From The Archives: On Drake

On Drake’s “Nothing Was The Same”

After mentioning my  DJ’s about my assignment for the week, we spent about half an hour discussing albums we loved, both old and new. Although this lead to a period of highly entertaining topics and the surfacing of shared admirations, there was one album we all mutually agreed on. Released in 2013, Drake’s “Nothing Was The Same” was a crossover hit, gaining both  the admiration of a niche crowd and a Platinum status in album sales. We all agreed on the production quality, Drake’s skill in both flow and delivery, and the depth of lyrics; this contemplation urged me into a deeper understanding of the album and a new found admiration for the underlying message in the lyrics. Particularly in the classic track “Started From The Bottom”. “How exactly?” you may ask. Let me explain.

This track speaks of individual accomplishments as much as it speaks of acclaim and success.

“We don’t like to do too much explaining
Story stay the same through the money and the fame”

It’s a funny journey, the road to accomplishments. The ideas of success and failure are constantly shaped and reshaped by the perspectives of others. If we are failing, we are failing because others are not. If we are winning, then the concept of whether we actually deserve it comes into play. The comparisons do deeper and uglier as we are questioned about subjects like are we “The Realest” or if we “Made It”. Quite ironic how a self set bar of success is seldom accepted by society, hence rendering things that took heart and guts into things that don’t mean shit. Drake did not start from the bottom and made it because he accomplished what our societies’ opinion on success in the Music Business is, he made it because he knew when to name he was in the bottom, what his bottom was, and what the exact opposite of that bottom is. His bottom was not living in a cold alley inside a cardboard box, his bottom was not missing a penalty at the World Cup final, and it definitely was not something others had to affirm. He had the guts to take a look at where he was in life, and say “This is my bottom, this is where i’m gonna start from”, regardless of his financial, physical and mental status.

“We don’t like to do too much explaining
Story stays the same I never changed it”

He was never broke, he was never a hustler, he was never forced to work double shifts at Burger King trying to pay rent; and he was not ashamed of this. He was not under the strain of the millennial guilt infused in the 90’s, where we are forced to put all our endeavours into a global perspective, therefore letting others who have not done shit with their lives render our moments of glory worthless . If we succeed, we succeed. We may not solve global warming or bring home the Super Bowl but we have set foot on a journey and finished it for good or bad; with a result we found satisfactory. Drake understood this. Drake understood that regardless of the values of the crowd he was trying to break into, his story was nothing he ever needed to be ashamed of.

“Fuck a fake friend, where you real friends at?”

And then the solitude kicks in. He works, he works and he works. One day he and only he decides that he has actually made it. And then he looks around in his 45 room mansion and realises he is alone. They’re a funny thing, accomplishments. The larger in scale they gate the more they inevitably lead to different degrees of solitude. Maybe this is why Drake cries all the time. Maybe he actually has something to cry about, a dilemma larger then life itself. Is it worth “making it” alone? And if you can’t take the risk of going it alone, can you ever “make it” ? These are the endless millennial questions. I hope Drake has the answers. I hope he lets us know.

One thought on “From The Archives: On Drake”

  1. Great article, I follow Drake’s carrer since almost his beginning with Comeback Season and So Far Gone; and I think that Nothing Was The Same is probably is Statement Album. What I like about it is how he shares his thought and struggles with different musicality.


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