Sunday, April 15, 2018

Drake's Cultural Influence

The Ringer – "Drake Is Too Big to Fail"

"Drake, née Aubrey Graham, was once a semi-famous child actor who could sort of rap and—get this—also sort of sing. He was not invented in a dorm room but he soundtracked countless nights in them. As Drake acquired listeners and sales, though, his reach extended far beyond indie sample flips and Cash Money posse cuts (what a time). He grew to dominate rap, R&B, and pop, using his popularity in one genre to capture market share in another. In the last two years he has leveraged his power to enter even more sectors, including grime, dancehall, and most recently bounce, via the preordained hit “Nice for What.”"

"Thanks to streaming and social media, Drake has entered a virtuous cycle of network effects that magnify his influence over time. When a new Drake song premieres, social media users drop any in-progress conversations about literature, global affairs, or Love & Hip-Hop to immediately critique his work, earning him additional exposure via various “trending” lists on social networks. On Spotify, Drake songs immediately receive prime placement on prominent playlists with millions of followers, granting him passive listens from users who may not be actual fans. My colleague Lindsay Zoladz, who we’re also going to say is a legal scholar, recently found that the January single “God’s Plan” appeared on six Spotify playlists, including the trend-setting Rap Caviar. “God’s Plan” is now in its 11th consecutive week atop the Billboard Hot 100, a record for Drake and a worrying streak for people who value a competitive creative marketplace ..."

"... Drake’s chart dominance alone is not grounds for antitrust enforcement. However, the artist also has a chilling tendency to hop on every hot track and claim it as his own. The most recent example is “Look Alive,” a song ostensibly by the young Memphis rapper BlocBoy JB but mostly by Drake (currently no. 5 on the Hot 100). There are plenty of previous cases, including Fetty Wap’s “My Way,” iLoveMakonnen’s “Tuesday,” and, if we’re being really real, DRAM’s “Cha Cha.” After a brief stint in the spotlight, these collaborators earn only a modicum of Drake’s popularity, though they do help him maintain his reign even longer. Even on his own label, OVO Sound, where Drake would have a financial interest in his labelmates’ success, artists often find themselves writing songs for the boss rather than themselves. Former Noisey writer Craig Jenkins (also a legal scholar) once mused that OVO was “Drake’s personal hit factory.”"

The Ringer – "‘Atlanta’: S2E7, ‘Champagne Papi’"
"The Recappables team discusses this week’s Drake-focused episode"

The Ringer – "Drake Is Everywhere and Nowhere in Another Surreal ‘Atlanta’ Jaunt"

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