Drake’s mainstream appeal widens rap audience

Drake dropped his new playlist “More Life” last week, and it was immediately successful in both popular and critic reviews. It set a record with 89.9 million streams in the first 24 hours on Apple Music. Drake has created such a large following by appealing to many different people to whom rap hasn’t necessarily always catered, such as women and Caucasians. It’s not like other rappers haven’t achieved mainstream success. Jay-Z, Eminem and J. Cole, to name a few, have gained large followings, but no rapper has reached the same level as Drake.

Drake has become popular by modifying rap to make it more compatible with a mainstream audience. His music incorporates multiple genres of music. This allows the listener to slowly acclimate to rap music.

The primary mainstream criticisms of rap have centered on its fast-paced style and misogynistic and violent lyrics. Drake does the exact opposite: instead of putting women down as sexual objects, his songs focus mainly on romance and love. Rather than lyrics that are too quick to follow, his songs often have slow and catchy choruses. Romantic and catchy lyrics — mainstream listeners obviously eat this up. They don’t care that it’s a genre of music they would usually avoid.

But Drake’s willingness to reinvent rap hasn’t gone without backlash. When Kendrick Lamar dropped a new song this week, rap insiders were quick to hail it as significantly better than “More Life.” This is a common theme, as many insiders feel Drake is not up to caliber compared to other rappers and has compromised the integrity of rap to gain popularity.

What these critics fail to understand is that Drake knows he is compromising the integrity of rap and doesn’t care. He strives to create good music, not good rap. His music has a little something for everybody, borrowing from the best parts of multiple genres. Drake’s musical genius resides in the fact that he has found a formula that works and refuses to conform to rap’s usual standards.

Ryan Steinberg is a freshman majoring in political science.

Featured image Flickr user janeasewell. 

March 29, 2017


Ryan Steinberg

Around the Web
  • Error
  • UM News
  • Error

RSS Error: WP HTTP Error: fsocket timed out

The Fall Lecture series explores topics on accelerated resolution therapy treatments, pain managemen ...

As the Bahamas urges tourists to visit its islands unaffected by Hurricane Dorian, University of Mia ...

Katya Saunders, president of the Bahamian Students Association, is leading a relief effort to help h ...

The uniqueness of the University of Miami—as a place to live, learn, share knowledge, and innovate—s ...

University of Miami President Julio Frenk touted the University’s recent accomplishments in his seco ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/rss.aspx. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.