Have you ever listened to the song R.I.C.O.?
Me neither, not until recently. I listen to rap and hip-hop songs from the 1980s and 2000s on a continuous loop, forever stuck in the golden era of lyricism. For over a decade, I’ve avoided contemporary rappers. Since watching Nelly carefully slide a credit card through the ample butt cheeks of a video vixen in the video “Tip Drill” on Bet Uncut one fateful night in 2003, I believe this rule has served me well over the years.
But Drake has worn me down. Maybe it was the grown-ass man beard he started sporting this summer, his unapologetic love for Serena Williams, or his hilarious diss track “Back To Back” (complete with shady cover art featuring Toronto Blue Jays, first baseman Joe Carter), but I someone found myself listening to his collection of work on Youtube a few months ago. This eventually caused Youtube to suggest I take listen to Meek Mill, and somehow I discovered “R.I.C.O.”
And I loved it!
Mostly because Drake comes on the track and immediately establishes himself as a playboy. His bravado is humorous because it blatantly counters reality.
Drake: The girl of yo dreams for me is probably not a challenge.
Then Meek comes in yelling/rapping as usual and quickly talks about the one dream girl Drake has never publicly claimed as his own, despite his overt lust for her: Nicki Minaj.
Meek Mill: Today I woke up with my dream girl she rich as a Beatle.
This leaves me wondering, if Drake has no challenges getting above-average women, presumably of the Nicki Minaj variety how in the hell does mumble mouth Meek Mill, who got bodied by a singin nigga end up with their collective “Dream Girl”?
Simple. Drake, like so many other people, fail to see the big picture. He flamed Meek’s ass all summer long. His record “Back to Back”, with its biting sarcastic tone turned a snotty-nosed rap particularly like me into an instant fan. He cooked up a good meal and served Meek’s ass up. International hilarity soon followed. Meek became a punchline, with everyone from a government official in Toronto to local restaurant chains flaming Meek publicly. The insults tasted so good, we feasted on Meek’s carcass, rubbed our bellies and took a nap.
And despite all this though, Drake still lost.
His wit and humor, did not, could not, and would not save him. At least not in the ways that matter. See, people like Drake, in hot pursuit of fame, acclaim, and praise often sacrifice the trust of their loved ones for the temporary comforts of complete strangers. The whole world became a Drake stan, but so what? He ended up putting his friend and label mate, Nicki Minaj, in an impossible situation. She had to choose between the men she cared a great deal for and guess what, despite the public pressure to dump Meek, she rode out the storm with her man and their relationship continued. And while she publicly mentioned in a “New York Times” article this summer, how these were grown men fighting and she stayed out of it and didn’t choose sides, the choice was clear. By staying with Meek, he won the war even though Drake clearly won the battle.
Ego makes folks do strange things convincing us to trade loyalty for excitement and ultimately leads us down a path of destruction and separation from those we love most. Drake clearly lost.