Picture of rap artist Drake (Image via Trace TV)
College /// Music x

With the rap artist’s career booming in recent years, Drake is becoming more of an icon than ever. And I am not a fan.

It was a rather typical Sunday morning at my abode in Chapel Hill. I was wrapped in my silk Lands’ End robe, drinking a cup of coffee. The usual cigarette that my roommates and I leave hanging out of the mouth of our life-size, cardboard cutout of the UNC head basketball coach, Roy Williams, had been half-smoked and then properly placed back into the tiny hole we cut into Williams’ mouth at the beginning of the school year.

There was a new hole kicked into the living room wall (the total hole count in the house is currently at seven) that I’m still not sure how it got there or whose fault it was as per usual with these incidents. Don’t worry — we’ve already come to terms that we are not getting our security deposit back at the end of the semester. My three roommates and I were sitting on our couches, not really talking, but rather murmuring out whatever thoughts came to our hungover brains.

Every now and then one of my roommates, Chandler, would gasp out, “I may have a stroke,” while he stared at the ceiling with his left leg slightly twitching. This may seem uncommon for a friend group in their 20s to do, but we actually bought and registered Chandler for a Life Alert badge for his 21st birthday, just for safety’s sake.

Another one of my roommates, Daniel, was humming an atrocious tune. After approximately two minutes of listening to this disturbing noise, I glanced towards Daniel and said, “That may be the most annoying thing you could be humming right now. Please stop.” Daniel, who is a self-proclaimed “aficionado” of rap music —  as are many white, privileged individuals who think a subwoofer in the trunk of their 2004 Honda Accord gives them a greater intellect of such music — fired back at me, “How dare you. I am humming a tune created by the greatest musician of our generation — Drake.”

Had my ears deceived me? Did one of my closest friends just have the nerve to tell me that a guy — whose name sounds like a member of Slytherin in a “Harry Potter” movie — is the greatest musician of my generation? The man who played Jimmy Brooks in “Degrassi” and blew condoms into balloons for fun with his girlfriend Ashley instead of having sex is seriously considered a rapper? Somewhere Eazy-E and Tupac are rolling in their graves, while the East Atlanta Santa takes a huge rip out of his blunt to kill the pain.

Drake, who once lyricized, “trigger fingers turn to Twitter fingers,” may be the musical “face” of my generation; no wonder everyone thinks millennials are soft. Instead of dealing with problems face to face, we do as the almighty Drake has said — we sit behind a keyboard with a bag of Doritos and a bottle of Smartwater at our side and tweet about them.

Drake rapping
Drake rapping to an audience (Image via Billboard)

I may be a critic, but I don’t doubt the facts. Drake has countless Top 100 hits, has hosted SNL and the ESPYs (two things that I love), has been featured on countless other tracks and makes songs that every college student can drunkenly sing and dance along to at bars. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t partaken in such activities. “One Dance” might be that “atrocious” tune that my roommate was humming, but it can also be my kryptonite come 1:30 a.m. with a dance floor full of other average drunk dancers.

Drake does well for himself and I applaud and respect him for that, even though it practically kills me to say it. So where does one go from here? Apparently a standard has been set that makes it okay to let someone like Drake represent an entire generation of people through music. I can envision the conversation I’m going to have one day with my 9-year-old son during a drive to take him to school:

All is well until “Fake Love” comes on the radio. “Father, did people really listen to this garbage they called ‘music’ when you were younger? This tune is atrocious,” observes Sam Jr. “Unfortunately they did, Sam Jr., and I tried everything in my power to stop it. I even wrote an article for Study Breaks expressing my discontent. But people don’t have a superior music taste like we do, son.” This is when a single tear would roll down from my left eye. “I’m sorry this is the world you have to grow up in,” I’d say. “It’s okay, father. I know you tried. Shall we listen to ‘First Day Out’ by Gucci Mane instead?” Damn, he’s going to be perfect.

Maybe I’m being a little harsh; obviously the people have spoken and Drake’s music is what the majority wants. Be it a freshman girl, the Kentucky basketball team or my roommate who tried to serenade our house with a song by the “face” of our generation. Honestly, who am I to call Drake “soft” — I like to wear my silk robe on Sunday mornings and drink coffee.

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