Saturday, July 17, 2010

"A Chance is Like a Picture, It’d Be Nice if You'd Just Take it..."

I think I figured out why I have so much admiration for Drake as an artist. A lot of his appeal to me has to do with his unrelenting honesty when he exposes his innermost insecurities and vulnerabilities through his lyrics. I can't think of any Hip Hop artist that has dared to leave themself so exposed in going against the traditional Rap mold of emotionally hard lyrics and unwaivering confidence on the mic. It's refreshing to hear an artist have so much confidence and security in themselves that they are unafraid of being judged for coming off as too sensitive even though that's truly who they are.

Hip hop lyrics post-Y2K have been dominated by lavish tales that embellish success to a point where it became monotonous to keep hearing about the same tall tales of money, women and cars. Now don't get me wrong, before I get Shenanigans called on me for being a hypocrite because Drake has done his fair share of flaunting the finer things in life, I'll be the first to admit as long as the success talk can be backed up and spun in a creative way on a verse, I'm on board. As long I feel like there's some depth and intelligence behind the way an artist crafts a verse, it really doesn't matter what the subject matter is, as long as I can follow the thought pattern and a minimal level of coherence is attained.

With all that being said, the verse below on the remix of Alicia Key's track Unthinkable (I'm Ready) is one of my favorite Drake verses. As I alluded to above, he's not afraid to be honest and share with everyone his innermost insecurities, like worrying about finding the right woman and even then when he finds one, ending up with someone who has been run through more than a finish line. Through all his lyrics it's easy to tell he's had more than one failed relationship that has generated his cynical outlook toward finding a partner and that's really easy to relate to. But it has to be difficult to admit that to millions of strangers? You know what I'm sayin'? In case you've never done it, it can be therapeutic to share with strangers your innermost insecurities (counseling), but man does it take some balls to first jump off that bridge. Not many artists in Hip Hop can claim that degree of confidence in being so unafraid of being judged that they can be sensitive and not give a damn about the people lining up to mount their high horses and judge.

When I first found out that @DRAKKARDNOIR wrote this song for @aliciakeys I was hoping that he would add a verse to it instead of sticking to the background vocals. When he finally did add a verse, he killed it in a subtle way that you have to listen to appreciate. I like how he starts the verse off by fully displaying his fear of being alone, yet he deals with it head on as he seeks a women who can "rescue him from his destiny" as he uses the rest of the verse to try and convince a woman that it'd be worth taking a chance on him. Verse below:
"Ugh, Tez keeps telling me he just turned 30
having dreams of being single forever he’s getting worried
and I’m scared too cause I’m in the same boat
good women are rare too, none of them have come close
me I have’nt changed much, you know how I play it
better safe than sorry
instead of searching for substance at every single party
baby being part of this life
I feel like I’m bound to end up with somebody
that’s been with everybody
I need you to rescue me from my destiny
I’m trying to live right and give you whatever’s left of me
cause you know life is what we make it and a
chance is like a picture, it’d be nice if you just take it.
Or let me take it for ya
I’m just down to ride
or we can roll around the city until you finally decide
I got more than a thing for you, tattoo and ink for you
right over my heart girl I do the unthinkable"
I can respect the cynicism toward love and relate with his ability to remain confident despite past should-have-beens. It's so easy to become skeptical when adversity overtakes a relationship, but being able to remain fearless or willing to take a chance on someone after a recent investment in someone resulted in bankruptcy is a sentiment that also hits home with ya boy. I think Drizzy said it best when asked to fill in the blank in a past XXL issue:

7. I need a girl who understands life better than I do - Excerpt

Well put and more concise and wise than any relationship advice I've gotten from someone younger than me. I now understand why you're "23 and goin' through a mid-life crisis"...because you've seen and experienced things most people your age don't get to learn at your age. Wherever the wisdom comes from, I hope that success doesn't alter your ability to be honest because whether you realize it or not, you say a lot of creative and thought provoking shit that can turn out to be inspirational to folks who really me.

Alicia Keys feat Drake - Unthinkable (I'm Ready)
| Download


Thomas December 6, 2010 at 11:47 PM  

I found this post by searching the lyrics to this song. I can't believe nobody has commented. I just wanted to say I agree with you 100%. He appeals to me for the exact same reason. Great post.

Anonymous January 22, 2011 at 9:06 AM  

just like thomas^ i found this searching for the lyrics and what u said was on point.
i respect drake so much for the same reasons. i'm drawn to his music cuz i feel the same, its like he's in my mind lol

Unknown February 12, 2011 at 4:09 AM  

I also found the article through a search of Drake's lyrics. And I too absolutely love him for the same reasons. His lyrics are so honest and so open, one cant help but fall inlove with his music. I think its so refreshing how in a world were ppl have become so scared to show their true emotions, Drake shares his with such a huge audience. I think there's such bravery in his willingness to share his vulnerability with us what and its just amazing

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