Much like Cecil the Lion, the Drake-Meek Mill beef during the tail-end of summer scorched through social media, causing outrage, rancor and useless rambling. Fast-forward a month later, and much like Cecil the Lion, nobody cares.
While the coverage of Drake versus Meek was enormously overblown, a very serious issue was brought up that oddly got overlooked during the four-week tirade. Ghostwriting.
When it was revealed that the anointed king of hip-hop, Drake, had used a ghostwriter for many of his hit songs, there was an assumed fall from grace. Instead, people swarmed to defend their beloved icon, immediately dismissing the notion that their false idol was anything but.
For those unaware, ghostwriting is nothing new. Many famous artists rely on someone else to for their material. A sad, but true reality. In fact, P. Diddy has famously boasted, “Don’t worry if I write rhymes, I write checks.”
However, Drake isn’t P. Diddy. Nor does he want to be. Drake strives for the top. He desperately aspires to wear hip-hop’s golden crown, but knows he can’t because hip-hop more than any other genre is built off the authorship and authenticity of the artist. For Drake’s legacy to be mentioned among his childhood idols – Pac, Nas and Jay Z – he has to write his own rhymes. If Drake didn’t want to be associated with the best, he would not have taken such a huge offense to Meek’s accusations.
Drake is the most logical and profitable heir to the hip-hop throne. Too valuable to lose. The former occupants of the throne – Jay-Z, Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne – all remain far too preoccupied with ventures outside of rap to assert any dominance. While two other well-known names – J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar – appear disinterested in playing the game of thrones.
Drake’s astronomical rise has turned him into one of the most dominating celebrities and whether you like his music or not, there’s no mistaking talent. The man has a persona that is beyond cultivating. The words that have come out of his mouth are mantras, memes and retorts fit for just about any and all occasions – there's even an app for that.
But much of the allure of Drake is the idea that he is personally penning his deepest thoughts. He’s not supposed to be a committee of feelings. The fact of the matter is, Drake might be getting whole songs-worth of help from outside sources, thus ruining the magic and fantasy that makes him such a profitable entity. Would it not, Drake’s camp would’ve confessed to the use of assistance he’s received, which is almost certainly more than they’ve admitted to now, and simply turned Drake into a reality TV version of a rapper. People watch knowing it’s fake, but get a perverse joy from trying to find the line between authenticity and script.
Saying Drake isn’t a talented music is like saying Alex Rodriquez isn’t a great athlete, but as Rodriquez’s legacy has been called into question by many in large due to his admission of steroid use, Drake’s career should carry a similar asterisk that is not in line with the legacy he’s been building on for the past 10 years. Alas, it seems as though that asterisk won’t matter, as efforts have been made to ensure the font from that asterisk is so small the writing becomes completely illegible.
The conversation surrounding Drake’s worthiness as king should not be silenced by the sheep screaming, “Long live the king!” An election is coming. Paying attention is vital. Drake uses ghostwriters. More people of note need to speak up. The emperor has no pants.