OPINION: In Defense of Drake Pt. V: Flows & Pawns – The Flows Edition (By Chris Shaban)

hyperadmin | Editorial,Music | Sunday, August 29th, 2010


Chris Shaban is back with Part V of his on going commentary on Drizzy, and yet it’s Part 1 of something new – The Flows Edition. To get the full ‘Footnotes’ experience of Shabby’s editorials, hit up his blog – FarBeyond.ca

In Defense of Drake: ‘Flows & Pawns’ – The Flows Edition

Is Drake the most important thing to happen to the city of Toronto in the last 10 years?

More on that in a second… First, let me briefly catch you up. The foonotes* idea is the same, just scroll over the words in red. I went a little trigger-happy on the links this time, still in blue. Let me know what you think.

Now, some quick personal house keeping…

Okay, so I’m just going to come right out with it…. I quit smoking chronicWow, it hurts even more when I write it.. Booze too… Hey, it’s not that funny, get up off the floorAshton… . I know, I’ve heard it before too, but the Lord gave me a Malcolm X type cease and desist orderYou know, By Any Means Necessary, so I had to ride. And straight up, I wouldn’t put it in writing if this were some sort of Snoop Dogg I hope you guys caught his show with Rebel Emergency on the 7th at Guv. exit. I will say this though, the plan is to stay the course till at least May 2011 and I’ll leave it at that“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take – Wayne Gretzky” – Michael Scott… Sucks that this is the last year for him on The Office, but it’s always better to go out on top… at least, that’s what she said. . God works in mysterious ways… but more often He uses the ever-popular ‘sledgehammer-to-the-dome’ technique.

One last quick thing before I dive into the new editionRonnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike…. And Ralph, and Johnny… Word to Maurice Starr. of this Drake piece, I want to take a moment to tell you how much I love Manchester Orchestra. I am going to go on record and say that they could possibly be the best band out right nowAlthough I’ve known about them for sometime, their ‘Live from Soho’ album and recent Adam Carolla interview sealed the deal. The link to that interview is at the end of this article, flash up to the 57:30 mark. PS – I know I’m old when I didn’t realize how big Adam Carolla’s podcasts were until I read it in Fast Company like 3 months ago. You turn 30 and everything’s all Ensure and Depends.. I’m sorry F3’s that I’m bringing them two years too late, but if I could cook their tracks on a spoon and shoot it in my veins, I wouldGive up green and liquid but move to junk… nice upgrade Shabby. Do yourself a favour and cop the album ‘Mean Everything to Nothing’ immediatelyA little birdie told me that they are in Nashville at Blackbird studios boiling up that crack again, so keep your eyes wide for some new joints in the near future.. Peep game from the opening cut off the album, ‘The Only One’: “I am the only son of a pastor I know, who does the things I do. But if it was you, I don’t think that it would matter, oh and if it was true, then I just wouldn’t matter.” I’m not sure you can understand how deep that statement is, or how much he probably means it, but it’s that honesty that makes them tick. Funny thing is, the pastor he’s talking about is one of the coolest guys I’ve ever metMy guess is that Andy would agree with me on that… Also, on a completely related topic, the Hull’s have an excellent ‘no charge’ washroom deal if you’re ever in Atlanta. Thing is it’s only for the month of August, so that’s where I was from the 16th to the 20th. FYI – When I go away don’t rob my house… the Whitby one either… Pete will beat you up. If you’re able to beat him up, please make sure he cuts the lawn.. Shab Sidebar: Read ‘Pivotal Praying

Now, for all you youngsters out there, right here on FarBeyond footnotes*, what you’ve all been waiting for, the return of ‘In Defense of Drake’.

Just to bring us back to the same page, I’ll RT the opening question, Is Drake the most important thing to happen to the city of Toronto in the last 10 years?

Read the full Shabby after the jump!

Previously: OPINION: In Defense of Drake Pt. IV (By Chris Shaban)

Of course not, right? That’s ridiculous… Ahhhh, the sweet sound of The ResistanceAside from the multiple Beatles references in the lyrics of this song, my favourite is about Lissa. Obviously he’s talking about the Go-to-Girl and reigning Queen of the decks for 2009 & 2010. She is one of the nicest ladies I’ve ever met in this business. Corwin brought her through to the crib one time with Mona (another woman that makes me happy to be from Toronto) for some dinner and chatting. It was first time meeting both of them and the night went on for hours, way past my bedtime. I’m going to put a link to Lissa’s blog at the end of the article and make sure you follow her on Twitter @djlissamonet… Let’s do this…

Holy Sammy Davis Jr. it has it been a roller coaster 10 months for Aubrey Graham since I published the first installment of this essay. Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood couldn’t have dubbed it better, but some have said that he’s a pawn, but should have focused on his flows. Remember, there was a time not that long ago when simply Googling the name ‘Drake’ would have resulted in more Nick Drake articles than ones about Drizzy. Heck, the most important thing on his Wikipedia page was about Keisha Chante, so to keep it real, this guy’s been on an Unforgettable run so far.

“Okay cool, I’m down with that”, you say, “but how can some Acta Ternt Rappa be more important to one of the most livable cities in the world than the G20Okay, Okay, that was a joke… So was the conference… So were the protesters… hmmm, everything but the cops I guess. I can’t believe I’m saying that. Hip-Hop sites, please forgive me.?” Cue the Fireworks…

So in Part IV of the last ‘In D of D’ footnotes* our boy Ricky Rapper EsqWho, rumour has it, will be making a reappearance in the ‘Pawns’ edition. wasn’t feeling Drizzy’s T.O. love. If I remember correctly, there weren’t many people in the city that were feeling it, and the stats were there to prove itI heard somewhere that men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t. So let me substitute ‘numbers’ with ‘facts’ and don’t tell Jay… Or even Yo Gotti and Wayne for that matter.. Isn’t this the same guy that said, “Shout out to my city, though I hardly be in town”? Well my friends, that sure seems like the perfect place to commence.

Here is a list of just some of the things that Mr. Graham has done for Toronto in 2010:

Worldwide Premiere of ‘Over’ on Flow 93.5RIP? I’m just going to take a moment to say a quick prayer, “Dear God, please don’t let CHUM turn Flow into Bounce. We already have 84 different ‘#1 Hit Music Stations’ in Toronto and all we really need is just one good urban station. So, if you can please work on the hearts of the executives at CHUM and ask that they clean house at the station and bring in some people that know how to attract listeners and make money without creating another frequency that plays The Stereos, I would really appreciate. Thanks! Amen.”

Rolled through the Stylus Awards to pick up his statue for Song of the YearI know it’s ultra cool to act like you don’t care at all, but sweat pants? Haha, I can’t front, if I was that big and 23 years old, I might have walked up in my wife beater and old faithfuls, so it’s all gravy.

Was the spokesperson for Virgin Airlines first Canadian flightBrought Sir Richard and Governor Arnie into the mix too. Might as well right?

Performed at the MMVA’s and cleaned up the Awards regardless of the second debacleDebacle being the sound malfunction this year and the ‘pre-show’ snub last year. PS – does anyone know why you never saw ‘Best I Ever Had’ on MuchMusic? I do, and I’m not allowed to tell… Even though I want to so bad.

Brought out the two biggest artists in the history of rap, Jay & Em, for his OVO Fest finale Just as a little FYI and because I’m ultra jealous, this wasn’t the same as when Jay brought out Michael Jackson at Hot 97’s Summer Jam or when George Michael brought out Elton John to help him perform ‘Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me’, this was a promotional venture put together by Universal Music. I know, I don’t care either, I just had to put it out there, cause like I said… ultra jealous.

Need I say “etc”…?

Don’t kid yourself; if there was a Toronto flag, this dude would be waving it e’rywhere. Remember something Canadians, WE all know Mike Myers, Peter JenningsRIP, Jamaal Magloire and Jim Carrey are from Toronto, but do you think the average American doesI guess it’s kinda unfair to ask that question, because we don’t know, however I’d be willing to wager that they don’t. Or even care for that matter. Territory is much different in Hip-Hop.? Now, do you think that same American knows Drake is from Hogtown? I’d be willing to wager, ‘no they don’t’ and ‘yes they do’, respectively.

But, who cares if you put on for your city, right? It’s all about the Benji’s down south, isn’t it? I disagree. Look no further than how Cleveland felt about LeBron James after the ‘betrayal’ of his home state in taking his talents to South Beach for proofWhile ESPN’s ‘The Decision’ was as useful to professional sports as a pair of Spanx for an anorexic, I do have to say I understand LeBron’s choice. And if I hear one more old ball player talk about how they’d never do this, I’m going to barf. FYI – Magic, Bird and MJ would slaughter King James, DWade and Bosh, like SLAUGHTER THEM. How did Chris Bosh all of a sudden become one of the top 3 players in the league? I mean, I know he’s talented, but he is mos-def the ‘one of these things just doesn’t belong here’ when we’re talking the Big 3. Lastly, Jim Gray couldn’t have been a better selection to host ‘The Decision’. He is without a doubt the lowest form of sports reporter available to our generation. Just ask Pete Rose or Corey Pavin.. Remember, money talks and fame is like a drug you can take too much of. That said he is a star, but no Spangled Banner.

PS – I’m not saying that the reason the Kentucky Wildcats, and Drake friend, Coach Calipari are bringing the best College team to Canada for some exhibition games this year is because they’re boys, but I’ll make that inference because it adds to my pointThis is not the first NCAA team to do something like this and for sure won’t be the last, but it’s been sometime since a team this ill has. Big Ups to Coach for killing it in the recruiting department again this year. I guess the ‘we’re very supportive of one and dones’ pitch worked again… 😉. 😉

PPS – I loved seeing P Reign on the front end of the last tourBut K-OS? Anyway, it wasn’t my tour..

It wouldn’t be insane to stop the whole essay right now and drop a casual “Oh, you ain’t know?”, but I don’t think I’ve gone Over the top yet with examples, so let’s cram a couple more music related points before I close the door.

I’m going to take a little sidebar here, as I continue to prove the point, and talk about people biting his style“I think you caught me in a moment, Like I catch’em stealin’ flows, cause I swear I never loaned it”.

I’ll skip the fact that Juvenile completely copied Drizzy’s ‘Thank Me Later’ album cover, suggested that his label did it and said he didn’t get to see it before it was releasedIsn’t one of the key points of being on an independent label the creative freedom?. I’m going right to that Big Sean rhyme style that he made famous. It’s kinda like a metaphor or simile; cept the reference is delivered like a punch line. Examples:

“I race for your love, Shake & Bake, Ricky BobbyObviously in reference to Talladega Nights..” – ‘Bed Rock

“Swimmin’ in the water, come and find me, NemoYou guessed it, ‘Finding Nemo’. – ‘Forever

“Will I blow all of this money baby, HammertimeYikes… Wouldn’t want to blow tens of millions and be in pocket to Primetime either.? – ‘The Resistance

Listen to ‘Over’ one time; it’s like a lesson on how to do it. Everyone from Nicki MinajPS – I am the 4 millionth person to say this, but I am in love with Nicki… WOW. to Jay-Z to Kanye West have used this technique of sentence first, provide answer after, but HANDS DOWN the worst I ever heard came courtesy of Ludacris via the second verse from his single ‘My Chick Bad’. The Macy’s line, okay, but “Balloons?” If I was Drake, I’d been vexed tooSpeaking of people thieving other artists lingo, ‘member last edition when I broke down how useless Nas’ attempts at getting slang to enter our culture was? Well, I didn’t count on my favourite ATL representative on the 2nd HARDEST song in 2010 so far to reach back 7 years to put me in my place. “Drop the top, no bra, got the titties out” AHHHHHH, really Jeezy, did you have to do that? Did you have to give your ‘My President’ potna that cosign? ‘Lose My Mind’ had me doing exactly what the title suggested every time I heard it come on, but I always get bitter at the start of the third verse. Okay, so if I could go back and replace it, I’ll substitute out that line from ‘Made You Look’, with this one from ‘Dr. Knockboots’ – “Make her bless you, we call that ‘ish’ Gesundheit” Hmmmmm… for now, after the first night, we’ll call it ‘use your fingers’. Oh, and what’s the hardest song to come out this year. ‘BMF’, Ricky Rozay… Call that a little payback to Jizzle… 😉.. I mean, it’s almost like Karaoke.

And on a completely related topic, can we please stop comparing him to Kid Cudi, J Cole, and Wale? First of all, the latter two are about 18 – 24 months away from “Yo man, you remember what’s his nameAnd that’s not a diss. Word to Lupe Fi… ummm… the ‘Kick, Push’ guy.?” so let’s get Off That. And with Cudder, his crossover appeal is as smooth as a 3-year-old in power skating, so for the sake of THEIR careers, please stop.

Moving on…

And the Award goes to….

Well, in 2009, the answer wasn’t always Drake, but it seems that’s where all the nominations went. I know second place is the first loserShout out to the No Fear shirts for all my peoples that aren’t too young to remember them., but as a rookie to have multiple nods from the Grammys, MTV AwardsOf which he’s performing at this year., Soul Train Awards, Teen Choice Awards and W’s from BET, the MMVA’s and the Juno’s, it’s hard to hate on the kid. I have a feeling there’s going to be a few more trophies to add to the collection before all is said and done.

Last point before I throw the Ricky Rapper hat on and start hating…

Question: What’s the most important thing to any public figure regardless of their occupation. Publicity… media attention… press… bowling with Rihanna… whatever you want to call it, and in the last 10 months, Drake has had enough to start his own little Thomson Reuters type joint. Just over two years ago, all we wanted for our little Hip-Hop community was to hear some CanCon on Hot 97, and now it’s the cover of Billboard Magazine? I won’t even wait till later to thank you for that…. Thanks brah.

How bout consistent interviews on unique outlets like CNN and GQ… did I mention CNN? It seems like he’s been on the cover of every magazine in the worldIncluding he and Nicki turning down the front of the Freshman 10 (which as usual, was ultra garbage) to get their own cover the next issue.. Further, I don’t think one rapper got interviewed without being asked what they thought about Drake. There were Sprite commercialsAlthough, that Sprite one could have ended up in the ‘Pawns’ edition man… Mad props for getting that look, but the visual will rank 2nd to ‘Breast I Ever Had’ in the ‘are you serious?’ archives… and MTV specials. You could follow Drake’s knee on Twitter. He was a spokesperson for Bing. He even partnered with his weapon of choice to help them be cool. I’m going to stop now, cause I’ve already over stayed my welcome on this topic, but you get where I’m going.

So let’s cut right to it, do all of these above things make Drake TO’s most important export in that last 10 years? I’m going to go with my brain and say No, net yet… but I gotta tell ya, it’s one heck of a start.

That’s it for the Flows edition of this piece. Reach back in two weeks for the Pawns edition where we let Ricky Rapper pose the question: “Could Drake be the worst thing to…” ahhhhh… I’ll save it till then.

No Comments »

  1. was that difficult to read?

    Comment by is it just me or.. — August 29, 2010 @ 11:42 am

  2. Thanks Ty for posting… It is a little difficult to read in that format, but to read it in it’s easiest form, just got to farbeyond.ca/footnotes and you can read the footnotes as a pop up. DON’T NAVIGATE AWAY FROM CITYONMYBACK, just click the link they provided so it opens in a new screen. These guys do such a great job of trying to recreate the footnotes. Congrats on the a great blog fellas…

    Comment by Shabby — August 30, 2010 @ 12:16 pm

  3. My head just hurts looking at that – I wouldn’t even try to read it. Completely reader unfriendly format-wise and seriously, five parts to defend Drake? Is that even necessary?? If someone isn’t convinced after one good, well-argued and well-written op-ed, it’s just not gonna happen…..

    Comment by @StellasKid — September 2, 2010 @ 1:41 pm

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