Personal Statement: Why I love Drake

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - 6:37pm

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Illustration by Cheryll Victuelles

 

It won’t take long into getting to know me to know how much I love the rapper Drake. He’s in my Twitter bio. He’s the background on my phone. I once changed the all computer screens at The Michigan Daily news desk to mirroring images of his face.

When friends describe me to people they know, they often bring up my obsession with Drizzy. It’s become my “niche.” Interestingly, however, no one has ever asked me why I’m obsessed with him.

On the surface, it’s easy to understand my infatuation. In music videos when he points his chocolate brown eyes at you, framed with long eyelashes and thick, sculpted eyebrows, and puckers his full, pink lips … one can’t help getting carried away.

Aside from his godlike beauty, Champagne Papi has earned his top spot among today’s most famous pop stars. He’s sold 10 million albums worldwide and has had more singles on Billboard than any other rapper. Drake’s got one Grammy, six BET awards, four platinum albums, and a thriving record label, OVO Sound.

However, Champagne Papi is far from flawless (barring aesthetics). Following the release of Hotline Bling, Drake’s been called out for slut-shaming and being too quick to judge a girl as “bad” or “good.”

To be clear, these are critiques I wholeheartedly agree with. Drake does not “own” women — if they want stop talking to him and go out with their friends, that is none of his business.

Yet I still have love for The Boy — not for the women he doesn’t like, but for the women he does.

Whether it is Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, or Serena Williams, Drake loves his independent women — women who make their own money, who have their own names, and do not rely on a man for their fame.        

In the song “Fancy,” Drizzy praises his girlfriend for her independence. He says though she spends hours getting ready and looking good, she doesn’t “do it for the man, men never notice; you just do it for yourself, you the f*cking coldest.” And not only does the girl not care about what men have to say about her, she’s got a degree, a house and she’s making her own money: “Shout out to the homeowners / the girls that got diplomas and enough money to loan us / a little something extra should we ever need it.”

I have always looked up to independent women. During my childhood, I saw many girls, the daughters of Pakistani immigrants, with little ambition in their schoolwork or hobbies. Though much different now, traditional Pakistani culture had dictated women take on less-intense career aspirations and focus all their energy into getting married and raising their children. And this general lack of ambition in women isn’t singular to children of immigrants — when I came to college, I saw women all around me have little drive for success.

Though many would say this is OK, that sometimes pursuing a passion is not for everyone, I disagree. For women especially — who face the constant pressure of being overlooked for jobs and promotions by men in the workplace and still manage to get paid less — I have always felt there’s something to prove. Whether it be through getting good grades and finding a job, or being the best athlete, singer, artist, chef, or journalist you can be, I feel women have a responsibility to being their best selves.

I am not working hard just because Drake notices, but when I play him on Spotify and he croons about loving a “student working weekends in the city” or a girl “tryna study by the pool,” I know he notices when a girl’s working hard.

It’s not as if I do these things for Drake — it’s just nice that he notices.