By Nick Faber ’18
International superstar Drake does seemingly everything correct. He makes one hit after another, he sings alright, he raps alright, but what does he do that’s totally wrong? His song writing. We could get into claims of ghost writers but that’s another story for another time.
It’s obvious that Drake wants to paint a picture in the listener’s mind. He Provides a story in many of his songs, he describes a scene or setting and then goes in a totally different way.
The prime example of this “technique” is in Drake’s “Child Play” released on his album Views. Take a listen…
This is the first line of the song. In it, Drake tries desperately to paint a picture of a couple fighting at the Cheesecake Factory. Does he do a good job? In my opinion, no. After this little incident, he goes on to rap about his sexual life, which has very little meaning to the beginning of this song.
In his defense, it’s hard to write a song following a single storyline from beginning to end including a chorus. But when done successfully, it creates a masterpiece that few others can contend with.
There are some key examples that I want to take a look at..
- “Keep it 100” by Joyner Lucas
Following a 100 dollar bill, this unique point of view gives a story. Going from hand to hand, situation to situation, this is a perfect example of how exactly to write a story to depict real life situations involving this bill.
2. “Sing About Me, I’m Dying of Thirst” by Kendrick Lamar
One of Kendrick’s best songs on both his album good kid, m.a.a.d. city and his whole discography, he takes us on a different, complex journeys through life. All connected through the chorus, this song is a perfect example of many different stories combining to make one beautiful story.
Conclusion: Drake is already the biggest artist of the past few years. He doesn’t need to incorporate better song writing/story telling. But to be called a great rapper, he should try to increase the amount of stories being told, but also the quality of them as well.