The fact that I think Drake is one of the sexiest men on this planet has a little bit to do with the fact that I was addicted to Degrassi when I was young. But I always liked Craig, who played guitar and was a walking emo girl fantasy, leather jacket and all. So why else do I like Drake so damn much (seriously, it’s problematic. I’m almost 23 and these things should not be happening to me.)? Maybe it could have something to do with the lyrics:
We could do it real big, bigger than you ever done it
You be up on everything, other hoes ain’t ever on it
I want this forever, I swear I could spend whatever on it.
No. No, that’s not it at all. Certainly, I do take issue with that entire music video and the insanely sexist lyrics — of which I proudly know about 3/4 by heart and enjoy performing during karaoke nights. All of his most popular songs are like this, like he’s bought into a formula that he knows he has to adhere to if he wants to get “paper.” I realize that genuinely enjoying the ridiculousness of that song sort of makes me a walking contradiction as a self-proclaimed feminist, so I knew in my heart that he couldn’t be one-dimensional.
I had to do some digging, but I discovered some of his lyrics belie the formulaic sexist/money-obsessed themes of his popular stuff. And this is why he is probably one of the most promising (and, okay, yeah, sexiest) men in pop culture right now.
Drake first turned the tables for me with his remix of the Lykke Li song “Little Bit,” which I discovered just before leaving for New Zealand last year. When I heard his smooth, creamy, Cool Whip voice over her spare electro beat, I had to listen to it three times before I believed it was real and that someone had actually come up with something so genius. It’s dark and dainty all at once. He is dark and dainty all at once, as he sings:
I hope they never find out
what they already know, know, know.
As soon as it’s official,
we’ll have to let it go, go, go.
So we don’t confirm the fling,
keep avoiding all the questions.
You could teach me many things,
I’m just scared to learn a lesson.
And maybe it was because I could totally relate at the time or maybe it was because we can all relate with how gentle his detachment is, but I felt like I found something all my own. Like he had taken that song that I only sort of liked before and made it into something that combined such opposites that it suddenly made sense in its disorder. He did this again with his rap for the Alicia Keys song “Unthinkable,” and if you don’t believe me, you should watch it on YouTube until you do.
Finally, the other day at work, I heard a remix of his song “Karaoke” by Francis and the Lights. His voice is anchored on a single beat. And then it slowly becomes a sort of 90s funk love song to the girl he cared about before he became famous. Sure, his metaphors are a bit immature and underdeveloped and, yes, cliched. But his intentions are right, and he can’t go anywhere but up. Regardless of whatever else he may rap about in his other songs, he’s honest here.
Don’t be fooled by the money. I’m still just young and unlucky. I’m surprised you couldn’t tell.
He rips away one layer and you feel like he’s stripping away that layer just for you. His honesty is disarming and unconventional and oh-so-welcome. If only he’d actually strip away that layer and take his shirt off… I can’t find any photos like that on the Internets. Okay, I’ll end my stalker-ish rant now.