Personally, I avoid Lil’ Wayne affiliated projects and artists, figuring that eventually what’s out there will trickle down to me through Young Money’s domination of Hip-Hop for everyone under 25. I do this because, frankly, my Weezy like/dislike ratio for every song he graces is also under 25. In a world of oversaturation, Young Money’s the King of the shotgun approach to music.
This explains my lateness to jumping on the Drake bandwagon, as I avoided our previous coverage of the So Far Gone mixtape. Having been exposed to it through while cruising around the Chi last Friday, I’ve discovered I’ve been missing out. Drake’s tape shows off his crooning and rhyming talents, and Wayne’s presence on a significant portion of the tracks indicates that he’s learned a thing or two about artist promotion from his Big Tymer patriarchs.
There’s plenty of good stuff on here, but the standout track is “Successful,” featuring Wayne and Trey Songz. Over a simple snare, Drake relishes his own successes, while reminiscing on the spoils and pressures that come with. The Lil’ Wayne influence on his rhyme style is staggering, specifically valuing wordplay over maintaining context within a verse. But the punch lines are consistent. Lines like “A lot of you sound like last year/the game needs change and I’m the mothafucking cashier,” keep coming throughout the song’s six minute odyssey.
What holds “Successful,” together though, is the Trey Songz chorus. (I want the money and the cars/the cars , the cars and the clothes/I suppose/I just want to be successful.) The “I suppose,” is a brilliant twist on traditional hedonism. It’s not that Drake and co. want the goods, it’s that they want what humans really crave, success. If it’s money, cars and hoez that symbolize success, then that’s what their after.
Maybe in ten years Drake and Wayne will join Jay and Nas in bemoaning success. For now though, looks like youth will be served.
DJ Rob A Feat. MF Doom & Aarophat – She Still Got Dimples
Nore Feat. Jim Jones – Shoulders Move
Drake – Best I Ever had
The Doppelgangaz – Timbuktu
Lil’ Boosie – Gotta Get It
Sheek Louch & Styles P Feat. Bully – Public Enemy #1
Drake – Funkmaster Flex Freestyle (4/16/2009)
Teena Marie Feat. Faith Evans – Can’t Last A Day