07/10/18 Drake's Scorpion double album breaks all records with more than 1 BILLION STREAMS in the first week of the album. It also eclipsed the Beatles' record with 7 songs in the Billboard Top 10. Bottomline: every student in your ministry knows about this new album!
Who Is He
Born Aubrey Drake Graham, Drake began his career in entertainment as a young teenager, starring in the hit Canadian television series, Degrassi. The son of a Jewish Canadian mother and African-American father, Drake never quite felt like he fit in. He was able to parlay this into stirring music, teaching himself to rap, inspired by legends like Jay-Z, Mos Def and Talib Kweli. He began releasing mixtapes and caught the ear of Rap superstar, Lil’ Wayne, who eventually signed him to his label and introduced him and another rising rapper, named Nicki Minaj, to the public. Drake’s success has been meteoric and in the few short years since his major label debut, So Far Gone, he has gone on to sell millions of albums and singles and recently scored his 72nd hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, surpassing a record held by The Beatles. He has found success in almost every imaginable avenue, including film, television, fashion and sports. He is even credited with popularizing the youth-approved catchphrase, YOLO (You Only Live Once) in his song, “The Motto”.
What Are His Messages
Drake is an artist of contradictions. Crediting the back and forth of his childhood and the clashing cultures of his mother in Toronto and his father in Memphis, his music splits the difference between braggadocios bravado and plaintive emotion. Categorized by many rappers as too sensitive or soft, he tackles many issues that mainstream Rap largely ignores like his father’s absence, feelings of loneliness and the emptiness of material things. But on the exact same album, listeners will also find proud anthems of excess and odes to his favorite exotic dancers. These contradictions make for interesting, thought-provoking art, but often mangle the opportunity for in-depth discussion. He fares best when focusing on emotionally-charged pleas like “Find Your Love”, “Take Care” or “Hold On, We’re Going Home, extolling the virtues of love and women, instead of degrading them and throwing money at them. His duality is even noted in his delivery as he is known to quickly switch between harsh rapping and hushed singing, sometimes in the same song.
Drake's July 2018 double album Scorpion has taken a decidely more raw direction with 23 of the 25 tracks labeled EXPLICIT. We are in a battle! If you want to see how intense the battle is, check out the album's lyrics. Warning! These are EXPLICIT!
What Does A Youthworker Need2Know
The Scorpion album's EXPLICIT lyrics and record breaking acceptance (over 1 Billion streams in its first week) cause concern for the impact on your students. They all are aware of the album and most kids in your group have streamed several of the songs. You need to review the lyrics online, use the interlinc Re:Tuned Discussion Guide on the song "God's Plan, and engage your students in a discussion about the impact of Drake's songs on their spiritual life and walk with Christ.
Though Drake has many songs that are absolutely worth engaging students over, he is best studied as a case of the struggle between our flesh and our spirit. It seems that somewhere inside, Drake knows what is right and wrong, but often decides to overlook that in favor of the carnal pleasures of the world. His music is a perfect way to open up discussions on true love, double mindedness, or the sin nature of man. On his more thoughtful offerings, he is an interesting example of challenging the misogyny and status quo of masculinity presented in urban culture. Too bad he sometimes decides he still has something to prove.
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