Drake and the Raptors: Like Looking in a Mirror

During the hype surrounding NBA All Star weekend in New York City, the Toronto Raptors’ celebrity ambassador, Drake, decided to drop a mixtape.  “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” is supposedly a collection of “throw away tracks” that Drake has compiled onto one project.   One has to figure that Drake followed suit with what goes on during NBA All Star Weekend – because if you didn’t get the memo, the NBA ALL Star Weekend has little to do with basketball and more to do with self-promotion and grandissement. 


Drake has a close bond to his city of Toronto, or at least he’s trying to make it seem that way.  Much like the Toronto Raptors franchise, Drake is a young upstart with all the potential to leave his claim on music history.  Drake as an artist in hip hop pretty much is resembled in comparison to the young stars Demar Derozan and Kyle Lowry of the Raptors.  The talent is there, but they’re are all looking for the respect they feel is deserved.

The one problem with all of this is that much like Drake – Lowry and Derozan cry about it.  If there were ever a duo that flopped more than Lowry and Derozan, it’s a safe bet the NBA hasn’t seen it yet.   As soon as the slightest contact is initiated upon the two, they are throwing their arms up in the air or tossing their head back as if they’ve just gotten shot.   In Drake’s world, their is no pretend of being shot – but there is an equal amount of crying.


The “crying” is exemplified best on the track “You and the 6,” where Drake is apparently on the phone with his mother and telling her of his trials and tribulations as a music artist.  “I got no friends in this momma, I don’t pretend with this momma / I’m no joke with this momma / I’ll pull the knife out my back and cut they throats with it momma. . . I just. . . I can’t be out here being vulnerable momma / I mean I kill ‘em everytime they do a song with me momma / I sing a hook, they sing along with me momma / What more they want from me momma!?” 

Somebody please cue the violins.

On much of Drake’s release “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” – there is a tone set by Drake which he showed fragments of on his last LP “Nothing Was the Same” – in this tone, Drake seems offended to some degree that people don’t see him as the “next big thing.”  Drake feels his resume is enough to sit him at a table with the legends.  Much like the Raptors who feel the rest of the world doesn’t respect them as true contenders.  The truth of the matter is: Drake, if you are a legend in the making – that time will come.  In the eyes of many, you’re still getting your feet wet; Toronto Raptors, you play basketball in Toronto. . . people in the states still see you as an expansion team that once upon a time at least had Vince Carter.  Your legitimacy will only come with continued success, division, conference and NBA Championships.


Drake shows his support oddly for the city of Toronto by referring to it as “The 6.” “The 6″ being the prominent number in Toronto’s area codes.  He does go a bit overboard with it though on the track listing: “6 God” “6 Man” “You and the 6″ “6pm in New York” and “Star 67″ are all titles to songs on the release.

We get it, Drake.

What we don’t get though is how an artist can release such a mundane release in which one repeats himself over and over again, and think that will be enough to separate you from the pack.  Much like the Raptors, who need to move passed the second round of the playoffs before people show them the respect they think they deserve – the praise will come when it’s deserved.

G.W. Gras

Twitter @GeeSteelio

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