Monday, August 24, 2009
The Remix Wins Again
Drake, ubiquitous on the radio and the focus of this summer's biggest tour despite his absence from large portions of it, has taken over the world. Yes this has been commented on and derided extensively due to shallow un-Hip-Hop signifiers like tween acting chops and being an auto tune prodigy in the past but let's revisit his Napoleonic ambitions now that the damn humidity is finally dropping and music is coming home to grown folk. If you haven't been at a house party with college age students home for the summer, So Far Gone has become this generation's Ready to Die. (NO HYPERBOLE)It has achieved universal appeal for both genders of all ages ending around 23. They can effortlessly recite lyrics from the non radio cuts, of which there are almost none left in the tri state area (and the B-More/D.C. area as of this weekend), and can request songs by track number, AND said requests can be universally understood and processed. (i.e. "Yo, throw on track 5" "Nah, n*** November 18th is played I'm fuckin with Wayne's verse on Ignant Shit right now.") Gucci is proving equally seductive with the quickly spreading "Break Up" and I'm sure it fits a lot of critical aesthetics and narratives for G. Mane to be people's choice of the moment but Drake has the youth of the nation dancing in step with his every move.
Fabolous- Throw it in the Bag Remix (ft. Drake)
Case and point is his collaboration with Fabolous on the "Throw it in the Bag" Remix, a song that reverses the string of awful Fab songs polluting the radio right now but upholding his tradition of making good music as long as it comes nowhere near his proper studio albums. The original "Throw it in the bag" is a Dream product and rare misstep from Nash, an inferior parody of the R. Kelly emulating formula Nash and Tricky Stewart are executing at high percentages at the moment. The remix on the other hand is a welcome change of pace, a disembodied Dream snippet from his love drunk "Fancy" off Love Vs. Hate sped up and injected with much needed energy by Fab and Drizzy.
The breathless beat worms it's way into your head instantly. Fab's latest attempt to court the radio with a sing-songy, precious flow (I see you Jay) has tinged most of his mainstream oriented work off Loso's Way with an awkward, old-man-in-the-club-trying-too-hard vibe but actually works here. He reigns it in ever so slightly and the large, effervescent beat carries his flow in its impressive current. (He's still pretty bad on the final verse) Drake needs far less than this to knock it out of the park so it's no surprise he does with his humorous, brief and lightly detailed in all the right ways ode to a May-December relationship.
A few months ago I wrote a post forecasting the future success of the Freshman class and I'm ashamed to say Asher Roth was on it but Drake wasn't. At the moment there are no chinks in the armor. He's capable of gold hooks and concepts, he's a great writer with an eye for detail, his punchlines are mixtape worthy but are written into cohesive and structured narratives contained comfortably in his 16s. They come off every time in that distinctly weird, internal, Wayne influenced way but are humanized and contain the author's singnature through Drake's ability to tell his story in the personal with universal appeal. (See: Successful) He courts contradiction comfortably with a defiant swagger attached to an open vulnerability expressed with poetic flourish that at times achieves gorgeous heights without dripping into uncomfortable Cudi/Kanye emo territory. His punchlines and descrips are all written around and within a multi syllabic format that flows like words spilling out of his mouth as opposed to be spit and his trademark cadence has yet to find a beat it doesn't sound at home on.
What's scary is this song feels fun and tossed off, something this kid can do all day with little effort. Something tells me we should all get used to this. If I haven't communicated this well enough yet, in my opinion Drake is really good.