Drake’s History Of Subliminal Jabs

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Revolt writes:

It makes sense that Drake, a charming and affable guy who’s built up good will (and collaborated) with just about every fellow rapper in the music industry, is supremely tactful – especially when it comes to going at rappers’ heads.

Over the course of his ascent to the top of rap’s ranks, Drizzy has taken so-called “subliminal shots” at a handful of MCs – some deserved, some not so much – expertly avoiding the potential beef that could ensure, Drake’s been so careful in his subtle wording that the feuds never quite escalate beyond wax.

Now, as any music fan knows, lyrical insults are par the course in the hip-hop world; all’s fair as long as you’re ready to stand behind your words. But in the case of Drake, the man with the most relevancy in the genre (and admittedly the current MC with the most to lose) has never quite made those words clear enough to be considered a direct dis.

A great example came last night, when Drizzy surprise-released a new single with “Draft Day,” a great, laid-back, Lauryn Hill-sampling tribute anthem to his longtime friend Johnny Manziel.

While the single’s cover art and title reflected a simple, bromantic tune, the lyrics pointed toward something far weirder. A third into the track, Drake (for some reason, perhaps a mere acknowledgement of a new competitor) calls out Chance The Rapper as vaguely as humanly possible: “You shoulda followed all my moves, you won’t realize ’till after / And if I left this sh-t to chance, I woulda picked a name like Chance The Rapper / Yeah, no offense, ’cause I don’t know that ni–a.” Yeah, we don’t know, either.

Directly after, Drake throws a polite lob at his Big Brother/frienemy Jay Z: “I’m focused on makin’ records and gettin’ bigger / Just hits, no misses, that’s for the married folks / Tell em fix my suite up ’cause I’m coming home / Heard they talkin’ crazy, I was outta town / You know they love to pop all that s*** when I’m not around / But when I’m here? Not a sound / That’ll make me snap, jot it down, go in the booth and lay a body down.”

Not the most offensive lines in response to Jay’s recent subtle jab of his own on Jay Electronica’s “We Made It” (“Sorry Mr. Drizzy for so much art talk / Silly me, rappin’ ’bout sh-t that I really bought”), sure, but more importantly – are they lines even intended for Jay at all?

Or – are they just more standard, humble-braggadocios lyrics found throughout most Drake songs (or rap songs in general)? It’s hard to tell, and really, it’s hard to tell whether any of Drizzy’s so-called shots are shots at all. Join us, as we take a look at some of his subtlest disses to date. Check them out below, and let us know what you think: are these insults or merely quirky comments meant to stir up controversy-loving fan in all of us?

Drake On Kanye/Jay Z as The Throne (?):
“Hate the rumors, hate the bullsh-t, hate these f-cking allegations / I’m just feeling like the throne is for the taking, watch me take it.”

Drake On Common (?):
“It’s feeling like rap changed, it was a time it was rugged / Back when if a ni–a reached it was for the weapon, nowadays ni–as reach just to sell their record.”

Drake On Kendrick Lamar (?):
“I hear you talk about your city like you run that / And I brought my tour to your city / You my son there, nigga… If a n**** say my name, he the hot s*** / But if I say the n**** name he still the hot s*** / Fucked up / Lucky I don’t feed into the gossip.”

Drake On Chris Brown/Rihanna (?):
“I know you think its funny that your ex is not a running back but that n***a came running back / And you tell me that you’re done with that / And I believe its true as long as you know who you belong to.”

Drake On Ludacris (?):
“Man all of your flows bore me: paint drying / And I don’t ever be tripping off of what ain’t mine / And I be hearing the s*** you say through the grapevine / But jealousy is just love and hate at the same time.”