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Now You Know: Meek Mill Vs. Drake

The State of Hip Hop

The Story

It’s not news about the Drake v Meek Mill battle. Apparently Meek Mill requested a feature verse from Drake for a song and Drake submitted what Meek Mill claims was someone else’s verse. Meek Mill then called Drake out and accused him of having a “ghostwriter.”

Real Beef

So I’m less concerned about the gossip and the controversy over whether or not Drake has a ghostwriter. I would doubt it but it’s of less concern to me as is the Hip Hop part of all this. I try not to use the term “beef” as the media has twisted the word far from its street origin when it just meant you had an ought with someone else. The media plays it as this huge hatred that makes 2 artists arch enemies that will do anything to crush one another. In truth, a beef is not that serious. In the streets it could mean 2 people come 2 blows to settle the disagreement or they come to terms and correct the misunderstanding. The same 2 people could be good friends and go on being friends after they have squashed their beef. But I digress.

In Hip Hop a beef is meant to battled out in verses and so when Hip Hop heads hear that 2 artists are beefing they immediately get their ears ready to hear some battle rap. Sometimes its a freestyle, sometimes its a track directed towards the other artist. However, historically it doesn’t come to blatant comments given on social media and interviews. The 2 artists have it out in the art. In this case Meek Mill’s comments were made on twitter which is why at first I was going to ignore the whole thing but Drake in traditional Hip Hop fashion responded in his track Charged Up (Read & Listen to “Charged Up” by Drake on Genius).

Drake’s Charged Up

Drake’s track has received some criticism and elicited the comment from Meek Mill as being “soft.” It’s true that Drake didn’t produce an energy filled rant that one usually expects; think Tupac’s Hit ‘Em Up (Read & Listen to “Hit ‘Em Up” by 2Pac on Genius). Or a gritty witty response like Nas’ Ether (Read & Listen to “Ether” by Nas on Genius). However, it’s Drake we’re talking about, and although he has dropped some grittier material than Charged Up, I think it’s part of the point he’s making. Charged Up has that dark, looming production with a reserved monotone flow that is kind of signature Drake. Being that his authenticity is being questioned it would seem understandable that he would bring an energy that he is Drake_Back_To_Back-frontuniquely known for. Also, Drake – even in the action of responding lyrically- is approaching the battle with an arrogant and mature high road air that says ‘I’m responding to you but I’m not worried about ’cause I’m here and I’m here for a reason.’ Remember it was Drake that declined to do a response verse to Kendrick Lamar’s Control strike. So it makes sense that Drake’s response has an almost matter-of-fact feel to it. He’s responding but he’s not trying to let anyone think he’s sweating it. I, too, expected to hear something different but I wouldn’t call it soft. But I guess that’s why 4 days later Drake came up with Back to Back.

Drake’s Back to Back

This one definitely had more energy without departing from Drake’s signature dark production. He was more witty in his rhymes and the song seemed more thoughtful than reactive like Charged Up. And as Drake spits in the song, you can hear how this track could be played directly behind the first track and create a versatile and interesting response as a collection. Drake didn’t cut any corners on creativity as you can hear the track getting as much radio play as any single off of his albums. But Drake does enter a disclaimer in the song stating that he’s taking time from working on his next album to perform “charity” and respond to Meek Mill but he’s not thinking he will need to respond again. So whether or not that means we can expect to hear a reaction track to Meek Mill’s response is not likely.

Meek Mill Wanna KnowMeek-Mill-Wanna-Know-Drake-Diss-420x420

Meek Mills’ Wanna Know dropped this week and the people weren’t impressed (Read & Listen to “Wanna Know” by Meek Mill on Genius). Meek Mill received a number of cracks and comments on social media calling the track lame. Drake responded with a photo of himself laughing. Meek Mill’s offering definitely lacked the creativity and wit of Drake’s tracks and relied more heavily on blatant jabs and references to embarrassing Drake incidents while repeating the fact that Drake doesn’t write his own rhymes and uses Quentin Miller as a ghostwriter.

Sidebar: Quentin Miller is credited on Drake’s If You’re Reading This It’s Already Too Late and has publicly recounted how he met Drake and the fact that he collaborated on a couple of songs but that the album was mostly finished and his contribution was limited.

The Point

With the public response to Meek Mill’s track it is not likely that Drake will feel the need to respond. And it seems to bring an anti-climactic end to the “beef” between Drake and Meek Mill. And the damage is done. Drake appears to have come out on top and Meek Mill appears to have embarrassed himself somewhat because despite his accusations and the fact that more than a few people might agree with him on Drake’s less than hardcore demeanor and the fact that Meek clearly has the girl Drake was once enamored with, the kid got bars where Meek seems to come up short.

I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,

An Angry Black Man

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