper to a kid who had this crazy amount of fame under Lil Wayne's cosign, now to this third project - we're wondering, what is he gonna say next? Which proves great for his career, that people were that curious. But at the same time, when you have that level of curiosity, it's only gonna leave people disappointed in the end. 'Cause they're always gonna think [that] either something really, really great is gonna happen on this next album or it's just gonna really, really suck.

Jake Paine: I want to take something Kathy said and pose a question. I have a theory. You take somebody like Jay-Z or Kanye West, and they make albums - especially in the iTunes era, they're trying to make music that doesn't have a runaway single. Obviously, it has a foot in the door at radio, and video but that you look at it as a bigger project. I think with Cash Money/Young Money, you look at Tha Carter IV, Tha Carter III, Take Care or even Nicki Minaj's Pink Friday, I feel that their formula is to try to appease as many people as possible with a third or fourth of the album [each]. Do you guys think that it's something that the A&Rs and artists over there are [deliberately doing]?

Kathy Iandoli: A lot of Hip Hop artists do this, where they make their street credability thrive on their B-sides. When you have something like Young Money, they're gonna have to do that in a different way, just 'cause of Lil Wayne's exposure, and now Nicki Minaj's and Drake's. Most rappers [do that]. I think the difference is [with most artists], there is no balance. In the aforementioned, it's so Pop, so sugary and so mainstream that album cuts look like this huge contrast. When you have people like Kanye West, who you mentioned, Kanye ... even though there are tracks that the public embraces, there's still an air of purity to the tracks. When you're dealing with people like Nicki Minaj, there's nothing really Hip Hop about "Super Bass" except for the fact that she's rapping on it, and they mention bass.

Steven Horowitz: Right. I'm not sure I exactly agree that this album kinda fits into that Young Money/Cash Money formula. You take a look at something like Tha Carter IV, and that just looks like it panders to mainstream tastes. You look at something like Take Care, and you'd be hard pressed to find a successful single that they put out. "Headlines" , it's not necessarily doing that well. That's no slight to Drake; the numbers just prove that. But you listen to the rest of the album, pick out how many songs really have potential as a mainstream single. Like maybe "Lord Knows" on urban radio; that's a very non-traditional single. You can say the same for the rest of the album; it definitely operates with its own sphere. I think once again, that speaks to the risk - he looked at this album as an album, not a single-driven album.

Omar Burgess: I'd agree. I don't think the pandering to different audiences is unique to Young Money. I've been very disappointed to a lot of albums compared to their mixtape counterparts this year. You can see it in Wiz Khalifa or Drake; artists are definitely under pressure from someone at the label to make that album a lot more palatable to different audiences.

Kathy Iandoli: Let's go backwards to So Far Gone. When that mixtape came out, people were hearing about Drake. He was doing random remixes of tracks. People knew he was this Canadian teen dream star-whatever. When So Far Gone came out, people were really, really impressed. We had no idea that a kid from television could spit like that. It seems like that mixtape, by the time Thank Me Later came out, they were disappointed by that; they wanted lightning to strike twice. By this third round, what did you guys see as far as Drake's progression?

Jake Paine: What I loved about So Far Gone is the same thing we're talking about right now. Drake kind of reaction to 808's & Heartbreak by Kanye West, I think, made talking about relationships in a tangible light really mainstream. That was only a mixtape, but it had singles. It was an emo-mixtape. Even though Drake was a Canadian star and this privileged guy, he was able to talk about things that most of us experienced. And at the same time, it had a Hip Hop backbone - he was talking about Slum Village, Phonte, Little Brother, these things. He was one of us. It walked the line between R&B and Hip Hop in a cool way - a way that I feel Frank Ocean does this year. What I didn't like, and my biggest problem with Drake is his arrogance. I feel that Drake, because he was so successful prior to having a record contract, he started bragging. [Recently], there's a debate about Drake vs. J. Cole. J. Cole's getting to that point too, where he's starting to brag. The success is trying to make [these guys] speak like a Jay-Z, a Kanye West or a Game, very early in their career. That egomaniacal stuff. With Drake, I felt like a lot of us - myself included, weren't ready to hear that. "Dude, humble yourself. Yes, you're on the best label commercially in Hip Hop, but keep that lightning in a bottle. Stay humble, stay tangible to all of us." When Thank Me Later came out, here's a dude talking about his watches, his cars, a different woman every night, and it just lost its soul.

Kathy Iandoli: Do you blame Drake for that or the landscape of Hip Hop? Remember when "Oochie Wally" came out? Everybody was like "Damn it, Nas." You know what the problem is, and Hip Hop has a really, really bad habit of doing it these days. As soon as you show any slight, slight lyrical dexterity, you get completely cosigned by some crazy veterans in the game. That does something to somebody's ego. The most successful artists in Hip Hop, in time, are the ones who are flocking to these newbies. We can't really blame [the new artists] for getting big heads over it and wanting to put it in the music. They're only a product of their new environment.

Steven Horowitz: Right. It's funny, because a lot of times people will say that every new artist's first album is like their entire lives leading up to that album. So they put everything into that album. So for someone like Drake, who was really trying to prove himself, and trying to break out of the Degrassi bubble, he really did put everything he had into [So Far Gone]. Like you were saying Kathy, he was trying to show that he was capable of being an artist. He had a lot to prove with that. With these next albums, the fame starts getting bigger and more illustrious, and he does start getting these cosigns. That does do something to your ego. He moves up from probably a tiny apartment in Toronto to a massive one. He's able to take care of his grandma; he talks about that on the album. These are great things. But at the same time, it does take its toll on the artist's ego, and I think it does play into how the audience looks at him and reacts to his music. If he's going to be going around and rapping about hangin' out with Jay-Z - which he doesn't; he's not a bragger, but he does talk about how wealth has changed him, how fame has changed him. You see how he reacts to everyday situations. It's probably different than when he was coming up in the game and still very humble and eager. People look at that kind of behavior and it affects the perception of the music. When we look at an album like Take Care, how can we look at it as a stand-alone body of work when we already know everything that's been going on in his life - regardless of whether or not he's a private person, he's entitled to live his own life, and he does. But we do know about these trysts with Rihanna. We see these things in the gossip blogs, and it really does change how we view his emotional capacity or his ability to make music. I do think that has an effect on the overall aesthetic of Drake.

Drake And A New Generation Of Privileged Rappers

Kathy Iandoli: The one that I did want to mention about Drake's ability to brag and whine at the same time is, remember that video when he was like 15 years old and he was crying to his mother that she didn't get him tuna-fish on a bagel? [Laughs] This isn't the fiber of his being. He wasn't exactly the most humble child. It's not like he came from a tent and all of a sudden moved into a mansion. This is a kid, for all intensive purposes, has been privileged since he was younger. He was a TV star, so the dreams and the aspirations were something that made So Far Gone so great, but it wasn't because he couldn't afford a watch before that mixtape dropped. He had access to these things. The thing that irks me about Drake now is, he's taking the same level of emotional distress that he had with So Far Gone and he's applying to it this openly-lavish lifestyle. And he's whining about nothing. "Uh, that stripper gave my leg a cramp!" [Laughs] "My Armani sweater's itching. I'm allergic to wool." Uh, we don't need to hear that. The things that made him emotionally accessible are now making him emotionally repulsive.

Omar Burgess: Good point. I think there might be something bigger going on, when you point out his upbringing. I can speak for myself, for the large part of Hip Hop history, the most successful artists came from the point of struggle. It seems that we're in this paradigm shift now - it's not just Drake now, but if I look at a lot of these suburban teenagers that come out all tatted up, they don't come from a place of struggle. And I don't necessarily begrudge them for that, but there's a definite shift if you look at the top 10 artists 10 years ago, how they grew up, versus the top 10 now.

Kathy Iandoli: That's definitely true. Here's the problem: God rest his soul, but Guru's dad was a judge. Look at Spike Lee. There's a certain degree of struggle that's been a part of Hip Hop's history. But it seems that as of the past maybe 10 years, those who are the "prolific" artists of that period are ones that didn't come from struggle. 'Cause the thing is, respect to Jay-Z, he did come from a place of struggle, but when you're making $10,000 a day on the corner, you're not struggling; you're dangerous, you're leading a [interesting] life, but you're not struggling. Stealing sewing machines to make Roc-A-Wear doesn't mean you're struggling. It means you're street-smart. I think it all relates back to Drake's tender factor. The lack of the masculinity is what makes this harder. If Drake appeared like this rugged dude, no one would wonder where he came from. Unless, of course, he was overly rugged.

Steven Horowitz: Even in this musical climate, I don't think struggle has to necessarily play into it. You look at an artist like J. Cole or you look at Drake and these new-jacks coming up, these guys are all privileged, and they rap about their personal experiences in relationships and I think of the younger generation that really gravitates towards these new rappers are relating to these things. Look at a tape like So Far Gone, a lot of people might not have related to "Houstonatlantavegas," which is about a stripper, and most can't relate that to their life, but he's talking about these experiences with women and talking about emotions that everybody goes through. I think that really is what makes him so relatable, and why people like him. To look at an album like Take Care, where it's re-contextualized, he's dealing with women who want to sleep with him but don't expect him to ever call again. It's a different type of relationship that the average joe, who bangs Wu-Tang, they're not gonna be able to relate to that kind of thing. They're not going to be able to look at the kind of relationships where people are trying to take advantage of you for your money or your connections. You listen to Take Care, and that's exactly what's going on. He's a little bit paranoid, he feels sorry for himself. On a basic level, people relate to this. And it sounds good, pitted against these emotional landscapes. Overall, I don't think the average person can relate to this, I think that's where he's airing into a negative territory. 

Kathy Iandoli: But look at Watch The Throne. I don't think anybody knows the designers that Kanye and Jay-Z mentioned.

Steven Horowitz: Right. But Hip Hop has been a materialistic thing. If you want to get into that, that's a whole different sphere. I think people love listening to a Jay-Z or a Kanye West because they do rap about these extravagant, great things and they're so gaudy and obnoxious with it. You listen to somebody like Drake, he's not rapping about Givenchy or designer labels. He's just not. He's trying to rap from a materialistic emotional perspective. I think that definitely takes you to a different zone.

Kathy Iandoli: Do you think Drake's rise in popularity and the content of his music is going to open the floodgates for a less harder version of Hip Hop, going forward for the new generation?

Omar Burgess: I think it already has... I'm not sayin' that in a disrespectful way. But last year, when I saw GQ crown Drake, Cudi and Wale as "gangsta-killers," and that's a very respected publication, that kinda sets the tone. There are other people in there who aspire to be that, saying, "Okay, that's the blueprint." And they're gonna push in that direction for better or worse.

Jake Paine: That's powerful. If I can jump in, I agree with Omar completely. I give Drake and Kanye and Kid Cudi a lot of credit - Wale too, but I don't see him as much a part of that - it's the Mr. Me Too's that blow me away. Like when people come around the corner and were hard rappers five years ago and all of a sudden are trying to "I'll have what he's having" into the Drake blueprint, that I cannot stand. As a publication, I think DX can't stand it. It's hard to always measure authenticity. But what I can say is that in the same way in the late '90s that Puffy and Bad Boy had their "shiny suit" reign and meanwhile Master P caame out with the tank and the basketball court, that also yielded Black Star, Company Flow, Stones Throw, Atmosphere, like... I always think what happens in the mainstream will make the underground and independents that much stronger. I'm really excited right now, because whether you're talking about Big K.R.I.T. or Roc Marciano or The Roots, there's some amazing music in the underground, that even if it's not considering Drake, it's a part of it for simply not subscribing to it.

Kathy Iandoli: It seems like a level playing field now. Big K.R.I.T is allowed to share a table now, with the legendary. That kind of camaraderie that happens between the different sects of Hip Hop right now, it allows these voices to become more prominent. That's where it becomes a gift and a curse in the case of someone like a Drake. Where you have a formula that The Roots have been perfecting for damn-near 20-something years, they're allowing people like Big K.R.I.T. to share that voice. On the flip-side, you have a Jay-Z and a Kanye West and a Lil Wayne allowing Drake to share that voice. It's passing the torch in a sense, the only difference is The Roots side of the spectrum is out-numbered. Everybody will try to choose the champagne over the orange soda. That's where there's an imbalance.

Drake Helping His Peers, While Accepting A Torch From His Elders' Cosigns

Jake Paine: One of the things I salute Drake to, I love the "Buried Alive" interlude on Take Care. Kendrick Lamar's definitely an artist that's emerged in the conversation this year that's kinda got one foot in the Drake door and one foot in the underground door, and Drake's aware of that. Even if it's entirely based on his relationship with J. Prince's son, I love the fact that pretty much every Rap-A-Lot release that comes out, Drake will be a part of - the same way Tech N9ne and Lil Wayne's relationship is. It is a more level playing field, but I agree with you, Kathy, as there's more bottles of champagne goin' around. Orange soda's filled up in the cooler still.

Steven Horowitz: Just to echo that point, with Drake or J. Cole or even a Wale, they really are being ushered into the upper-echelon of Rap. They're getting huge cosigns. They're selling as many records as [Watch The Throne]. They may not be selling as many concert tickets, but that's neither here nor there. Look at what Drake's been doing, his Club Paradise Tour, A$AP Rocky and Kendrick Lamar and Chase N' Cash, people are being given these opportunities - a hand to help them up. But they're also operating great in their own spheres. K-Dot is doing marvelously. He's still independent. A lot of these rappers are still independent; Big K.R.I.T. was doing it independent forever before he signed with Def Jam. All of these artists are getting the opportunity to take it to the next level; that also speaks to the major label system. But that's a whole other conversation. I do think it evens itself out now. You can have a Drake and a Kendrick Lamar on the same bill, and people are gonna like both artists. That's where Hip Hop is heading, thanks to a Drake or a J. Cole.

Kathy Iandoli: Do you think we're at this period now where you have to pass the baton? These guys are turning 40...

Steven Horowitz: These guys are still going strong. You look at the old school contingency, and they're still makin' money off this. Maybe they're making money off acting,  like Ice-T or Ice Cube or any of the Ices. [Laughs] These people are still in the game, and they're doing great and they're still in the game, not only 'cause they're giving these young guys the cosigns, but 'cause they're doing great on their own. I think it's a great reciprocal relationship.

Jake Paine: It's an area that I can give Drake credit [in]. Drake's musicality and his ability to sing and make softer tracks have allowed a longer end-game to other artists. You look at a Pharoahe Monch, who I don't think is reacting because of Drake, but his Desire album, to me, was as much singing as rapping. I don't think a Pharoahe Monch album, at 50, sounds good to me on paper. The same can be said of Phonte and Foreign Exchange or Heavy D, rest in peace. Heavy D was getting Grammy nominations for making a Reggae album [in Vibes] and at the time of his death, from my understanding, was making a R&B album. Queen Latifah, same way. Dre has brought the core Hip Hop fan to a place where they understand that emcees can rap their ass off and still do other things. Salute to Raekwon, but that might be a more likely end-game than being 40 and talking about being 25 and bagging up crack again.

Kathy Iandoli: [Laughs] That's true. We're presented with something interesting in Hip Hop. For so long it seemed that Hip Hop didn't come with a pension. You have these old wives tales and urban legends of rappers being taxi drivers and rappers needing bills paid, or rappers being homeless. It was a concern. The rappers of the '80s almost hit a ceiling in that respect. 'Cause what did you do after that? I think that this provided a lot of opportunities in the '90s, going into the new millenium. There is longevity going to that youthful glow in that records. It was always a young man's game till the old men started making the money. 

Omar Burgess: To speak to both of your points, I think Universal was the label that shelved Q-Tip's project when he tried to do the exact same thing Drake is doing, as far as expanding his profile, singing a bit more. They weren't havin' it.

Kathy Iandoli: That's 'cause Q-Tip wasn't in a wheel-chair on a TV show. 

Omar Burgess: It goes both ways. I can't front; a lot of the things I knock Drake for I love when Jay-Z does, when he's rapping about it on "Lucky Me" or "You Must Love Me."

Steven Horowitz: I think it's easy to hate on Drake. Obviously, if you read the tweets, you'll see plenty of that through any given day. It's easy to hate him 'cause he allows himself to be vulnerable and like I said at the beginning of this conversation, he likes to take risks. If that risk comes in the form of the Cosby sweater, so be it. He's opened himself up to criticism, and he's really self-aware of that. He really doesn't care. That makes him this really cool guy.

Jake Paine: Remember right before Jay-Z's The Blueprint, when everybody was taking shots, from Prodigy to Jayo Felony? It seems that with Take Care, it's starting to happen with Drake. Pusha T created a "did he mean or did he not mean" conversation with his freestyle. Hours ago, we watched Ludacris step into the ring. Do you think Drake is the biggest moving target in Hip Hop right now?

Kathy Iandoli: I think he's the easiest moving target in Hip Hop right now. It's like with Rick Ross, when they found out he was a [former correctional officer]. It's easy for a rapper to not have to do any homework when it comes to something like that. The thing with Drake, is there's always been these latent issues with his background, his life, his [image]. It's really easy to pluck from almost every aspect of Drake's life and find something to laugh at. Honestly, nothing about what Drake really represents is [surprising]. There were photos to prove Rick Ross [was a C.O.]. Drake just wore a sweater, and now it's become "Drake is sitting in his room, petting his kitten as he's watching Days Of Our Lives." It's all based upon a generation of people who are out to make memes, a generation of people who have a platform like Twitter to show off their inner-comedian. I don't think that there's things that Drake really does at the heart of it all, besides complaining about this horrible, horrible life that he has. It's mostly just imagination, and mostly just [exaggerating a really, really tiny fact] into an episode of The Office.

Omar Burgess: I say he makes himself a pretty easy target. Forgive me if this is nit-picking, but if you got played by Rihanna and you're walking around calling yourself a pimp, that's a violation. Heartfelt odes to strippers, that's a violation. That's not Pimp C-approved behavior. Stuff like that. It does make the conversation funny, but at the end of the day, it doesn't make him any more authentic than Rick Ross. I look at this stuff like professional wrestling. But if people want to take those pot-shots at him, Drake doesn't make it hard.

Kathy Iandoli: He also doesn't care. He doesn't care as much as somebody like Chris Brown. I don't see Drake [flipping out] on Good Morning America. I think that the difference between Drake and all these other guys is the level of media-training Drake has had since he was a kid. He's groomed for this shit.

Jake Paine: I've never met Drake. But every single person I talk to in this industry, you can literally be Pusha T, and from what I've heard, Drake is a true gentleman. I think back to when 50 Cent was the moving target. Unless you were signed to Murder Inc., I feel like you can walk up to 50. Think of all the times he has squabbles with Jay or Wayne or Puffy or Nas, and then they go make a song together.  Drake is the exact same way. Drake's apathy, I commend him for. Drake's most embarrassing things are fashion choices or breaking his leg on stage. I'll say it about Game. Game is one of my favorite rappers, but Game puts his foot in his mouth like 38 times a year. You really can't say that about Drake. He's admitted his mistakes in Thank Me Later, he missed out on putting Phonte on his albums, anything you can criticize him for, he'll basically shrug his shoulders and say, "You've got a point."

Steven Horowitz: I think that's because he has a sense of humor about himself. He doesn't take himself that seriously despite the fact that his music is incredibly serious. You take a look at someone like Kanye West after the whole Taylor Swiftgate happened. He was very apologetic for it. He made the music speak for itself. I think one of the more interesting things about his personality that makes this all interesting is that [Drake] is able to laugh at himself. When Kanye had [nude photos leak], he went on Angie Martinez' [HOT97] show and [admitted it] unapologetically. When you're able to not blow up over those sort of things, people are able to look at you as a normal person and not put you in the cross-hairs as much. Drake is really good at that too. Drake knows people are gonna make fun of him and pick apart everything - he knows people are gonna make fun of the fact that he likes to take candle-lit baths or he wants to start his own lavender bath salts line or whatever, but at the same time, you really can't hate on him, 'cause he's already hating on himself. That's what makes him such a really strong character.

Kathy Iandoli: Don't you think that's become a defense mechanism in Hip Hop ever since Eminem's final battle scene in 8 Mile?

Steven Horowitz: Exactly. That's what made 50 so invincible when he was a moving target, as Jake was saying. He told everyone about his life. He has nothing to hide. Drake's the same way. It's what makes them these bigger figures.

Jake Paine: Across Hip Hop. No matter whether you're talking about a self-deprecating Kendrick Lamar or you're signed to Cash Money or Bus Stop Records, humility and self-deprecation and being able to handle that is a driving force in being able to connect with your fans. Critics, fans, whoever have those things.

Omar Burgess: I look at this Take Care album album cover the same way 50 made Curtis after Cam'ron thought he was makin' fun of him, just to flip it around.

Jake Paine: Take Care does kinda look like Master P's MP da Last Don. There's so much jewelry and gold. It's very Liberace.

Kathy Iandoli: Pen and Pixel should be demanding their royalties. How did everybody hear about Drake? If you say Degrassi, this conversation's over.

Jake Paine: I didn't know Degrassi existed. I'd see the name of it on the TV listings and thought it was a finance show or something on Nickelodeon. The first time I heard of Drake was just days after So Far Gone released, just around Valentine's Day, 2009. Shake, from 2DopeBoyz.com, who was working at DX at the time as a Media Director, told me. I heard the tape. I was impressed and interested in hearing more.

Omar Burgess: It was So Far Gone. I will say after not liking So Far Gone, I went back and heard Comeback Season and Room For Improvement. I like those way better. I still listen to those today, that might just be a matter of personal taste though.

Kathy Iandoli: I would like to go on record and say I hated Drake from the moment I heard him. When he jumped on the Santigold track, at a time when I thought she was the wave of the future, when he was remixing these things. I remember he had his first showcase at S.O.B.'s and the line was wrapped around the block. Every person on that line looked like Jodie Sweetin from Full House. Who is this guy? It was one of those things that I put in the far, far back of my head because I refused to acknowledge his existence and then I ended up getting a job at a digital radio company. His track, "Forever" was one of the most frequently played on the air. "Who is he?" As a music journalist, you're supposed to know and care about these people. I was just like, "I can't take him. Why does he have so many important friends?" I finally, finally gave him a really listen when I heard "Over" . I had to go backwards. It was really technically "Over" that I acknowledged that Drake had a pulse.

Kathy Iandoli: What do we think are Drake's chances of becoming Top 5 Dead Or Alive?

Steven Horowitz: Hmm. Hmm. I think it's too early to tell. I didn't chime in [on the last question]. I'm looking at my iTunes, not to sound so self-important, but I definitely had The Comeback Season on my computer before I heard So Far Gone. I definitely listened to it. I think he's only three full projects deep. I don't think he's really reached his full potential. He's said it himself, he was disappointed in Thank Me Later. Take Care is a good album in my eyes, not every one agrees with me. He could tighten up certain things. He can maybe dig a lil' deeper. Maybe there's other things he hasn't touched on yet. I don't think you can put a time limit on when he's going to achieve what he's fully capable of. But I think he's shown enough that he might be capable of getting there years from now.

Omar Burgess: I'd agree with Steven. I think Drake is gonna create a new lane. I wouldn't put him on the Top 5 within the current lexicon, but I think we're witnessing some of the ideas about authenticity, privilege and what it means to be emotional in Hip Hop change right before our eyes. I think he's going to carve out his own niche and remain at the top of that class until he decides he doesn't wnat to rap anymore.

Jake Paine: I don't think that Drake will be a popular vote for the people that consistently ask each other "Top 5?" I think that Hip Hop is about five-to-10 year spans of domination. Jay-Z's seat is perhaps soon to be left empty - that's not a shot atJay, entering fatherhood. At this moment, I believe somebody like Big K.R.I.T. could be a Top 5 Dead Or Alive emcee, but he'll never reach the commercial success Drake has - I think Drake will be who we'll remember about this time in Hip Hop that we're living in. The same way we can remember 1998, Puff Daddy and Ma$e. I agree with you Omar, I hope Drake gets the credit he deserves in time. Maybe it's because I'm a much bigger fan of Kanye West, but 808's largely lathered up the face of Hip Hop that Drake has now shaved.

Kathy Iandoli: Thanks everybody for tuning into our discussion. Wanted to give an extra thanks to our producer, Mike Sheehan, for handling this whole roundtable and recording and production. Take Care is available now.

Purchase Music by Drake

Follow HipHopDX Editorial Staff on Twitter (Kathy Iandoli - @Kath3000, Jake Paine - @Citizen__Paine, Omar Burgess - @FourFingerRings and Steven Horowitz - @SPeriod)

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248 Comments

  • Anonymous

    i wanna rape drake. i feel like he'd like it STAN

  • Zach

    there are sure a lot of perverts commenting on Drake all d time....always talking bout him being a faggot nd sucking dick...u guys shuld jst quit it....for sum1 to even think of dat shit means they're d ones dat need to b checked...Drake is an amazing artist...hes doing a lot of innovative things...hw many artists can get stevie wonder on their record???look im a kid in Nigeria living in an even more obscure place called Zaria nd drake still reaches out to me with his music...that says a lot.drizzy always tries to bring his A game on hard hitting rap tracks even he gets bodied sme times e.g light up ft Jay Z...but hey even the best can get shown up on their own tracks e.g renegade (sorry jay)...so give it up for d dude nd quit hatin or wateva u term it

  • Chad Bernard

    Dear Hip Hop dx, The next time you do a roundtable it would be an idea to get people of differing opinions on the panel. It would appear the editors are afraid to offend. There are way to many people that don't like this album for nobody on the panel to at least play devils advocate.

  • superswvggedout

    thorough review of Drake's Take Care http://passedpresent.blogspot.com/2011/11/album-review-take-care.html

  • MCEIHTDJQUIKEAZYEDRDRE

    SMIF N WESSON SOUND BWOY BURIAL OH YEAH DRAKE SOUNDS LIKE A WHITE PERSON FROM TORONTO

  • C.Wright.Thru.

    Bless Drake! Fuck all the wack shit he does, however!

  • king Kong

    I'm not a fan or a hater of Drake, if you like him cool, if you don't then you don't. I have a gripe against Kathy. Just because a man, namely Jay-Z, was making 10k a week selling crack does not mean he is not struggling. To struggle does not mean you have a lack of money or monetary things. Here's a lesson, "struggle - to proceed with difficulty or with great effort." Taken from Miriam Websters' website. Everyone struggles in their own way, whether you're a millionaire or living from pay check to pay check. Speaking on Drake. He's too emotional for my tastes and too cocky for only being a few years in the game. Too many times these young cats come out and disrespect the older generation or they think they're the first to do it. He needs a hip hop history lesson.

  • Gulley

    This is not a roundtable discussion, its more like a blatant PR spin of mixed reviews(at best) of his sophmore album. Drake is not the most horrible rapper I heard but he is not the best either. It doesn't matter if Jay-Z or Nas or any other Hip-hip "Icon" cosigns him or not, I reserve the right to listen and think for myself... Some of these so called "hip-hop journalist" should try doing the same.

  • swiss

    yall check me out..Real Music http://www.hotnewhiphop.com/swiss-y-o-l-o-mixtape.34880.html

  • 80s baby

    i'm usually against hatin but FUCK DRAKE!

  • Anonymous

    i bearly even heard this nigga ...you the fucking best, best i ever had!

  • LOL QQ

    SO MANY HATERS!!!!!!!

  • ben

    "It's really easy to pluck from almost every aspect of Drake's life and find something to laugh at." lol

  • Edi Kajmolli

    took a risk? are you fucking seriouss!!!!????? dick riding fucking idiots agreeing on stupid shit wtff are they talking about? And yes i stopped reading after they all agreed that this he matured and took a risk in this album and that we werent "ready" for this... GET THE FUCK OUTTA HEREE!!! drake can eat a fat dick lil bitch ass nigga

    • guerilla jones

      ...hmm you most def took a risk putting a pic of you and that faggot looking dude up as your profile pic...but you redeemed yourself by giving Drake permission to put "A" penis in his mouth.

  • Ali Lafayette Rhea

    No question the kid is nice and no doubt he gets busy- I'm not talking about him but Ali Lafayette Rhea. One Love

  • Anonymous

    Hey DX, how much does this fake mother fucker pay yall to put his face on your front page every fucking day??? Can we please hear about some hip-hop??

  • Anonymous

    I would love to take a shit on Drakes fucking pussy face.

  • Money First

    Straight Garbage read!!! You know its funny to me how everybody has an opinion on how somebody's damn life should have been to get into hip-hop music.."If you didn't struggle hard enough as a kid you are not real!" Seriously? Man my family struggled and we had good times where my mother was able to pay for private school but we still lived in the war zone which was a serious contrast cuz' I was living 2 lives but none of my friends on my block could relate. I saw and did things that none of my private school friends could relate to either so should I be judged unfairly by both? Bullshit!!! Man people get over yourselves cause if you could have had a good upbringing like Drake or anybody else and had the same advantages, most of you would be grateful as hell for your success and not judging others! This includes all of these wack ass industry execs and journalists/radio/TV people!!!! GTFOH!!!!

    • jg

      LLMAAAOO. WORD. or your mom is straight stupid. Wtf would a broke family pay to put their kids in private school!? dont they know they should be saving that shit for college?

    • stephan

      You went to private school stfu You probably saw 2 squirrels scrap for some food and think your block is hood now

  • Fado

    Cee lo Green was rapping and singing faaar before Drake. Andre 3000 has been mixing HipHop and R&B throughout the decade. Stop acting like Drake is an innovator, this is why Ludacris dropped badaboom for people like yall. I just like good hip-hop. I think its pointless to try and categorize what we call music. Thats why we have 100's of thousands of genres and sub genres. HipHop is a specific culture, so to say hiphop music implies the music exist and thrives within that culture which isn't true. its rapping cus not all rap songs are popular within the hiphop culture. Rap is being produced by the hipster culture (Odd Future, Kreayshawn) its being produced by cultures all over the world. HipHop and rapping arnt synonymous rapping was just born from HipHop. rapping is now an adult and its having sex all over the world. The apple fell far from the tree. get over it. Peace.

  • room2roam

    i didnt read this. i dont know any of the ppl so imo their opinion is about as important as mines. just wanted to state that the fact that this is even an article and it has about 200 comments proves drake is winning. most people in this world are fans of other music outside of hip hop. thats why other genres outsell hip hop. the things y'all hate about drake is actually whats going to keep him around for a long time. the attention he gets from fans and non-fans and haters is all good for him. no fan of drake is going to stop liking/listening to him bc of a random persons opinion, especially something like he sings too much or calling some1 gay for listening to him. drake came in the game singing. he would be stupid to switch up a working formula...the only issue here is if you dont like what drakes doin instead of over-analyzing it move on and find an artist you do like.dam i didnt mean to write that much

  • Anonymous

    That's everyones problem with this nigga he's a poser. A wolf in sheep's clothing. And the real heads can see that. So him coming out claiming he a rapper and acting like hes better than some of illest niggas he brought all the hatin on himself. Cause us real heads can see right through this dude. And only reason why he gets away is these kids are bunch followers and no game having ass niggas who need this posers to get some pussy.

  • Mr Flamboyant

    Man it was difficult trying to read this bull. How much abuse can a nigga take? Stop trying to over analyze Drake. It's not that serious. He's a privileged kid that complains and cries too damn much. He's an R&B singer posing as a rapper. He'll be out of sight out of mind in 3 to 5. Hell...they might even have a new nigga next year.

  • musik

    i love r&b and this guy does it well.

  • I stay high...not really, but you know.

    Two things and I'm done: 1. Why does everyone need to put a genre on everything? IF you wanna say Hip Hop....what IF I just want to say Music. I don't give a fuck what someone claims to be, other than an artist/musician. If you don't like the music (like myself), then just say you don't with a brief (logical) explanation. Not because you thought it would be Hip Hop but it sounds more like R&B. State your opinion and why, then move on. This goes to everyone wasting time debating this (me included). 2. How the fuck? Do they have so many editors, yet their site has the worst grammar, ever. Brutal.

  • Hudes

    @BAWSE... listen brotha your going too hard for drake ok? First things first, those 2 mos def songs you mentioned were not even on the cd that Im talking about. Im talking about the CLASSIC LP BLACK ON BOTH SIDES, you can't dispute that one son sorry. and on another note, stop saying Raekwon and Ghostface never grew up hard, have you ever heard of the fucking PARK HILL projects? Half the Wu grew up there, the other half all hung out there. RZA has said MANY MANY times that when he was deciding who was gonna be in Wu-Tang he had to make sure that each of them had been through some shit.. and that's some NY shit too, not like in T.Dot where no where close to 25% the people got guns. (if that... and we all know what America's 2nd Amendment is) not that it matters, it really doesn't. thats not my point, (that drakes not hard or whatever, he's fine how he is, i never said his image is bad, i claim his music isn't where it should be- IF your calling it hip hop) i would listen to rae if he were from T dot, in fact a buddy of mine saw Rae buying shoes at Bayview Village (not where im from thats a real nice area) the same night as Rock the Bells was in Toronto. Rae said he had a studio here. Point is, just cause I'm from Toronto doesn't mean I have to like Drake. I already said this, if his beats were LIVE then maybe.. yeah he's had a couple good songs, most of them are all old or features on other peoples songs and thats my fucking opinion. im done talking about drake. OUR MAIN ARGUMENT IS THAT HE's GETTING CREDIT FOR HIP HOP WHEN HE SHOULD BE GETTING RESPECT AT RnBDX.com

    • DavidDanielz

      Look, I have no idea wg=ho you guys are working for put I am not allowing you to compare Biggie or Jay or anyone else in hip-hop to Drake. I was around in that area of hiphop and the respect they have was and is different. Drake is a pop-hiphop artist. You would be best in comparing him to Ja Rule. He has no background worth discussing (which doesn't mean he has to have killed someone or sold drugs) but his a gimmick that never last long. The problem with Drake is his mouth. He makes reckless statements and people listen to that and with good reason calls him on it. If he would just be true to myself and then people would leave him alone. Bottom line is, he is not a real hiphop. anaever will be.

    • UNO

      My bad. posted in the wrong section

    • UNO

      Hey man I wasnt saying Hip-hop needs gimmicks gimmicks suck - but originality is a trait of all the stand-out artists. And naw, I dont want originality to compromise quality. IMO, Drake has both in spades. The WU were completely original at the time AND talented. Biggie was also both. Its ironic that you mention Ready to Die which at the time, received the same sort of jabs that Drake is getting. I mean, many hiphop headz hated Puffy/Biggie because of the R&B-fusion, the West-Coast feel to a NY record, champagne-sipping images etc. Biggie was dismissed by many as pop. The Roots made Do What They Do, just to ridicule the Puffy/Biggie era. And BTW, Otis Redding is played today and remembered because at the time, he was innovative AND a quality artist. Soul music had plenty of hatred and people who dismissed it as talentless. But anyways, history will judge Drake. All those albums you mentioned are 15+ years old. Id argue a lot of them have the same traits as Drakes work, in terms of innovation AND quality. In fact, Id argue with you that the great albums that are remembered are almost always unique AND quality. Thats why they stand the test of time they are very hard to duplicate and/or they are so influential everyone tries to imitate them. As for Drake doing nothing new and his producer/Drake relationship, Drake clearly has a very collaborative/leadership approach to the creation process that much is known. I think the proof is in the pudding, man. If Drake was doing nothing new, why all the hate? haters wouldnt get mad at Drake if he made regular hip-hop. What makes Drake unique (and at the same time, purists fearful): (1) his sound very down-beat and dark (2) his sensitivity or emo-style (as they say) (3) his heavy attachments to melody raps/hooks/R$B fusion etc. I could go on. Just take a track like Headlines. Thats just not a beat anyone can spit over and come up with similar results. There had to be a collaboration with the production team because so much of it is based on melodies and hooks. Take a track like Marvins Room thats a very unique song. Youre never really sure when he is going to start rapping or going to back to singing. Id say the same about Im on One. Marvins Room stands out because it is more honest, vulnerable, gets deep into his thoughts. Plus its got the kind of chorus Ive never heard in R&B/hip-hop before. The whole style of the song is just unusual. He kind of admits to being a loser and a narcissistic chump, phony-bragging just to get a chicks attention. Who does that? Ja Rule never even came close. Id argue 2pac comes closest. Its not just bubble-gum pop. Plus the structure and style of the song from the phone calls interceptions to the raps down to the piano at the end is just out there. At any rate, at the very least, thats just not what I would call un-talented. Artists like Mase could never even dream of writing such a song and neither could Ja Rule. Their music is more surface. Go ahead and dislike it thats fair - everyone has their own taste - but I think it is a lil foolish to assume it takes little talent or Drake is just some regular hot-at-the-moment artist. Most pop artists dont have the level of depth/complexity. Anyways, I get a lot of criticism directed at Drake because its really just the whole Puffy/Biggie updated /re-visited but my problem with it, is when people start saying the kid has no talent. I mean, you can hate the music but to me, you cant deny talent. My opinion is most of the hate stems from the perception that he is some rich kid making hip-hop rather than coming from the so-called struggle (which is really just a mythology in hip-hop anyways). Anyways, Ill let you be. I dont think Ill have any luck convincing you. History will judge Drake. Our opinions just differ. So be it.

    • Hudes

      yo BAWSE I just woke up homie, so i skimmed through your message.. got a just of what your are saying.. your argument is that other rappers/groups have been criticized the moment they came out but were later labeled "the greats" or whatever. My argument is that they all had hip hop beats. anyway.. you like Black Moon?/Boot Camp? shit i saw them 3 times at the opera house homie. ps. Guru grew up in Boston and yes his dad was a judge with money and power but he left all that to goto Brooklyn by himself to pursue rap. He had nothing. Freddie Foxx says it on the interlude of Moment of Truth album (gangstarr's only GOLD) either way none of that matters, i just had to correct some of your mistakes. but yeah man.. everyone got they own opinion.

    • BAWSE

      @ Hudes. Whoa. You are confused. First, I never claimed Ghostface and the WU are not hard or from the projects. Of course, not. My point was Ghostface / Raekwon were criticized for their mafiaso references on Cuban Linx at the time because everyone knew they were exagerrating their Italian mafia connections to make a cool gangsta album. (De La Soul criticized them on "Stakes are High") My point was no one questions the authenticity of these references these days because no one messes with these legends. If Drake made any un-legit reference like this, all hell would break loose because Drake critics have an exagerrated need for authenticty when it comes to analyzing his music and hip-hop as if every legend is some gangsta from the hood. Its just not true. Everyone knows Dr. Dre famously said "its just entertainment". In addition, artists like Guru and Rakim make many street references but both grew up probably wealthier than Drake whose similar middle-class upbringing has been exaggerated by his haters as "priveleged". Multiple publications indicate Drake grew up on one floor of duplex - thats not super-wealthy by any means. Your criticism of Drake "not being hip-hop" is nothing new. Its just part of a cycle where traditional backpackers hell bent on regression are holding on to the past fearful of anything innovative in the music. They said the same about Puffy / Biggie when they starting lacing NY hip-hop with R&B hooks in their choruses. Jeru / The Roots/ OGC pretty much took direct swipes at Biggie. NWA was ridiculed because they were gangsta. Many hip-hop heads at the time said hip-hop is not gangsta. De La Soul / Tribe were laughed at by hater as geeky nerds. Later, in NYC, they said (and still sometimes) say Southern hip-hop is not authentic because it doesnt have New York accents and typical NY word-play. Eminem was criticized so much he had to destroy the Source to get his proper respect. All of this is all an old arguement. Drake is simply next in line. Everytime, a newcomer comes and changes the landscape to innovate this music, all the traditionalists are quick to dismiss it trying to hold on to the past. But the fact, all the legends respect Drake and like his music: KRS-One, Nas, Jay-Z, Premier etc. are all fans. Ultimately, hip-hop will have to make a choice, if it wants to grow like rock-music and except multiple styles and definitons or if it is going remain stuck with strict definitions and therefore, become like disco and funk - a music distinguished by a time-line and an era. Im for a more open definition, even though in the 90s I was (like most Drake haters) not especially in love with R$B hooks in my hip-hop and pretty much hating anything on the radio. In my opinion, this music is much better accepting different styles. Thats how it was in the 80s. If you heard hip-hop in the 80s, none of that progression would be allowed today because you have these purists which are hell-bent on allowing zero innovation. Most tracks on Take Care have straight rhyming hip-hop versus R&B. What makes the artist innovative is the mixture of the two genres. And BTW, MOS's album is good. It is not an indisputable classic in my opinion. Everyone has their own opinion. You talk like its Midnight Marauders or Enta Da Stage. It was not that innovative in my opinion. His first two singles were better IMO. I prefered those tracks to the whole entire album (Mathematics aside).

  • Chad Bernard

    The reason I think Drake causes so many differing opinions is that he started off as hip hop artist and has changed to an r&b artist. The hip hop fans are turned off by him trying to call himself a hip hop artist. Lyrically he is nothing special he isnt bad but he is nothing like a Phonte who can talk about all kinds of real life situation and not seem like he is whining. If he was lyrically more clever that would make a difference. The singing I think Kayne and Phonte have proven that if done properly people will still continue to stick with you as a hip hop artist. Now if you wanna call whining about success and tough times with women a lane then he is creating his own. Otherwise all rappers talk about there life experience, what drake hasn't learned to do is make it make it sound mature and not like a spoiled kid. I am not Drake hater I am from Toronto and have followed him before So Far Gone. This is just opinion but to me he isn't the same artist that he started out to be. R&B is cool and singing your own hooks and even singing a whole album like Kayne and Phonte have done is cool. I just think that he has done a poor job mixing it up. R&B is not all soft music there is uptempo fun music. There is no variety to sound its all the same .Sure there will be a couple tracks people will like but its a good album or one in ten years you will be able to listen to, that is a 5/5 album. Drake will last no longer than any other hot right now rapper if he cant produce more substance is his music its that simple.

    • Chad Bernard

      I agree I wont change your mind anymore than you will change mine. For the record I do not hate Drake and I do not think he isn't talented. I just think that he is more more Tracy Mcgrady than Michael Jordan. More style than substance. In the end as you said time will tell. It was nice debating with an intelligent fan of the music even if we can't agree.

    • UNO

      Hey man I wasnt saying Hip-hop needs gimmicks gimmicks suck - but originality is a trait of all the stand-out artists. And naw, I dont want originality to compromise quality. IMO, Drake has both in spades. The WU were completely original at the time AND talented. Biggie was also both. Its ironic that you mention Ready to Die which at the time, received the same sort of jabs that Drake is getting. I mean, many hiphop headz hated Puffy/Biggie because of the R&B-fusion, the West-Coast feel to a NY record, champagne-sipping images etc. Biggie was dismissed by many as pop. The Roots made Do What They Do, just to ridicule the Puffy/Biggie era. And BTW, Otis Redding is played today and remembered because at the time, he was innovative AND a quality artist. Soul music had plenty of hatred and people who dismissed it as talentless. But anyways, history will judge Drake. All those albums you mentioned are 15+ years old. Id argue a lot of them have the same traits as Drakes work, in terms of innovation AND quality. In fact, Id argue with you that the great albums that are remembered are almost always unique AND quality. Thats why they stand the test of time they are very hard to duplicate and/or they are so influential everyone tries to imitate them. As for Drake doing nothing new and his producer/Drake relationship, Drake clearly has a very collaborative/leadership approach to the creation process that much is known. I think the proof is in the pudding, man. If Drake was doing nothing new, why all the hate? haters wouldnt get mad at Drake if he made regular hip-hop. What makes Drake unique (and at the same time, purists fearful): (1) his sound very down-beat and dark (2) his sensitivity or emo-style (as they say) (3) his heavy attachments to melody raps/hooks/R$B fusion etc. I could go on. Just take a track like Headlines. Thats just not a beat anyone can spit over and come up with similar results. There had to be a collaboration with the production team because so much of it is based on melodies and hooks. Take a track like Marvins Room thats a very unique song. Youre never really sure when he is going to start rapping or going to back to singing. Id say the same about Im on One. Marvins Room stands out because it is more honest, vulnerable, gets deep into his thoughts. Plus its got the kind of chorus Ive never heard in R&B/hip-hop before. The whole style of the song is just unusual. He kind of admits to being a loser and a narcissistic chump, phony-bragging just to get a chicks attention. Who does that? Ja Rule never even came close. Id argue 2pac comes closest. Its not just bubble-gum pop. Plus the structure and style of the song from the phone calls interceptions to the raps down to the piano at the end is just out there. At any rate, at the very least, thats just not what I would call un-talented. Artists like Mase could never even dream of writing such a song and neither could Ja Rule. Their music is more surface. Go ahead and dislike it thats fair - everyone has their own taste - but I think it is a lil foolish to assume it takes little talent or Drake is just some regular hot-at-the-moment artist. Most pop artists dont have the level of depth/complexity. Anyways, I get a lot of criticism directed at Drake because its really just the whole Puffy/Biggie updated /re-visited but my problem with it, is when people start saying the kid has no talent. I mean, you can hate the music but to me, you cant deny talent. My opinion is most of the hate stems from the perception that he is some rich kid making hip-hop rather than coming from the so-called struggle (which is really just a mythology in hip-hop anyways). Anyways, Ill let you be. I dont think Ill have any luck convincing you. History will judge Drake. Our opinions just differ. So be it.

    • Anonymous

      Uno I respect your knowledge of hip hop,but you right I can't say I agree with much of what you say. In terms of innovation I am not sure why Drake is getting credit for his sound as if he is the one creating the production. On this album he gets 2 co-production nods with his boy 40. I do not think many would call what Drake is doing "spitting" on this album either. He does ok on the album nothing special a good line hear and there but nothing that sticks out.In terms of him and Phonte they have been on a track together and to say the least Drake came out third best because Ehlzi was on the track too. Because your friends can imitate Phonte flow better doesn't mean a thing I would doubt that they would dare verse for verse with him.You make it sound like standard hip hop is now bad and we need gimmicks. Yes we do need diversity but I am not gonna make it seem like just cause Drake is different he is better. Doing soulful music isn't a bad thing, wordplay isn't a bad thing etc. It seems to me you want variety over quality. You want the envelope pushed at expense of the art. What lets you be able to listen to "ready to die" or " reasonable doubt" well over 10 years after their release is the quality of the artist and what he was saying, not how well pushed the envelope. Its the same reason Otis Redding is still being sampled today it is damn good music. You seem to believe that Drake is doing something special. I am not sure what that is. Its not that he sings on tracks that has been done, sonically he is not doing something unheard of so I am lost. His arrangements are well thought out but how much of that is him and how much is that his producer. Him working with 40 is no different than Phonte and 9th wonder. They could do it in their sleep. Drake has taken on the soft side of hip hop. Where majority of guys play the harder role, he has come with the vulnerable side. Its a nice niche but as with anything it a niche that will fill up fast. Take Care lacks variety if you take out a hand full of tracks it could be played in an elevator and would just fill in as background music. I know that Drake doesn't need to be an insane lyricists. I ask you this though a and I challenge you to play this album like you can 36 chambers now, in 15 years. You won't be able to, the album will not stand up over time there is a lack of substance there that people today won't admit for some reason.

    • UNO

      True enough, good sales do not always = a great artist and plenty of good artists do not sell. But the opposite is also true- plenty of artists in the underground are over-rated (or less talented) and plenty will be even less likely to be remembered as the years pass especially if they were not innovative/distinctive and carve their own lane. Ive been following alot of underground artists over the years. I mean, lets be clear: I tend to listen to underground artists by default becuase thats where the innovation is. So my choice of music tends towards Ghostface, MF Doom, Shabbaz Palaces etc. So I do not ascribe to pop sensibilities at all when listening to music. I listen to good music regardless if sales are good or bad. Sure, I listened to Drake when he was underground just as I did Eminem, Mos Def, Black Moon etc. But I think, he changed it up and made it better to me in later years. I dig Phonte and Little Brother but to me, naw, I dont think he is as talented as Drake. Sorry, just being honest. I got friends who can spit close to Phonte's style whereas I dont have any friends who could do what Drake is doing - especially creatively. They just couldnt. They dont have the same ideas/concepts/arrangement ideas etc. I will give Phonte good points for lyrics but his flow, production? Frankly, I find many aspects of his music to be very conventional. Ive heard it all before. Chorus, Hook, Chorus, Hook...etc. Its good and he does it well, dont get me wrong but it just sounds like the same tired hip-hop I heard 12 years ago. I mean, exactly the same. Drake, however, has clever hooks and song arrangements which are much more complex, different and unique. He moves between singing-MCing in a way that I find unique. I understand many people in here would scoff at that but Drake is just a talented unique song-writer. Its much harder to do new stuff than follow any specific formula. This is why Drake is not going anywhere. He's just too talented. This why you see his tracks like Marvins Room, Trust Issues and Take Care imitated by the likes of Chris Brown and Florence and the Machine. Its just another level of songwriting that even established major artists around the world can appreciate because they understand what he is doing and it aint easy. They are in envy. Dont you think, it says something when Kanye (an amazing talented artist by all measures who really revolutionized hip-hop) has profressed he wished he could make a Drake song? Dont you think you could be overlooking something? Im not saying "liking his music". I mean, I dont like Lady Gaga and Pearl Jam but I know those guys are crazy-talented. Id be a fool to think otherwise. Its just obvious. It cant be denied. A lot of underground artists do not sound as innovative/different enough to have a strong lasting impact as their predecessors that they are imitating. Like when when one's listen to a Phonte album, I doubt most fellow artists think, wow, I need to change my whole approach to production (and I dont mean, because of his low sales). Its because its pretty-much standard traditional hip-hop that weve heard for the last 15 years. The approach is known. Its good but its safer. It plays by the accepted rules. When I was kid when I picked up Wu-Tang, Biggie, Native Tongue stuff, Pharacyde, Cypress Hill, Gang Starr, Beastie Boys, Busta, Black Moon, Public Enemy, Rakim, etc. - nobody sounded like any of those artists. Their content and their approach were completely different and unique from one another. A lot of these underground acts are just not breaking new ground. Some can spit but I dont see any innovation - the same tired soul samples and NY wordplay. Even The Roots (who is another sort-of-underground fave) makes pretty conventional hip-hop alot of the time but at least, they push the bondaries a bit and the fact, that there are a band with live instruments makes them unique. I am hoping Jay Electronica does not dissapoint. He's trying to push the envelope more. I like his music and he has the right approach but I am also fearful he will do the same - NY-style wordplay, conventional soul samples etc. I understand there is a crowd which loves that stuff but its just so typical. Odd Future are probably less talented than Jay Electronica but they are pushing the envelope more. Right now, Id say Odd Future have a better chance of having an impact on the music like Drake. I can look at ASAP Rocky and be like, yeah, that artist would probably would not have as strong a following if not for Drake. Drake made it cool for East Coast artists to swing Houston accents. One could even say Frank Ocean wouldnt be around if not for Drake. So Drake's impact is already reverberating. You mention these artists like KRS-One and Rakim as if that is the equivalent of Exhibit C by Jay Electronica. Im sorry man, I would disagree completely. Exhibit C is a great track, I listened to it alot when it came out but KRS-ONe was doing stuff like Black Cop/Bridge is Over, man. That stuff was crazy when it came out. Like no one else. It changed the game - nothing sounded like it. You can dislike Drake or whatever but to me, he fits more in that tradition of innovation and pushing the boundaries of hip-hop. He's challenging the status quo. He may not be the greatest lyricist but he is better than most. They used to the same about Jay-Z lyrics-wise because he sounded more simple but like Drake, he carries alot of double-meanings for both the lyric geeks and the mainstream. Tracks like "Look What Youve Done" wouldnt sound out of place on a 2Pac album at all. Even more, plenty of legends were not insane lyricists but made amazing hip-hop - Busta Rhymes, Alkoholiks, Dr. Dre, Beatnuts come to mind. Anyways, my two cents....I understand youll probably disagree but I think as the years go one, you are going to see Drake's impact just grow. I think your underestimating how unique his approach is...I honestly think back-in-the-day before hip-hop commercialized Drake would probably have had less problems being accepted as hiphop because it was more open to differences. Anywyays, trust me: Drake aint no Ja Rule, Wrexx-In-Effect, MC Hammer. The music is better than that and will last longer. Anyways, everyone has their own opinion

    • jg

      i think you guys both have good point. and UNO you cant judge talent by sales and who A&R's are looking for. But Chad you can say Drake pandered to the masses by making an Album like Take Care because it was not what ppl where expecting. Most were expecting another TML with better beats and content, but what they got was a soulful album with soft hollow-sounding beats, and a lot of singing and story telling. I know it wasnt what i expected. Tho I'm not really feeling the album myself cuz I find it repetitive and depressing, i can respect Drake for going in his own lane and not following the blueprint a lot of rappers these days are on. At first I rated Take Care a 2/5, but now after a few listens..and still NOT liking it, i can give it respect with a 4/5 and understand why some ppl love it so much. All that said, for a rich white-boy from the burbs Drake definitely whines too much.

    • Anonymous

      Ok I hear what you are saying but as with most people you don't understand what I am saying. 1) As with most people you equate sales and number one singles with success and any fan of hip hop knows that if you love the art sales don't mean very much. If that were the case I would have to say that a lot of totally wack artists are great cause they sold a hella units. 2)fact Phonte is a much better hip hop artist than Drake is without question. Yes A&R's are looking for next Drake because unlike Phonte Drake allowed the mainstream to dictate his career path. If you are a fan of Drakes and you listened to him before he hooked up with Wayne you will see the dramtic shift I speak of from Lil Waynes influence. I don't hate Drake far from it, but I do think that he has taken the easy way out and pandered to masses. Mainstream radio hip hop has nothing to do with quality artist but getting as many people to like what your playing and the best way to do that is to make an album like Take Care. 2) Drake impact on hip hop will be simple enough. He will create a line of artist who can't sing but aren't lyrically good enough to be a hip hop artist and therefore will do the Drake monotone rap/sing over tracks thing. As far as talent Drake was never considered by anyone to be the the best lyricist. He is not a top tier guy he can sell as much as he wants he will never be able to put out a track like Exhibit C by Jay Electronica. He is by no means a Soulja boy but to act like he is a super talent is also not true he is a good rapper when he tries, he is however no where near greatness. My goal is not talk Drake down cause i listen some of his stuff. I am not however letting the wool be pulled over my eyes with sales and commercial success. I love the art of hip hop from Krs-1 to Rakim to Biggie to Jay. Drake was never gonna get in those circles anyway. So I will end on this Drake popularity wont make me say Drake is a standout artist his body of work will and the lane he is headed down doesn't impress me.

    • UNO

      Chad, A few problems you got with your arguements... 1. Your first paragraph there you sound alot like you think Drake is some kind of failure and Phonte is this crazy success. I understand your allegiance to back-pack hip-hop but lets be honest, being a respected back-pack artist that moves like zero units is not a goal of Drake's. Drake has got crazy fans who listen to hip-hop, thats why he pretty much the #1/#2 hip-hop artist right now. His first week sales outsold Kanye/Jay-Z's joint album. He already has more #1 Rap Songs than any other MC in history. A&Rs are looking for the next Drake. Sorry man. They aint looking for the next Phonte. You can hate his music all you want and "whine" (no pun intended) about his lack of credibility or his "problems' but I think its obvious he's not going to listen to you. Why? His method is working. By all measures, he is huge success in an industry where few MCs are. Haters are a normal part of success. You cant please everybody. 2. Then, you say something like Drake is just some fly-by "rapper of the moment". I really hate to shatter your dreams, but Drake is not going anywhere and he will have a big impact on the industry. As I said, A&Rs are looking for the next Drake. He's not a Mase or Fresh Prince or Coolio or Young MC or Fabulous or Ja Rule or Soulja Boy. He is more talented than all those guys. WAY MORE. Hes already written for Dr. Dre, Jamie Foxx and Alicia Keys. Look you can really hate his music. I hate Pearl Jam, for instance, but I cant deny talent. People who think Drake is talent-less just dont have a complex understanding of how music is made or have no idea how difficult it is suceed in the music industry. You can hate Drake's music but it is very obvious the guy is too talented to just disappear unless he decides to quit or dies or something. Everytime the guy gets on track, it pretty much becomes a hit.

    • Changes

      Chad you are right about Drake changing as an artist. If you listen to Comeback Season he has a song called "Bitch is crazy." I beleive this is the only song he sings on but he says something toward the end of song like, "Some times I got to get my R&B on." Then he carries on joking about having an R&B name. The point is, you can hear how aware he is of the differences and it's almost as if he was joking about it so that he wouldn't be criticized about it. It's not til he started working with Wayne that he started singing and rapping together.

  • Keegan

    Is this a discussion or an agreement?

  • TheTruth

    There is no more talent left only tight engineered beats and snares!

    • RAPMAN

      YEAH...ITS ALL PRODUCTION...AND ITS LIKE NO BODY SEE'S THIS SHIT...THIS NIGGA IS FUCKIN WACK...BECAUSE I DONT LIKE YOU...DOESNT MEAN IM HATING...THATS A SCAPEGOAT,YOU LACK THE LEVEL OF TALENT THAT I ACTUALLY APPRECIATE..

  • YADIG

    I LOVE DRAKE AND LETTIN HIM PEE ON ME WOULD PROBABLY BE ALL I NEED IN THIS LIFE I KNOW I'M ALWAYS BIGGIN UP WAYNES FINE ASS BUT THIS MORNING I WOKE UP THINKIN ABOUT THIS GUY STILL THINK WAYNE LOOKS BETTER AND YES HOMO

  • ollie

    I don't understand why Drake is criticised for making music about his rich boy blues when it is so clear that that is what he is feeling and thinking about. Drake should be commended for his honesty. People bitch about rappers not 'being real' but Drake is one of the realest there is - he is only expressing himself. I think that the only reason the staff here don't like Drake is some kind of reverse snobbery about his absence from the 'struggle.' Is it not refreshing to hear Hip Hop change its subject matter? And regarding the claim that he's not emotionally relatable to the man on the street - that is not a good criticism. A critic should not dumb himself down when judging a record. I find him very easy to relate to, despite not being privileged at all, I feel that Drake's thoughts express what mine would be if I was living that kind of success - that's a very impressive impact for music to have.

    • jg

      yea i guess. but there are a lot of rich rappers out there who are still making music that ppl can relate to. Not that Drizzy doesnt. But most of his themes are pathetic and redundant e.g. i miss my old girl, but she was bad news anyways

  • eYePTyOu

    Cool convo, btw it's "intents and purposes" not intensive, easy mistake though.

  • Anonymous

    drake is wack. i came here to see if they would agree with me, i guess not.

  • wordup

    Very great point about his arrogance and complaining. I loved So Far Gone, liked a few tracks on Thank Me Later, and am on the fence about buying Take Care. Editorials like these are the reason I come to hiphopdx.

  • oh yea???

    it blows my mind how many people absolutely HATE Drake, yet they dedicate a decent amount of their time to come here and talk about how much he sucks. the reason hip hop is "dying" is because hip hop fans are spending more time running their mouth about artists they don't like while the talented ones get no attention.

  • Zulu

    No meaningful discussion : I like Drake but this has STAN cryptically written all over it: OCCUPY HIP HOP DX EDITORIAL AND RATINGS.

  • David Peralta

    Wow I can't believe this publication would have a round table to promote this pop act. I'm speechless... To even put Drake in the same class as Jay-Z is disrespectful. To even say he would be in the top 5 or 10 now or in the future is completely up surd! I know now that you guys are doing the hip-hop culture more harm then good. Your basically saying your Fox news and these watered down so called hip-hop artist, (that must be paying you) are the republican party. It's classless and disappointing, I know now this site and plenty others have a hidden agenda and I'm sick of it. You just gave me a great idea for a new web site... I'm done reading your columns, now I'll just check in on the music that comes out. Nothing more nothing less. Oh one more thing, hip-hop changes every 5 years and history always repeats itself. So I promise you, sooner or later this publication will retract most statements that were made about Drake in the future. He is the new Ja Rule, nothing more nothing less and sooner or later someone will expose that and Wanksta him like 50 cent. (Speaking the reallll real Truth) FYI: Remember my Words & Name...

    • L-Boogie

      I agree with your comment. Everytime a new rapper comes out big the stans and critics ride the bandwagon and say they'll be the next Jay-z, Nas, 2pac etc. When 50 first came out the stans were saying he was better than Jay-z lol. Drake is hot right now but in a couple years the stans and critics will dickride the next big thing.

    • datdudefromnyc

      David, i feel you cause i was prob spoiled because i grew up in the "golden era" of the 90's. i will have to disagree with you on one thing though. yes HHDX has a habit of over over-covering artists to the point of annoyance, but they have to their credit covered other artists just the same. you know how much love Rae was getting on here during the Cuban Link 2 album? crazy. got check another publication dedicate that much time to an artist not in the top 40. and i was lovin it cause honestly imho cuban link 2 was the best album that year. this year Kendrick Lamar stole it with Section 80. Drake is not part of the old formula that makes hip hop the shit, but thats the problem... i don't think there was really any intention for there to be a formula. that's why Drake is polarizing. he's doing shit that would have had people screaming saying he's the next vanilla ice back in the 90's. but now? people are just more open to diff people interpretations of rap. this idea that hip-hop is dead is a myth.... just by keeping your ear to the ground you will hear much of the stuff that we hold close to what we consider "golden age".

  • ekard

    I stopped reading this after the first sentence. fuck an opinion

  • GRBY

    I like the Miseducation of Lauren Hill comparison. It's a very valid outlook on where he took TC. Drake's authenticity is his value. He certainly leaves himself open for jokes, but it's working for him at the end of the day. I'm 33. I've grown up on Hip-Hop. One thing that you youngsters need to know is that Rap isn't about one particular style. Diversity is what keeps it alive. Drake is soft most of the time.. yes, this is true. But Hip-Hop is more interesting for allowing him to have his late. In the 90's we had an incredible amount of diversity. We had Gravediggaz, Wu-Tang, De La Soul, Nas, Biggie, The Boogie Monsters, Company Flow, 3rd Bass, etc. So much variety. If all we have is gangster ass trap music Hip-Hop will die. It will die because of stagnancy. I applaud Drizzy for being unique and taking those risks. Keep hip-hop unique Drake. Just be yourself. Don't mind the haters.

  • 1rapman

    yea...this is definitely a dick suckin session...drake is supposedly different why? because he sings "which he cant REALLY sing its all software he cant perform these songs live" and he raps...right? nigga is better than waka flocka and travis porter type niggas....but what is that really saying?...nigga is average at what he does...im not saying you gotta be reasonable doubt or illmatic...but sheesh...the whole young money is lame on the rhyming tip with respect to corey gunz ability...jae millz quite washed up...drake has put it down commericialy and created a fan base...i respect that...but tell drake sing or rap acapella ...its not appealing or as different as people claim...lotta shit these days in rap/hiphop is mediocre bullshit...more than some of us know this

  • Zulu

    First off this discussion was boring, the participants were going off at tangents which were not in relation to the topic. Wasted 5 minutes of my life.

  • Anonymous

    drake is not a rapper is a pop and rb star, this white boy is gonna be destroy by ludacris because he dont know nothing about be a real hip hop artist. so fuck comercial rapers like lil wayne,drake and niki minaj

  • jr88

    i do agree drake cant be top 5 but he is making a lane for himself....he just sings too much to be top 5...."My Armani sweater's itching. I'm allergic to wool."...lol that line had me rolling.....lol...drake does complain too much for a rich dude....it makes you think if ymcm has him on suicide watch...lol

  • Anonymous

    Clothing. This nigga fucked up saying hes a rapper and better than most niggas. Another fuck up is avoiding battles. Rappers don't do that. Someone challenges your skillz and ability you defend them. Not take it to Twitter

  • Anonymous

    Drake is good at whatever kind of music he doing just don't label it as hip hop period. Niggas who sing 70% of the time ain't rappers. Just r&b niggas who can spit a little. Teddy riley rhymes a little bit, tyrese had a rap side to a double album. Do u see them claiming to be hip hop artist. Nope they still consider themselves as r&b. They stayed in their lanes. Now here's Drake an r&b artist in a rappers

  • toppa shot

    Not just DX, but all of my favorite underground hip hop sites are falling the fuck off. It's so sad to see.

  • Anonymous

    Lady Drake is the best female rapper at the moment.

  • Arthur

    this site might b turnin into The Source Magazine! or Scratch Magazine! Epic Hip Hop FAIL

  • Arthur

    fuked up way to promote this niccas album on a hip hop site. smfh damn baby and slim got POWER! that aint no roundtable discussion, more like a roundtable dicksuckkin. U CAN'T FOOL THE HIP HOP COMMUNITY

  • thought dog

    So are we gonna see a music vid where the editors suck drakes dick and take turns letting him pound them next? These Drake articles are getting a little overwhelming.

  • Marx

    It's funny how so many people hate him but when they see a Drake post they hop in to comment like flies hop on sh*t. I've never once saw an artist that I couldn't stand & said, "Let me go check that post out" for WHATEVER reason. The same kind of people troll social media sites looking @ the post of people they can't stand just to pop sh*t. You can't stand somewhere to the point where u need to check them out? Sounds like some high school girl sh*t to me. If u hate the guy so much check out other posts. I swear social media has brought out the inner hater/tough guy in so many people. On another note, tough guy rap is entertaining but it's farther from reality & promotes a culture that none should want their children involved in. Not everywhere knows how to filter that sh*t. You can call the music gay all u want but I'd rather here a grade school kid spitting a Drake verse over hearing that same young impressionable mind rhyming about cooking crack.

    • Truth hurts

      drake a sleazebag just as much as those crack dealers, this nigga gettin them young girls panties wet, and I aint talking teenagers, is that any better than crack, having kids at 10 -12 years old?? besides that,this nigga is ridiculously arrogant, he displays a very high and mighty attitude on the mic, and yet, when he is challenged, he talks on twitter, like a lil lady. He is no good, sorry to break it to ya'll college educated suburban born yuppies. DRAKE DOESN'T FLY IN THE HOOD. We support the authentic!! this nigga is fraudin', him rick ross, mos def, vinnie paz, all frauds. At least Ross said the truth when he claimed, "it's deeper than rap". Hip hop dx is getting real wack, support real hip hop niggas, and they will support you!! Lets change this!!!!

    • Fado

      people(whether they like Drake or not, or think hes ok like me) where probably just curious whether this round table would be balanced or interesting. Obviously most people found it not so and expressed this in an internet color type of way. hope you arnt one of the editors because if so that makes you less cool then such people....

  • italkmusic

    This roundtable discussion was painful to read. It felt like no one in the round table, actually know music. Every point made did not talk about music but personal opinion. Everyone sounded like a hater - especially when Kathy was complaining about Drake's arrogance- you want everything Drake has - just be happy for him. Take care is the best rap album of the year. Personal opinion.. we'll see if everyone feels that way in 5 years

  • NONO

    Hip hop always switches when one side is pushed too much. When everybody went soft, hard-core came back. You had De la soul,then wu-tang,shiny suit era, then dmx, another soft era, then 50 cent, Drake,.....See the pattern. Cornballs rarely get a voice in hip hop, and that's a bad thing, everybody deserves to get heard. The swag era opened the door for more gay and soft content in hip hop. We'll see where it goes next. I believe hardcore rap will make a return, soon as someone reminds people of how entertaining and important it is.

  • Anonymous

    I think mainstream Hip Hop is changing from what it used to be, and I think some aren't on board, and that's fine GOOD POINT I AINT ON BOARD WITH ALL THIS SOFT FAKE SHIT IM FROM THE DAYS WHERE HIP HOP WAS REAL AND FROM THE STREETS NOW THE FANS HAVE CHANGED AND THEY DONT CARE

  • simon

    Drake and Lady Gaga are the best!

  • Anonymous

    J3T u doin your thing

  • Anonymous

    That dude sounds like J3T

  • MBTM

    First off, this roundtable discussion was awful. Don't tell us you are going to talk about "different opinions on Drake on the mic, off the mic and his #1 album "Take Care", then feed us a regurgitated d*ck sucking festival. A roundtable discussion is supposed to have a differing opinion. I thought someone was really gonna stand up and have some balls and speak for all of the hip-hop fans that can't stand the sh!t that Drake and other R&B/Pop artists shovel as hip-hop music. It's not. I'll be the first to admit I listen to a lot of different types of music. If it's good and it has soul, purpose, great writing, etc. I'm in. But I listened to "Take Care" and "Thank Me Later" and was bored half way through both albums. A LOT of people feel the same way, and see through the garbage. Drake may become a pop star but he will never by a hip-hop star. Period. This isn't hip-hop music. Stop trying to sell it to us like it is. Hip Hop DX is killing itself by writing sh!t like this. If you have to have this "discussion" in the first place to try and sneak past this agenda of validating his status as a hip-hop artist, that means he isn't. Like a lot of other have said it's undeniable from the jump if someone is hip-hop or isn't hip-hop. He's not. Otherwise after nearly 3 years in the game we wouldn't be discussing it. DX you guys are falling fast. Poor journalism and poor editing in columns and reviews (the amount of typos are ridiculous). You have some really good writers but y'all need a breath of fresh air to represent the fans who come on here and really care about this culture and music.

  • RellyRellz

    Smh...All this bullshitting about how Drake is whack and your favorite rapper is a Drake fan (i.e Jay-z) so stop hating and just appreciate the fact that Drake is here to stay. If you don't like it then move on.

  • Kashif Ilyas

    Drake's got SO MUCH hate against him, he must be really talented. Every blog I go people are bitching about him. As for my own opinion, I agree with the discussion. Drake is a definitely talented dude, and Take Care is musically an awesome album. The fact that Drake did not even try to make mainstream singles, and concentrated on the album as a whole, shows how he cares about his music as an art. You may not like it, but that does not mean its garabage.

  • jg

    maaan, im not a hater but honestly 2 editorials about Drake in the last week? Ands this one is like a 30min read...and no i didnt bother reading i skipped down to the comments after the first 3 paragraphs

  • LOL QQ

    I think mainstream Hip Hop is changing from what it used to be, and I think some aren't on board, and that's fine. But this new wave of hip hop hits at home differently than the old stuff. I love old hip hop, but for different reasons, and I think this is true for a lot of people. I think Drake truly is great, but not for the same reasons Jay-Z or Tech N9ne are great. They all bring a different listening experience, and they all should be allowed to coexist as some of Hip Hops greats. I also think artists that do something different will always stand out, and this is why Drake has seen a lot of success. Out of the 90's stuff I've heard, Atliens and Aquemini are my favorites hands down, Outkast always had their own sound and I appreciate that originality. Drake has gone with his own sound, and I definitely respect that

  • Anonymous

    Man this shit is crazy...all i see is drizzy this drake that...god damn man there are other artists out there besides this nigga...Have your heard of Kidd Upstairs? peep game mufuggas and wake up http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/window-seat/id476936514

  • MARIO

    DRAKE WILL SHIT ON LAURYN HILL.......JAY Z DONT EVEN DESERVE TO BE MENTIONED WITH DRAKE...DRAKE IS WAYYYY MORE CREATIVE....THAN JAY Z....JAY Z IS YOUNG CHRIS ONE SONG, BIG DADDY KANE NEXT, JAZO, FUSCHNICKENS...JAY IS A BITER...DRAKE IS ORIGINAL DRAKE IS AN ALL TIME GREAT.....TOP THREE....ANDRE 3000 , SCARFACE, DRAKE

  • what??

    I still cannot believe this chick mentioned Drake and Lauryn Hill in the same sentence.... Lauryn is a FAR superior lyricist than Drake and she can REALLY sing... She is a real R&B singer / MC... this guy is not doing anythin new.

  • MARIO

    ARE ALL YOU GUYS SERIOUS......DRAKE IS IN THE TOP FIVE OF ALL TIME ALREADY....WAY MORE CREATIVE AND LYRICAL THAN TUPAC JAY Z OR BIGGIE, HE IS SOFT WITH IT I ADMIT BUT THE TRUTH IS DRAKE IS ONE OF THE ALL TIME GREATS AND YOUR WOMEN IS BUMPIN THIS CD RIGHT NOW WANTING TO GET FUCKED TO IT ...HOE ASS NICKAS...STOP HATING....DRAKE WILL SHIT ON EMINEM PAC KRSONE RAKIM AND ANY OF THEM CD'S WAY BETTER.....HIS MIXTAPES IS BETTER THAN THESE NIGGAZ CD....NIGGAZ NOWADAYZ GET SO MUCH FREE MUSIC THEY HAVE DEVALUED SHIT AND NOTHING IS CLASSIC NO MORE ...EVEN SHH THATS HOT,,PHONTE FROM LITTLE BROTHER DROPPED A CLASSIC...NO LOVE THO FROM YOU HIP HOP CLOWNS..ROC MARCIANO DROPPED A CLASSIC NO LOVE,SAIGON DROPPED A CLASSIC NO LOVE...TYLER THE CREATOR DROPPED A CLASSIC NO LOVE, YOU NICKAS WINE ABOUT SHIT AND DONT BUY AND SUPPORT GOOD MUSIC....DRAKE DROPPED A CLASSIC ...TAKE CARE IS THAT SHIT.....GET WIT A BAD BITCH HAVE A FEW DRINKS LET GO OF THE TOUGH GUY ACT AND PUT THAT SHIT IN ...HOT...DRAKE YOU CAN TELL IS A LATE NIGHT SADE KIND OF GUY...MUSIC SOUNDS GOOD AFTER THE CLUB WHEN ITS TIME TO FUCK OR MORNING AFTER......I WONT LIE NOT MY MAIN TYPE OF SHIT....I PREFER GANGSTARR,SEAN PRICE,MOP,OLD MOBB DEEP,SCARFACE.....BUT I STAY KICKIN IT WIT BAD BITCHES...DRAKE IS MADE FOR THAT....THEY ARE NOT....WHEN IM WITH MY NICKAS COMES THE OTHER SHHHH.....OH ALSO MOP DROPPED A CLASSIC ...NIGGA SPARTA HOTTTTTTTTTTTTTT....STOP WHINING AND SUPPORT REAL SHHH FOR YOU GET STUCK WITH SOULJAH BOY AND NIGGAZ DOING GAY DANCES EVERY WEEK WITH FUNNY HAIRCUTS

  • David Peralta

    Dexter Morgan: Your wrong!!!

  • David Peralta

    Wow I can't believe this publication would have a round table to promote this pop act. I'm speechless... To even put Drake in the same class as Jay-Z is disrespectful. To even say he would be in the top 5 or 10 now or in the future is completely up surd! I know now that you guys are doing the hip-hop culture more harm then good. Your basically saying your Fox news and these watered down so called hip-hop artist, (that must be paying you) are the republican party. It's classless and disappointing, I know now this site and plenty others have a hidden agenda and I'm sick of it. You just gave me a great idea for a new web site... I'm done reading your columns, now I'll just check in on the music that comes out. Nothing more nothing less. Oh one more thing, hip-hop changes every 5 years and history always repeats itself. So I promise you, sooner or later this publication will retract most statements that were made about Drake in the future. He is the new Ja Rule, nothing more nothing less and sooner or later someone will expose that and Wanksta him like 50 cent. (Speaking the reallll real Truth) FYI: Remember my Words & Name.

  • True Story

    Damn. More Drake dickriding. I lost all faith in this site. SMH

  • Mykhael Jaye Campbell

    Drake sells, has fans . makes timesless music, sells out shows and is for the most part positive. if you want garbage listen to it. If not listen to this.

    • Samuel Snead

      your right with the exception of 2pac, i'm getting older but i'm not that old

    • BAWSE

      Sam Sneed - this much is obvious. You never listened to any of those artists you list when they were popular. You listened to them after they had been accepted by the mainstream. Comparing Ja Rule to Drake is just stupid. Lyrically and innovation-wise, Ja Rule is not even on the same planet.

    • Samuel Snead

      timeless, um I don't hear ja rule anymore. The beatles r timeless,marvin gaye is timeless,bob marley is timeless,rakim is timeless,2pac is timeless. This pop that Drake is making right now is not in that category, sorry. U went a lil wild with that statement. I hope they fully cook the turkey next year, u should go to the hospital, your delusional

  • Marx

    Can't hate at all. You can have an opinion on why you feel his album shouldn't be mentioned as album of the year but folks are still checking in here to read & the staff just dropped a ton of paragraphs to discuss his work. He's doing something right.

  • OneDeep

    it all comes down to who is buying albums...women. females control hip hop now because they actually will go and pay for a cd,not download it. if you want real hip hop to come back then go buy the shit and stop downloading it.

  • ghh

    Disgraceful. From the lack of opposing arguments... To "Take Care" mentionned as album of the year... To the comparison to the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill... To Drake being regarded as Top 5 DOA... To mentionning GQ as a relevent reference... I mean come on. I think you don't even respect your readers and probably think that we are all simpletons here. And I don't even hate Drake, and I could understand how people find his album appealing. But this whole discussion smelled too much like payroll. And maybe you all put your names in it to be sure to get paid. Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino would have been a great choice for a round table as he fits almost the same criteria as Drake but released a better album than Take Care (by far, singing/rapping-wise). But it seems like he wouldn't have earnt you as many visits on this page because he s not that big. Hell even a round table comparing both of them would have been more interesting... Disappointed.

    • Anonymous

      I agree with you. I thought his album was good - as stated in my comment earlier on- but the amount of over-lauding of this album is farcical. Ashamed at these writers who have nerve to rate this album, cole world and Blue side Park equal. Dx needs to be overthrown. Occupy Hip Hop Dx Editorial.

    • LOL QQ

      I was kind of disappointed that there was no album review of camp, it deserves attention

    • LOL QQ

      Childish Gambino is sick as shit, but he just simply hasn't had the same exposure that Drake has. People would come read this and say, "Who the fuck is Childish Gambino? That nerdy ass black kid? whatever man im sick of him." But yeah a round table discussion of an artist that people simply haven't heard of just wouldn't really work well for this type of discussion. It's not provocative because not enough people have an opinion on the matter. Camp was so real though, great album

    • yawooh

      damn im a Drake fan who didnt like Take too much and agree w/everything u just said

  • Samuel Snead

    he is lame and besides the singing and being an rnb artist his rhymes have got more lazy since he became famous. I kinda like the album comeback from 06 but his rhymes were less lazy then. Just like wayne he says things that people think is clever when its not. They also are both really slow with everything being a punch line. Drake atleast is descriptive compared with wayne but both had their best years in 06-07.

  • Anonymous

    drake should start cameoing on degrassi or just join the main cast completely. because dude could straight spit back then, now he's gay. which is weird because he was gay for being on degrassi but a beast as a rapper, now he's gay as a rapper and gets all kinds a hoes. think about it it makes sense.

  • Adrian Andre

    There has to be a mutual recognition allowed to those who buy albums are allowed to dictate the flow of the culture. And these people who get to dictate the flow of the culture are emasculating HipHop, taking away the afrocentricity and calling the original veterans disgruntled and jaded. I would too if my culture was robbed commercialized and sold to white boys in the suburbs. HipHopDX is losing credibility, dictating what is to be considered credible and using it's critics to contrast and write things more controversial to preserve the flow of the culture and make a profit.

    • BAWSE

      @ Adrian Andre. What the hell do you know about afrocentricity? What do you know about the original veterans of hip-hop? Your writing psuedo-intellectual nonsense. Veterans like KRS-one are on record saying they love Drake so hmm.... eat that with your sociology diploma.

    • David Peralta

      I couldn't say it better myself. Thank god I'm not the only one who shares the same views.

  • Adrian Andre

    Sorry, regardless of the merit of these people's opinion on HipHopDX Drake is not Hip Hop. There are people who skew the boundaries in Mainstream music, he just happens to be one of them.

  • Adrian Andre

    I like how they put it. You don't have to subscribe to Drake to see that underground artists allow a greater contrast of it.

  • Simple like ABC, 123

    The Love Below & Cam'ron Flow > 808's & Supa Dupa Flow

  • Damany G

    The thing is I don't necesarily a hip-hop album. Just because you rap on a couple of tracks doesn't make it Hip-Hop, if you really understand the History. I know things evolve and expand but Drake is strictly for the chicks. The struggle that is apparent in the Hip-Hop culture is not relevant with Drake. When I heard the "Headlines" track and he talking about catching bodies, Im like Cmon son, be thankful that you didn't have to lead that lifestyle and the bottom line is you aint cut from that cloth......

    • the presi

      @ BAWSE Your a little troll trying to police everyones comments like a drake publicist. stop dick riding bro. Everyones entitled to their own opinion. And what the fuck are you talking about "Rakim and Guru didnt grow up any less wealthy" GTFOH! were they ever TV stars who lived in canada? you must be another 90's baby...

    • BAWSE

      You say Drake aint cut from that cloth but Rakim and Guru didnt grow up any less wealthy than Drake and Im sure you wouldnt question these artists hip-hop credentials, yet they both have tracks where they have exagerrated posturing (like any MC). As for strictly for the chicks, people leveled the same criticism towards 2Pac and Biggie at the time. Im sure youd agree that that sounds pretty stupid now. And "The Ride" and "Look What Youve Done" both describe "the struggle".

  • TheRuler

    As I read this so called roundtable discussion I get more and more upset. M.C's do not sing. Krs One, Rakim, Kool G Rap, Raekwon, Jadakiss are still alive and will always be in the top 5 Alive. Krs one is dropping his 20 album and you going to put some guy Big Krit on the list with 1 song! Come on. And Jay-z never sold anything until he started dealing with Beyonce. Now drake is growing and should be on a top 5 list, That must be a joke. His first album he rapped then sang every hook. Now he sings the whole song and raps the hook. He is not a M.C. he is a wack singer and yes i live in the T-dot. This site is getting just like BET you guys only push who makes you guys money. You both have pissed on the Culture and the real M.Cs that made hip hop. (Chuck D, Big Daddy Kane, Lord Finesse just to name a few). The best Hip hop album of this year is Apathy-Honkey_Kong but like normal you guys dont give that credit cause it is real hip hop. We need people who actually were around in the 80's and 90's who know what hip hop is and not just give any sing/rapper a 5.

    • BAWSE

      If MCs dont sing, then, Bone-N-Thugs, Pharacyde, Lauryn Hill, Kanye West, Biggie Smalls (who sinfully sang Delfonics) , Wyclef, Kid Cudi, Grandmaster Flash, Ghostface are not hip-hop, according to your strict definition. When you recite artists like KRS-One and Rakim, you just sound like you are a traditional listener unable to move forward from your dusty LPs. Of course, everyone you recite represents traditional New York hip-hop except Jada which pretty much sounds like New York hip-hop. Everytime, new artists try to take the art to the next, you have scores of haters. If we had listened to critics like yourself, hip-hop would have been stuck with the Fat Boys.

  • DX Fam A Lam

    Hahahaha We got you niggas!!!!!!!!!! Drake sucks; we was just trollin you.

  • Grammar Police

    It's "intents and purposes" not "intensive purposes."

  • Anonymous

    hip hop is changing all u guys who want to hear wu tang and a tribe called quest type of music 20 years after its time? i like that music too, but u guys who waste ur time getting mad at these discussions are gunna get left behind, you read it write? they made good points, dont get mad cause you dnt like the music

  • yawooh

    Drake is an artist (sing/rapper) who's just gonna make music that you'll love(or learn to like) and hate. One thing about Drake that makes him a good artist is that he's real. He's never going to rap about things that he can't do or hasnt experienced. He didn't create but he did make the term "venting" popular. He's great at telling stories about himself and expressing all the emotions in his music...He's not a top 5 DOA but as of now, he is top5 at as of 2011. I think it's hard that all of his music (even some on Take Care) is pure garbage becuz there's some variety.

    • Anonymous

      Where would you draw the line between venting and speaking your mind then? I won't deny that he has some trollish tendencies and there's definitely some cartooniness (especially on SSLP) but I'd still say he did a lot of purging of his emotions about his upbringing and his relationships with the women in his life.

    • yawooh

      so ur telling me Eminem was known for venting in his early years? I think it was more of him being crazy/controversial and not afraid of speaking his mind about anything

    • Anonymous

      I'd say SSLP and MMLP Eminem did a ton of venting in his rhymes

    • yawooh

      he did get carried away with catching bodies i agree but for the most part, he's been real his whole career..most of these rappers claiming they got gunz and move weight have no criminal record and r doing that for entertainment..Plz name me a rapper in the last 10 years that's used "venting" as apart of their rhymes and are known for that

    • Anonymous

      You must be in high school if you think Drake made the term "venting" popular. Also, he's started dropping hints to "catching bodies", which isn't really keeping it real.

  • Anonymous

    First off, this roundtable discussion was awful. Don't tell us you are going to talk about "different opinions on Drake on the mic, off the mic and his #1 album "Take Care", then feed us a regurgitated d*ck sucking festival. A roundtable discussion is supposed to have a differing opinion. I thought someone was really gonna stand up and have some balls and speak for all of the hip-hop fans that can't stand the sh!t that Drake and other R&B/Pop artists shovel as hip-hop music. It's not. I'll be the first to admit I listen to a lot of different types of music. If it's good and it has soul, purpose, great writing, etc. I'm in. But I listened to "Take Care" and "Thank Me Later" and was bored half way through both albums. A LOT of people feel the same way, and see through the garbage. Drake may become a pop star but he will never by a hip-hop star. Period. This isn't hip-hop music. Stop trying to sell it to us like it is. Hip Hop DX is killing itself by writing sh!t like this. If you have to have this "discussion" in the first place to try and sneak past this agenda of validating his status as a hip-hop artist, that means he isn't. Like a lot of other have said it's undeniable from the jump if someone is hip-hop or isn't hip-hop. He's not. Otherwise after nearly 3 years in the game we wouldn't be discussing it. DX you guys are falling fast. Poor journalism and poor editing in columns and reviews (the amount of typos are ridiculous). You have some really good writers but y'all need a breath of fresh air to represent the fans who come on here and really care about this culture and music.

    • Elvis Escobar

      100% Co-sign with the 1st comment

    • David Peralta

      Co-Sign!!!

    • X

      @ Dexter Morgan Being a successful person has NOTHING to do with the basis of this discussion. When you have imitator claiming to be innovators, it brings a question of one's merit to the art (Hip-Hop). Within a breath of fresh air...you can still be exposed to asbestos... If you choose that...To each his/her own...

    • ghh

      Shit, I forgot about Andre 3000 (shame on me) who just shits on everything Drake did. Rapping/Singing/ Poetry wise. Tell your friends.

    • ghh

      @Dexter Morgan : I finished Law School so I guess I am intelligent and mature as well if I follow your point. What I want to say to you and to your friends is stop being lazy and listen to something else. There are better singers than Drake, there are better rappers than Drake. And there are better singer/rappers than Drake (Phonte, Aloe Blacc, Cee-Lo Green, Childish Gambino...). So let's stop the bullshit for a second and stop praising him for no reason. Dude had made nothing special yet. A couple good songs here and there, Average albums. So this whole "mature audience appeal" sounds like bullshit to me. You sound like a marketing victim to me. But hey, to each his own :)

    • Dexter Morgan

      Drake caters to a mature, intelligent audience. I went to a pretty prestigious university (not boasting, just emphasizing my point) and all my homies that are successful/on their way to success (med school, law school, investment bankers, engineers, writers and so on) love what Drake does for music and hip hop. How does it not have soul and purpose? All of the content is about his relationships (romantic, friendship, and family). He only has like 3 bubble gum/boasting/club tracks. The rest is poetry inspired by what he goes through. You can't say his flow isn't innovative -- the way he transitions from singing to rapping to rapping with melodies, etc. You can't deny the fact that he is creative and pushes the envelope for hip hop. I'm not saying you need to love him, but either you're not paying attention to his lyrics or you don't have an appreciation for genres outside of hip hop. His flow, cadences, and content is innovative and if you're a fan of music, you should be able to at least appreciate it (APPRECIATE, not necessarily love). In summary, if i had to describe Drake in a few words: A BREATH OF FRESH AIR.

    • Adrian Andre

      Yeah man,

  • Joey Ogoley

    It's fucking impossible for someone to make a 'classic' album nowadays. So rediculous

    • Anonymous

      i agree, nowadays it's all about who sold the most. nothing but quantity over quality

    • Skip Dillenger

      After I read this article, I was thinking the same thing. The question is: Why can't cats make "classic albums" anymore? When I listen to albums like "Take Care", "Ambition", or "Cole World", the first thing I realize is that I'll probably will not play this album ever again after 3-4 months and I'm being generous with that timeframe. There doesn't seem to be any durability w/ Hip-Hop nowadays. There are less popular albums from the 90's that I still play to this day i.e. O.C. "Word... Life", Casual "Fear Itself", and CNN "The War Report" and it seems like they still hold value, because even though most of the content was similar during that era, the perspectives of the artist differed. Good post fam.

    • uaintlie

      wow, you sound like u have some sense. thats a first for people in this site. classic albums dont exist anymore!!!!!! just the way it is.

  • lol

    im tired of seeing drake on here everytime i come to this website!! so wack!! dickriders!!

  • seun

    this pple are all bumsuckers. i dont care about this article. this is total nonsense

  • WTF?

    They had a roundtable for this CD? Wow. Its not even hip hop. Anyone who listened to this cd from top to bottom knows this.

  • Anonymous

    OCCUPY HIP HOP AND WE KNO COMPANIES BUY THEIR OWN ALBUMS NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY LIE, NUMBER DO LIE. LOOK AT THE RESPONSES BELOW, IT REFLECTS ACROSS THE NATION..AND HEY DIDNT HE COME IN THE GAME BITING ELZHI STYLE ??? I KNO THIS RAP SHIT , I CAN SPOT A FRAUD A MILE AWAY, WHY ELZHI AINTGET MIXTAPE OF THE YEAR, EXACTLY THATS HOW U FUKS , FUK UP THE GAME. I THINK I SPEAK FOR ALL UR SUBSCRIBER WHEN I SAY THANK U LUDA!

    • Samuel Snead

      ya kids are marketed artists and they buy the albums, also alot of stupid bitches that wanna dance or hear songs about bitches, then there is the frat boys and such. Kids are more told what to like these days. Its not like when I was a kid and would get home and turn on mtv and get a wide variety from the top ten to mtv raps which they then made in to direct effect or whatever.

  • Anonymous

    oh yeah SSUUTT FUKIN SSUUTT!!!! ENJOY UR TURKEY

  • Anonymous

    this is nothing more than a dik riding session. i agree with rza on wutang forever intro. u have no credibility for this fake as review. this site is gay now, we need a real rap hardcore rap site, a slaughterhouse style rap site, this fool sux, and everyone knows wut happen at funk masters show with the ghost writer, thats wut u guys respect?? ur not hip hop ur pop. this is a lifestyle and u choose to praise a corporate media whore when there are up n comers like horse shoe gang who get ignored. drake signifies everything real niggas (doesnt designate race) and our culture doesnt like since day 1. and with the death of big n pac, this is the fruit of diddy and ithe industry rapin our culture fuk everyone involved. no disrespect to drake, if we called it pop, or rnb, or emo then i would offer praise for that, but this is fukin rap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • FUCK DX

    Damn, you mother fuckers @ DX are some fucking Drake loves. It is starting to remind me of fucking Tebow, all we ever hear about is fucking Drake. So, I leave you with this FUCK DRAKE & FUCK Hip-POP DX, you guys suck fucking ass, I am done with this site.

  • beast

    FUCK drake! guy sounds as if he has m&m's in his fucking mouth when he raps.....

    • GW BUSH

      ^ LOL thats from Billy Madison. Nice try lol. Drake has skills just not a great. We will all see in 10 years if he still making music but he'll never be a great at this rate. Im not a fan AT ALL but I won't hate on what a confused generation calls good music

    • oh yea??

      what you've just said ... is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone on this page is now dumber for having read your comment.

  • Grandson

    Much respect to drake, I love the album. But on the other end this debate sucks. If you read through the entire thing, everything. everyone is agreeing with each other. I couldnt find one apposing arguement.

  • dyvine

    DX PANEL!!! This album sucked plan and simple its nothing wrong with showing emotions as a man but who the hell was his target audience all the stripper girlfriends that broke his heart? I would love to debate you guys on this too.

  • beasleyrockah

    Did Jake Paine really just call this the biggest album of the year? In terms of what, exactly? What criteria can be used to objectively call this "bigger" than WTT? This statement just really stuck out to me...and for the record I don't think WTT or this are the "album of the year", just terms like "big" aren't really subjective. WTT was way more anticipated before it dropped, had bigger names on production, etc.

  • illy

    stopped reading when they said that wack piece of shit was album of the year...smh watch the throne>>> cole world>>> section .80>>>

  • Anonymous

    He represents a position others rappers and hip hop dont pursue....... Common, Kweli, Mos Def. FUCK HIPHOPDX Straight up - nigga in charge.

  • STOP HOMO RAP

    Drake is a homo rapper who makes music for homos. Hiphop always was fresh, inventive, new,raw, etc. now a bunch of faggots run hiphop. I dont call it anymore hiphop but faghop.

  • Anonymous

    Why the hell do ppl insist on comparing j. Cole to drake? Is it because they're both light skin with with moms? Cole is a much better in depth rapper than drake. I'm not a drake fan but I won't say that he's not doing his thing because he is. He just seems too soft for me. Cole spits about the real struggles that ppl experience everyday in life. I used to be a drake fan when so far gone and the mix tape before that one came out because he spit about real shit. Now he's just crying bout females all the damn time

    • Anonymous

      cole doesn't know about struggle. he was an army brat with a white mother. he attended a private college in new york city and lived on campus all four years.

    • Wtf?

      it's because they both have Caterpillar eyebrows lol nah it probably has more to do with subject matter than anything else but I find j.cole suites the style better

  • SiN

    drake is a average rappper who happens to be hot a the moment...he had one good mixtape and 2 slighty disappointing albums. like all successful groups YMCMB family will die and fade.

  • Hudes

    to BAWSE (the dude defending where Drake lives) let me explain how ignorant your comment is. I live in Toronto ok? And YORK MILLS has some of the, if not, THE HIGHEST and most expensive houses in ALL OF ONTARIO!!!!!!! Go google BRIDAL PATH York Mills, and get ready to have your JAW DROPPED from the size of these houses.

    • BAWSE

      @ Hudes. Mos Def's album was not bad but frankly, it was a dissapointment to me after hearing his first two singles - "Ultramagnetic" and "If you can huh, you can here". After I heard those two singles, at the time, I thought his album was going to be amazing but it was just good, not mind-blowing to me. Maybe a 3.5/5. Mos Def was also an actor turned MC at the time but somehow avoided the Drake-hate becuase he pretty much ascribed to a lane of hip-hop already carved out by De La Soul and ACTQ. Drake to me is more of an innovator compared to Mos Def. Drake is more like De La or ACTQ in the sense that he is doing what is unacceptable. If you were around when De La Soul or ACTQ were starting out, people would say similar things that they say about Drake now. They would say De La and Tribe were soft, weird, geeky, and hippie - not cool. As far as the criticism towards Drake's beat, I dont know what song you are referring to, but plenty of Drake's joints (yes), have very mellow subtle production like say "Marvin's Room". He just has his own sound (really, just typical of great artists with staying power to be honest). Drake rhymes well and sings well. He can do both and move between both easily. This is his core unique talent. Tracks off Take Care like that "Lord Knows", "Look What Youve Done", "Headlines", "Over My Dead Body", "HYFR", "Well Be Fine", "Underground Kings", "The Ride", "The Motto", "Make Me Proud" are all pretty much hip-hop tracks. Most of these tracks (any one or two) would be the hit song on most of the hip-hop albums out now. Sure, he does some R&B, I mostly skip through those tracks but if you look at him lyrically on his R&B, its kind of like Marvin Gaye- classic. Hes dealing with deep topics in his lyrics and present them in a new interesting way. The criticsm being leveled at Drake is similar to Puffy/Biggie or De La/ACTQ back in the day. Those Biggie haters are now hiding their face and pretending they never said anything but there were plenty of people who absolutely hated Biggie/Puffy back in the day because they put more R&B in the hip-hop. Ironically, great lyricists/MCs across the board respect Drake - Talib Kweli, Jay-Z, Nas, Kanye etc. You would think the haters would get a clue. If your Toronto, your Drake-Hate makes even less sense to me. Drake is the best thing to come out of Toronto since Dream Warriors/Main Source. Kardi/Shad suck to me. K-os is somewhat talented but way too arrogant and un-focused.

    • haha

      I cant believe people are arguing so much lol who cares? Drake is doin his thing, damn, if you dont like him or his music then dont listen. You saying he sucks over and over again isnt gonna change the fact that people like his music. hes a huge star. Talkin about Toronto and Forest HIll lol, rich area my ass, it is middle class living, his house was just an average bungalo hahah, his mom was a teacher...what are we talkin about here? he was just a regular kid from the suburbs. as for this mos def thing, man his singing was BORING!!!! and im a huuuuge mos def fan. he made some weird shit...but hes not makin money like drake and isnt a star like that, so the hate doesnt come his way....side note, mos def has 5 kids with 5 different girls lol....hes a loser...sorry mos! haha

    • Hudes

      ok BAWSE, I got to salute your post bra. You put time, effort, and references in it. I get your point, but in all realness, from your first post, your wrong. Here's an example, I heard a Drake song that had ZERO beat, absolutely none. It was just ambient noises with him singing and whatnot and on one of the comments some dude wrote NICE BEAT. so I write back, what beat? you need a kick and a snare to officially be a beat i mean come on!, and this guy writes back I'm a pure hater and blah blah blah, when in reality all I'm doing is telling the truth. Ya dig? If drake did his rapping singing thing with some nice beats, aka MOS DEF (got listen to Black on Both Sides one of the best LP's ever and released in 1999, it's got singing and rapping. I'm surprised no one's ever mentioned that) MOS DEF does it amazing. Drake? ehh . not so much man. We say the songs put us to sleep, well because in a sense, they do. He's dipping into 2 different genres but only getting credit for one. The one he uses as a tool. He's really a singer and everybody knows that. PS. Bayview and Post, aka right around Sheppard/Lawrence is bridal path. Well Wilson avenue, which is is between those, turns into York Mills Blvd after Younge St. so if im driving on Bayview passing Bridal Path, I'm technically in Toronto, but surrounding me is York Mills, so really It's all the same. And yes, there are gonna be mid class houses in that hood, but the majority what York Mills is known for? Rich japs who throw amazing house parties. At least back when i was in high school One Love

    • BAWSE

      @ Hudes. Im also from Toronto and now reside in New York City. First off, Drake is from Forest Hill, not Bridle Path - a completely different neighborhood. Not York Mills either which is yet another area that Im not sure why you are reffering to it. If Drake was from Bridle Path, that's basically the "Hamptons" of Toronto. I would make no arguement there. But if you are so familiar with the Drake's neighborhood area as you suggest, you would know Forest Hill is generally wealthy but it is a bit of a mixed area with some rents / housing which is still less than many parts of Harlem and many parts of Long Island, New York. In fact, here is a quote from an article from Fader magazine when they are discussing exactly where Drake grew up: "Our next stop is the house Drake grew up in, which turns out to be one floor of a modest duplex on a block of Forest Hills that feels suburban but hardly wealthy". As Toronto native, Im sure you couldnt argue that a duplex is wealthy? You can read the article here yourself: thefader.com/2009/09/01/feature-drakes-inscrutable-rise-to-fame-and-fortune/ I know exactly where Drake grew up and he wasnt a flaboyantly rich kid. It looks like middle-class housing. No one would see a picture of his home and think,"this guy grew up in the Hamptoms". Thats just BS. Plenty of places you would find in Long Island / even Harlem are more expensive. Pricewise, Forest Hill, in general, easily compares with a middle-class areas of Long Island. On a sqaure footage basis, I can garuntee you that homes are more expensive in Harlem than in Forest Hill. Of course, you dont believe me becuase you are probably limited to your TOronto experiences but anyone who has lived in NYC knows, even Harlem (a so-called ghetto area) commands expensive real estate relative to Toronto - which is a cheap city by all international standards. Harlem has plenty of more expensive homes. For example, here is 1.5 million apt deep in Harlem, that is just mere 3000 square feet: trulia.com/property/3066128651-513-W-152nd-St-New-York-NY-10031 Im not motivated by a special Drake affinity, I just know when someone is not given a fair shake and I know very well the hip hop scene - MCs with backgrounds like Drake is not that unusual. Everyone just romanticizes the past and doesnt really know the backgrounds of plenty of old-school MCs. If Drake put out albums like Ghostface and Raekwon about his phony mafiaso connections, people would be uproar because it is Drake - not becuase they hold other artists to this ridiculous standard. Most people commenting on this site have no idea the true backgrounds of so many hip-hop artists. Many hip-hop artists exagerrate their ghetto-ized upbringings or downplay where they grew up. That doesnt mean that they arent great artists, its just the truth.

    • hudes

      wtf... i guess BAWSE is just making his own theories to make himself feel better about... i don't even know.. liking Drake? hahaha

    • WTF?

      just googled York Mills, DAMN almost everything is 4 rooms and up, the cheapest one is 2 millie, yeah aubrey struggled lol he's like the emo rich kid, sure as hell nothing like Long Island or Harlem WTF?

  • Anonymous

    drake just isnt for me i guess, and if he really is the wave of the future tHEN i'ma have to call it a night with hip hop then, the reasons I got into rap were because ti was edgy and had guts, Nickelodean rappers making love songs all day and night isnt what I look to rap for, I could throw in a sade record if I want to hear love songs

  • da1

    Drake is soft as hell and mostly only talks about gettin hoes and gettin heartbroken when he breaks up with them.

  • Luzh

    What I hate about this round table discussion is that it is not about the music. Talk about Take a Shot. Talk about Underground Kingz. Talk about Look What Youve Done. These are strong songs. Take Care sounds like an album Drake made for himself. His influences are 90s R&B and the Texas hip hop movement. You hear that all over his CD. He talks about what he knows and you cannot fault him for that. Imagine if he pretended to be the same underdog rapper he was on So Far Gone after going platinum & being Grammy nominated.

  • blackula

    A big ass roundtable essay for a guy who's albums this site rated 2.5/5 and 3.5/5 respectively. DX gives Drake's albums shit ratings(deservedly), but still justify, basically sticking up for his manicure, beauty mask music. HHID

  • mindrelated

    Sorry but Drake is not even Hip Hop it is RnB. And what growth...it is the same flow same boring ass subject matter.

  • On' Dre

    my thesis on Drakes album is simple and from an interpersonal standpoint. The persona he gives off doesn't connect with me or creates a balance with anything i identify with. The listening ear of the public is 'fickle' and easily manipulated. Ultimately Drakes formula is something new. i use the word 'new' loosely. As referenced to him doing something 'thug' or street' rappers would be willing to do as far as a risk is concerned can be applied to artists such as LL Cool J. Rappers don't necessarily appeal to their feelings on aan emotional and more sensitive side like drake does. My age has adapted to a 'particular' side of hip hop. There is no progression towards his demeanor. Ultimately his production team seems solid he's in no position to sit on a high horse like he's timeless. I feel for now it works but when people's ears get tired and when the RnB flow wears out..he's done.

    • loseraboveme

      define "done"? lol he may not be the #1 guy, but he will always sell his records and shows. will always be a star.

  • red rum

    this dude is a faggot rapper and his fans sum fags that never heard of lord finesse.

    • Anonymous

      @losersaboveme:ur a very confused boy im in it for the music and underground rappers do gr8 records u one confused boy and think by beeing into drake u gona get a gf and fit in with the cool kids that me and my homies beat up for fun brotha lynch hung come with the best album of the yr ur trippin boy.

    • Anonymous

      @loseraboveme, wow that really shows you have never learned anything about real hip hop. You are trashing on underground hip hop to say that money is the most important thing in the game. Your ignorance is the reason artists like drake get so much love. So radio play is the most important element of hip hop now? Fuck off kid go get a pedicure. Keep on enjoying your mainstream trash and calling it real hip hop.

    • losersaboveme

      allll those guys suck to, come on man, where they at? broke, no money, no air play, not in the clubs, etc. there are alot of guys that suck, ie canibus, vinnie p, etc etc, all these underground guys ...ya they can RAP but CAN THEY MAKE A RECORD? or an album? hell no. you know who can? Jay Z, Kanye, Drake, Em, T.I, Rick Ross...its not rocket science, so much goes into making a record, not just your rhyming abilities. I remember everyone hated on B.I.G before he died, for being "commercial", Nas got hated on, Jay got hated on, all the so called "hiphop heads" hate on people when they are on top makin money and making songs that get radio play. Pun to, Pun was dropping commercial records..if he was alive, people would say he sucked. keep rooting for these underground dudes like RA the rugged man and who ever else that can rap but dont know how to make a song if there life depended on it. Drizzy, 3rd highest selling album this year, top of the charts as usual lol loooooooooooosers.

    • tdot

      @loseraboveme wots next brotha lynch hung,vinnie paz,Apathy,pycho realm suck 2 haha u stick to that gay ass drake.

    • tastelesskidaboveme

      good thing u have a bad taste in music lol i know it sucks but keep digging and youll get a better and more respectable taste. and no dont think about getting a job in the music industry because you listen to music in the wrong way. thanx get shit on bitch

    • loseraboveme

      lord finesse suuucks, lol come on now..really? ok, wheres he at now? thats what i thought......he was never nice, maybe back in the day, even then....AG sucked to.

  • WhoaDere

    We need an #OCCUPY HIP HOP movement like ASAP. too many bull shit journalist and bloggers who dont know shit about the culture and didnt grow up with it rating the music. The reason why Drake's is not that great to me is cus he's so polarizing, his music doesn't have shelf life and he is YET to have an undeniable CLASSIC album (we all can agree on). Half the people (females and those around 21 years of age, 90's babies) love him and Half hate him (80's babies). The greats never polarized fans, everyone unequivocally respected and loved the music. You never had half of all hip hop fans saying "man I hate nas or big or pac or jay" Their greatness was undeniable. Weezy and Drakes music is only undeniable by mostly women and 90's babies and until they win over the majority of ALL hip hop fans and his dumb ass fans stop writing us off as "haters" I can respect there music.

  • WTF?

    This isn't a round table discussion,this is a bunch of people commenting on what they like best about there favorite artist lol "Journalists" to have a real round table discussion there has to be a two way street an argument and a counter argument, I wish someone like Charlamagne the God would have been at that table it would have made for a MUCH MORE INTERESTING discussion if there was at least someone there with no problem stating how they really feel. Im not hating on drake one bit cuz he makes good music Im just shedding light on a faulty article

  • COLE WORLD - ALMOST GOLD

    Go back to writing semi-objective articles. yall clearly sucking Drake's dick. TAKE CARE wasnt a hip hop album. lets keep it TRILL!!!

  • BAWSE

    Of all the commentators here, Steven Horowitz is the most on-point. What becomes evident from this discussion is that Drake isnt dissed or ridiculed because of his music, its his image and who he is percieved to be. Its because he looks minted and light-skin (Disney) rather than scruffy. Its because his fans look like "Jodie Sweetin" off Full House. Its just backwards reverse racism. Lets face the truth: Light-skin mixed guys are more hated than probably anybody in the hip-hop scene and their pushed to act harder to compensate for their lack of "ghetto" credibility. On the flip side, its just an assumption that dark-skin = non-privelage. If Drake was ten shades darker, the whole anti-Drake arguement would be history. You here this word privileged used interchangably as if he grew up in Beverly Hills or some shit. Forest-Hill isnt any different than Long Island, NY (where plenty of MCs are from). Even the rent in Harlem greatly exceeds Forest Hill, Toronto. And even, more than that, Forest Hill is part of the urban environment in Toronto - its not suburban. Im sure these same folks dont bust the chops of Ghostface and Raekwon for their phony mafiaso references when they did Cuban Linx. And Drake's personality/self-deprecation is not really that unusual. Hes just a regular Canadian kid, raised with a more mature "stiff upper lip" mentality rather than the American-streets reactionary "you dissed me, Im gonna get you" attitude.

    • BAWSE

      "Lord Knows", "Look What Youve Done", "Headlines","Crew Love", "Over My Dead Body", "HYFR", "Well Be Fine", "Underground Kings", "The Ride", "The Motto", "Make Me Proud" are all pretty much just Drake rapping.

    • Anonymous

      plenty of joints of him just rhyming haha is that a joke.

    • BAWSE

      Nas and 2Pac talked alot of smack too and made pop records with tons of R&B. There are plenty of hip-hop artists who hardly speak about politics at all. Most, in fact. There is a special extra-level of criticism reserved for Drake because of the way he looks - thats it. It has nothing to do with his music. There is plenty of straight hip-hop trax on Take Care - at least half of the joints are just Drake rhyming.

    • the man

      @ dilated_peoplezz@hotmail.com: Yea but Kanye has respect for the culture and the music and thats why he get respect unlike drake

    • dilated_peoplezz@hotmail.com

      you dummies just dont get it, hanging onto hiphop, that shit is a dyin breed. Kanye changed the game, its the new era, ya'll actin like some old timers.

    • Anonymous

      drake is hated because of his music. image and his music go to together, people label him as the next coming great in hip hop but then 90% of his album is singing and about women. thats what hip hop fans hate. you take nas or a tupac who talk about politics, crime, poverty, something important, what hip hop fans dislike is that here drake is getting all this attention and he aint doing shit, singing more than rapping.

    • blackula

      It has nothing to do with Drake's looks Ricky. Fuck i care what this dufus looks like. It's about the music. The music he's making is not that good. His singing sucks. He's putting out r&b records with a couple bars on the side and DX is justifying it. That's the issue.

  • JihaD

    Niggas did a whole lot of talking about a bad album that sold a lot of records-- sorta like MBDTclusterfuck. It'll be forgotten this time next year, and honestly, I don't think Wheelchair Jimmy can keep up the "My life is so awful, but I'm still better than you" sthick for too much longer-- there is already considerable backlash from the people who originally accepted a half jewish rapping actor in the first place. anyway, spitgame-shells.bandcamp.com/track/money-on-my-mind-2011 ^ Check it out and DL it if you like it. JihaD

  • Anonymous

    put all the bullshit aside drake is a homo rapper who makes homo music. period! this aint hiphop. Real hiphop was made in the 80's and 90's and now rappers are making gay music and wearing skinny jeans and are rapping about armani sandals and handbags.

  • JihaD

    Niggas did a whole lot of talking about a bad album that sold a lot of records-- sorta like MBDTclusterfuck. It'll be forgotten this time next year, and honestly, I don't think Wheelchair Jimmy can keep up the "My life is so awful, but I'm still better than you" sthick for too much longer-- there is already considerable backlash from the people who originally accepted a half jewish rapping actor in the first place. anyway, http://spitgame-shells.bandcamp.com/track/money-on-my-mind-2011 ^ Check it out and DL it if you like it. JihaD

  • The Prez

    Kathy Landoli, Jake Paine and Steven Horowitz... Hmmm.. I could be wrong but those names say it all. My beloved hip hop has fucking changed hands man. The people giving out reviews and ratings are well.. Kathy Landoli, Jake Paine and Steven Horowitz...

  • Anonymous

    this roundtable idea is interesting.

  • Christopher English

    Basically a Drake "Dick SucK" article. Don't get me wrong.. I LIKE Drake as an artists but there weren't any OPPOSING VIEWS.. so to me that's not a true "round table discussion". Too many "journalist" are scared today to have a real discussion for fear of not being granted "interviews, etc". You guys are too scared to ask the HARD QUESTIONS...

    • COLE WORLD - ALMOST GOLD

      AMEN

    • drugante

      its funny u say that my friend..alot of journalists do what HipHopDx just did...its to get access to artists and politicians..if u talk bad about them..u wont get that access..so u must kiss ass...unfortunately thats how the game is played..i like Drake and after hearing "Say Whats Real" i was expecting a Darker and truthful Album were he shuts up the ppl who dont like him..but he didnt..and i dont he can (ref Ghostface Killahs review of Drakes Album)

    • ohboy

      Thats the first thing I noticed.. There were not a many opposing views. Made me wanna puke.. so called journalist make me sick man..

    • The MAn

      CO-F**KING SIGN!! This was not a discussion it was a nice and politically correct assessment without ruffling feathers.. **Heads over to 2dopeboyz.com..**

  • Trevor

    Drake is indeed a phenomenal artist. Take Care showed a lot of growth and knowing what his strengths and weaknesses are. Selling 660,000 copies of your record first week doesn't come easy, especially in today's market. Here's a track-by-track breakdown of the Canadian emcee's sophomore album: http://t.co/JQLXaNDG

  • watever

    i don't understand why people make it seem like drake created this emo-singer-rapper lane. or why no one ever acknowledges andre 3000 for opening that door to both critical & commercial success. there would be no Take Care w/o 808's & Heartbreaks. And there would be no 808's w/o The Love Below. drake isn't the first at this style and defiantly isn't the best.

  • hiphophead

    Kathy Iandoli is what's known in the hiphop community as a "hater."

  • Plaxico

    DX is on Drakes tip, he ain't fresh, hop off his top. Most of these so called journalists think that because they went to college and were introduced to hip hop by mtv, that they have the right to have "open opinions" about this culture, while glorifying the fake industry bullshit and dismiss real hip hop as "old" or "played out". The only one that actually has cred on this panel is burgess, the rest of ya'll posers, get yall shit up, the bullshit is very evident; Cash Money Records is payin ya'll to talk about this fool... fuckin robots.

  • silentturd

    LOL @ BELIEVING JAY-Z MADE 10,000 A DAY DEALING CRACK.....he barely sold shyt in his life besides records, alcohol and clothes....why is hip hop the only genre where the artist has to lie about his life, and we the consumers believe this horse shyt......drake maybesoft...but atleast he'll admit he was always pretty well off....follow me http://www.youtube.com/user/trollingmusick happy turkey day btw

    • BigWorm

      Your music is terrible. No hate, but when you put it out there for random internet opinions, take the good with that bad. I gave it an objective listen and you should quit, you have no future outside of a miracle improvement.

  • gun di liro

    A roundtable discussion on Drake?? What a dumb idea. That's when you know DX and all of these other underground sites are feeling the pressure from fans calling out his bullshit, cotton candy, puppy love, baby wipe music. If Drake was leading hip hop in the right direction there would be no need for this discussion. But here we are, a 5 page essay on whether he's nice or not. All this for an album that was rated 3.5/5 by this site. smh.

  • Garvin Inoa

    That kid is garbage

  • tha truth

    can't believe there is that much to be said about Drake. i pity the crew that have to spend they day discussing this flop. if it aint hard its soft, and drake is exactly that. soft rap for soft people, and thats tha truth

    • Jamel Jhuntdaprodigy Hunter

      Oh sure, a #1 debut selling 660k the first week is definitely a flop. The fact that you even clicked on this article to read it, or the fact that it's being made shows just how relevant Drake is. And yeah "Truth Hurts" has no real authority over who gets a hip-hop pass, Drizzy spit better than ur punk ass could

    • smdh

      you sound very ignorant and closed minded gangsta above me....you have no credibility to say who cant have a "hiphop pass" just go somewhere else with that please...

    • Truth Hurts

      if you fucking with drake, your hip hop pass gets revoked automatically. This kid's attitude stinks, he's very full of himself. I don't understand how grown ass men talk about diggin his music, I mean, If I'm fucking, Im fucking to Keith sweat, not this faggot

    • Anonymous

      If you don't like him go listen to some hardcore bullshit. Yall act like you can't listen to both. Fuck outta here.

  • Anonymous

    DRAKE IS LIKE A FEMALE RAPPER