Drake Hardly References 'The 6' On 'What A Time To Be Alive', So Where Has His Toronto Love Gone?
Drizzy Drake always has something up his sleeve, and, on Sunday night during the broadcast of the Emmys, Aubrey "Drake" Graham dropped his mixtape with Future, What A Time To Be Alive, in all its digital-diamond encrusted glory. Like his solo surprise mixtape earlier this year, WATTBA was highly anticipated by the legions of Drake lovers in the world, and, yeah, those that love Future too. But one of the biggest surprises about the collaboration between the Toronto and Atlanta rappers is that Drake hardly shouts out to the 6 at all on this new mixtape. What gives, Drake? Why are there no references to the 6 on What A Time To Be Alive?!
As you know, even if you're the most casual of Drake fans, the rapper loves to pay tribute to his home city of Toronto, aka the 6. He is, after all, the 6 G-O-D. But a thorough mining of all the lyrics from the 11 tracks on What A Time To Be Alive yields surprising results: there are hardly any shoutouts to the Champagne Papi's hometown at all! There are a few meta-references: Drake can never resist the chance to drop a ref to "started from the bottom," and he references his humble beginnings on WATTBA. But why was he so austere when giving ups to where he's from, which is so unlike him?
Here are six theories why Drizzy and Future's What A Time To Be Alive is so thin on references to the 6.
1. Serena Told Him He Talked About His City Too Much
"Why don't you try something else?," I'm sure she very kindly suggested. "Not that Toronto isn't great, Aubrey." (In my fantasies, she calls him Aubrey.)
2. He Wanted To Focus On Throwing Shade
This album is heavy on the disses from Drake and Future alike, which is mind-blowing, since the two rappers themselves were involved in a deep feud not too long ago in 2013. What a time to be alive when two giants in the hip hop industry can get together and make a mixtape that puts aside their own differences, and simultaneously throws out a "You ain't sh*t" to everyone else in the game. There are subtle and not-so-subtle disses to just about everyone on this mixtape, including Chris Brown. Meek Mill is already getting tons of diamonds on his Instagram. Awwww.
3. He's Gonna Drop Views From The 6 Soon
Drizzy is probably hoarding all of his golden, perfectly-crafted lyrics to celebrate the 6 for Views From The 6, which should be dropping any day now, right? Right, Drake? Isn't that right? I'm getting tired of waiting (but I'd wait forever for you to do your thing, Aubrey. I know genius takes time).
4. He Wanted To Give The Magic City A Chance
Drake loves Toronto, duh, but he also loves Atlanta. He throws out tons of shoutouts to the Georgia city in his own music, and Future hails from Atlanta, aka the Magic City. And it's the city where Drake and Future created this mixtape in a frenetic six days (he's committed to the number six, still, see?) ATL gets tons of love on What A Time To Be Alive. Drake knows that his own city will forgive him: he just wanted to give the floor to Atlanta. There's room for two cities in Drake's heart. He's emotionally mature like that.
5. He's Saying More By Saying Nothing
We know that Drake struggles with self-esteem issues and impostor syndrome like the rest of us: he raps at length, lamenting how he used to be too black and now he's not black enough, how so many people in the game still think he's soft or call him soft as an insult. Through all of his haters and his meteoric rise to fame, though, Drake's seemed to maintain a sense of detachment from the craziness, and maybe his lack of references to the 6 on What A Time To Be Alive is his way of saying that he's focusing now on dispelling the haters; and he doesn't want to bring his idyllic home city into this ugly world of doubt and hate from other rappers. The 6 is a place for love. Not accusations about ghost-writing.
6. His Mom Told Him Not To
Drake is stubborn. He's October's very own, born on the 24th, making him a very stubborn Scorpio indeed. But, if there's one person in this world whose opinion Drake holds in the highest esteem, it's his mama Sandi Graham. This album is heavy on the drug and alcohol references, and maybe Drake's mother kindly requested that he leave Canada out of it. Drake just wants to do right by his mom, as he's eager to remind the world (and he left out any shoutouts to her on this album, too).
There is one very conspicuous reference, though, on "30 For 30 Freestyle," that makes up for the lack of shoutouts in the 10 tracks before. Drake says, "6 G-O-D, I think I was destined for this sh*t." No matter how many fakers glom on to Drake with every new success and height he reaches, he knows in his heart of hearts who he is, and he doesn't have to constantly remind the world.
Right now, you can listen to What A Time To Be Alive on iTunes and Apple Music; unfortunately, there ain't no tellin' when it will be available on Spotify, but it looks like probably never. Also unfortunately, Views From The 6 is still nowhere to be found. I'm trying to be patient; Drake knows best. And whether he says it or not, the 6 G-O-D he definitely is.
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