I envy the naïve and innocent version of myself which enjoyed a morning coffee and chuckled at an article in which radio personality Charlemagne the God proclaimed the Drake era to be over. But as we sat on the cusp of a new year, it was a more somber and shell-shocked version of myself who read an article announcing the death of beloved underground hip-hop icon MF DOOM. Hip-hop united under a call of “Fuck 2020,” and I then realised that this Drake era business was way more serious than I had treated it, much to my shame.
“If I may interject, rap these days is a pain in the neck.”
MF DOOM, “Benzi Box”
The article announcing DOOM’s death came as a shock to the world of hip-hop and myself personally as we were informed that he died on Halloween but it was only made public on New Year's Eve. His fans run the spectrum of genre, from jazz cats to dusty-fingered crate junkies to unwashed nerds who have read countless pieces on the parallels between hip-hop and comic books. Often these demographics overlap. The loss of such a hero has really pressed the importance of bringing Drake’s personal juggernaut to a grinding halt. Drake represents the dead-eyed commercialism which many still identify with hip-hop and we must destroy it in order to appease DOOM’s masked spectre. Obviously, this rallying cry will amount to nothing as the album Drake is about to force on the world will undoubtedly soundtrack every TikTok breakup of 2021 and dominate the download charts.
To defeat an enemy, you must know them intimately, shout to Sun Tzu. Charlemagne made his bold claims about the Drake era on the Noise Cutterz podcast, summarising that Kendrick Lamar switches his sound and approach with every album while Drake has shown no potential to evolve. At this point we could sit back and relax, content that the Drake train would inevitably run out of steam due to its limited and flimsy fuel source. This would be a fatal error. We must never underestimate the lucrative power of familiarity; the ‘Fast and Furious’ franchise is nine films deep and apparently audiences still aren’t numb to the speed and ferocity. To stop Drake, we need to overhaul the entire mentality which made him famous in the first place. Out with instant gratification, ringtone discographies and three-second loops of warm, comforting mediocrity. In with overly verbose rhyme patterns, underground respect and reckless experimentalism.
Remember, music can’t save the world but Drake and what he represents can destroy it.
I don’t really hate Drake this much, I’m just upset about DOOM.