Drake Shows More Love To The UK Mandem
A momentous occasion occurred in the UK scene on the 7th of July 2018. Drake had his first performance on Link Up TV, or any other similar UK channel for that matter. The Canadian rapper is arguably one of the biggest contemporary stars in the world right now, boasting over 60 million monthly listeners on Spotify alone with the help of his freshly released 26 track album, Scorpion.
Throughout Drake’s career he has displayed versatility with what influences his sound. From the heartbroken love songs of ‘Marvin’s Room’ and ‘From Time’, to the Dancehall inspired tracks that were prominent in his 2016 album, ‘Views’. Next it became apparent that Drake had love for the UK scene: admitting he was a fan of the TV series Top Boy; performing at a Section Boyz concert; collaborating with Dave and having him support his tour. All this love led to numerous tracks on his 2017 album, ‘More Life’, taking clear influence from UK rap, featuring the likes of Giggs and Skepta.
The previous relationship with the scene is addressed at the start of the freestyle, with Drake throwing Giggs a shout-out for making it happen. The beat has a haunted feel to it, similar to previous tracks of his like ‘Popstyle’. He maintains a familiar fast flow, surprisingly without switching up to his renowned more melodic vocals that feature throughout his career. Looking back at previous ‘Behind Barz’, the majority have an element of passion that just seemed to be missing from Drake’s. This must’ve been due to him attempting to adopt a UK style, inevitably resulting in it sounding rehearsed. Despite this, it has had a great response in the comments, with suggestions that it would have strengthened to recent album if it had been included.
The freestyle is solid at most, but the future implications of this next step in the blossoming, intercontinental relationship could be the most important message to take from this. Previous ventures, as well as the shout-out to Giggs at the start, demonstrate how influential artists from the UK and US are using their position as a platform to offer each other exposure in scenes they are less familiar in. If only Trump and May could take a leaf from this book, as this US and UK combination is looking like it’s going to continue to integrate and develop for the better.
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