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Adam R. Holz

Album Review

If you look up the word meme in Merriam-Webster’s, you’ll find this definition: “An idea, behavior, style or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture.”

One of the rap world’s go-to memes reads something like this:

  1. I’ve got more talent than anyone.
  2. I’ve got more money than anyone.
  3. And if anyone wants to quibble with either of those realities, well, it doesn’t really matter because I’ve got more talent and money anyway.

It’s not a very endearing message, really. But it’s one you can find in hundreds, perhaps even thousands of rap songs—including the latest from megastar of the moment Drake, whose massive success has catapulted him into the upper echelon of the hip-hop elite.

Early on, Drake tells us he’s “overdosed on confidence,” and that he’s “started not to give a f‑‑‑” about what anyone thinks of him. He’s more interested in gathering his entourage and raising a toast to salute his greatness—and inviting those around him to do the same. “Drinking every night, because we drink to my accomplishments,” he brags. Indeed, the song’s video frequently pictures Drake sitting, king-like, at the head of long table as he and his followers quaff brew and puff away on massive cigars.

As for anyone who doubts Drake’s greatness, well, he figures that they’ll eventually be forced to admit that he’s the real G.O.A.T. in the room: “They know, they know, they know,” the chorus drones repeatedly, “That the real is on the rise/F‑‑‑ them other guys/I even gave them a chance to decide, now it’s something they know.”

“Real” in the rap world, of course, is code for having money—and lots of it. And so Drake stays true to the meme by bragging about his mounds of mammon: “I be yelling out money over everything, money on my mind/ … I guess it really is just me, myself and all my millions.”

He departs (briefly, very briefly) from lockstep adherence to the script when he mentions friends who long for the old Drake (presumably the one they used to hang out with before his coronation). “Then she want to ask when it got so empty,” he intones. “Tell her I apologize, happened over time/She says they miss the old Drake.”

But then he quickly retorts with a “girl, don’t tempt me” disdain as he snaps, “I’m like, ‘Why I got to be all that?'” Clearly he’s got little time for such sap. He’s too busy making money. And swearing about it. (The f-word, the s-word and the n-word all pop up in this song.)

Adam R. Holz

After serving as an associate editor at NavPress’ Discipleship Journal and consulting editor for Current Thoughts and Trends, Adam now oversees the editing and publishing of Plugged In’s reviews as the site’s director. He and his wife, Jennifer, have three children. In their free time, the Holzes enjoy playing games, a variety of musical instruments, swimming and … watching movies.

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