Drake is so sad – but he's incredibly cool too.
This paradoxical aura, this uncanny ability to be both sad and cool, hovers ghost-like around Mr Aubrey Graham. But it's precisely this manufacturing of persona that defines Drake in the pop-star hustle, putting him in a class removed from your identikit rappers with stable, marketable personas.
Which is where we get to his lyrics. Drake's not the best lyricist, nor is he technically the best rapper out there. But his delivery these days is so incredibly unmatched and his new aesthetic so undeniably consistent that it's no wonder why he's actually being put in GOAT conversations lately. He demands we take him seriously.
But can we take seriously a rapper who's more interested in missed phone calls than social injustices? A rapper who continually gripes about the very technology that has produced his fame? A rapper who halfheartedly tries to rap about important stuff, but usually ends up whining or bragging or trying to sound tough?
Of course we can! There's always wisdom on the surface, and Drake's all 'bout surface. Look too closely and of course you'll find contradictions, but keep it light and you'll find grand life lessons in his superficial musings – even if you can imagine most of it springing from a text or some late-night voicemail.
VIEWS, the new Drake album formerly known as Views From the 6, has droppped. To celebrate, we've gathered 20 Drake lyrics that you can incorporate into your own life and perhaps impose on others, if you feel like it.
"We don't like to do too much explaining/Story stayed the same, I never changed it…"
Song: Started From The Bottom
Lesson: History is a retrospective battle over truth, but if you always tell the truth, you can let history speak for itself and talk about girls and phones instead.
"As I’m back in the city they throw a parade/I might get a key to the city and give it to Wayne/Or give it to one of the young boys to carry the wave…"
Song: Summer Sixteen
Lesson: Always pay respect to the elders who paved the way and to the youngsters who will take it all for granted.
"Me and my friends we got money to spend…
Song: Change Locations
Lesson: Help the economy by spending your disposable income.
"Cops are killing people with they arms up/And your main focus is tryna harm us?/And you think you 'bout to starve us?"
Song: Charged Up
Lesson: Beefs are most oftentimes petty when put in the context of the larger injustices in the world. But you should still release a bunch of diss tracks anyway.
"When I hear 'em talking, I just don't know what to make of it/Hate is so familiar to me, I'm slowly embracing it..
"When I hear 'em talking, I just don't know what to make of it/Hate is so familiar to me, I'm slowly embracing it/Doesn't come natural, bear with me, it could take a bit…"
Lesson: Criticism can be tough, but if you don't embrace it, then you'll never grow. That's why old people start getting shorter at the exact moment they've become set in their ways.
"Shout goes out to NIKE, checks all over me/I need a FuelBand just to see how long the run has been…"
Song: 10 Bands
Lesson: Get a company to sponsor you, make an awesome pun about the brand and then brag about your longevity through clever product integration.
"When I see that thing move, I just wish we would fight less and we would talk more..
"When I see that thing move, I just wish we would fight less and we would talk more/And they say communication save relations, I can tell/But I can never right my wrongs unless I write 'em down for real, P.S."
Song: Poetic Justice [Kendrick Lamar]
Lesson: The mind is what will reward you with the body ("that thing"), but sometimes your worst behavior will go down better when sung in an artful croon.
"Some nights I wish I could go back in life/Not to change shit, just to feel a couple things twice…"
Song: 6pm In New York
Lesson: Experience is fleeting, so all the scientific work that has gone into time travel is probably worth it if we can figure it out.
"I guess you lose some and win some/Long as the outcome is income…"
Song: Over My Dead Body
Lesson: There are good risks and bad risks. For example, tossing all of your money out of a car window would be a bad risk. But implementing a more aggressive Roth IRA would be a good risk, especially in the long run. Talk to your financial advisor, just in case.
"Feel like we one and the same, our relationship changed/That or it never existed…"
Lesson: Sure, we are all made of the same stuff on a cosmic level, but if a tree falls in the jungle and no one is around to hear it, would it sound like a Boi-1da kick drum?
"I'm honest, I make mistakes, I'd be the second to admit it/Think that's why I need her in my life, to check me when I'm trippin'…"
Song: Tuscan Leather
Lesson: The egocentricity that leads to fame can only be tempered by reasonable, practical voices.
"Pray the real live forever, man/Pray the fakes get exposed…"
Song: Know Yourself
Lesson: Justice and authenticity is everything, and anyone who is unjust or inauthentic needs to be shamed immediately.
"It's hard to do these things alone/Just hold on, we're going home…"
Song: Hold On, We're Going Home
Lesson: Being out and about is fun, but being home and having a family provides emotional security/is excellent for tax purposes.
"I got 40 in the studio, every night, late night/Gotta watch that shit, don't want to make him sicker…"
Song: 0 To 100/The Catch Up
Lesson: Obsession and hard work can produce amazing artistic results, but don't forget your beauty sleep!
"My sound got the whole city in your way right now/So I don't give a fuck about what anybody sayin' right now…"
Song: 6 God
Lesson: Stay in your lane and do your own thing. The world will eventually reward you with a ton of social media followers.
"Fuck goin' online that ain't part of my day…"
Lesson: It's still really cool to downplay how much time you actually spend on the internet.
"I think I'm addicted to naked pictures…"
Song: Marvin's Room
Lesson: "Hey, admittin' is the first step." – Kanye West
"I'm living inside a moment, not taking pictures to save it/I mean, how could I forget? My memory's never faded…"
Song: The Resistance
Lesson: Put down your phone! Live in the now! Your mind is the best picture! YOLO!
"It's December 31st and we in Miami just meditating/You got your resolutions, we just got reservations…"
Song: Thank Me Now
Lesson: Stop worrying about the future and always make reservations, especially on New Year's Eve, because restaurants can get busy, especially in Miami.
"I'm managed by my friends that I grew up with/I'd rather give that 15% to people I fuck with…"
Song: 6pm In New York
Lesson: It's all about family and friends. Take care of them. Buy them Bugattis and they'll surround your deathbed.