Sorry, Drake’s wannabe gangsta persona is cringe

The rapper opened discourse online regarding his street cred after claiming he should be in jail with Young Thug in a new snippet.

Drizzy, champagne papi, the 6 God, the boy, whatever you want to call him, the artist known as Drake has had his fair share of personas throughout his career. You might recognise him still as the soft boi (or should we say Certified Lover Boy), but as of late, Aubrey Graham has been leaning into a more menacing character. 

As the hype for Drake’s For All The Dogs reaches a fever pitch, a snippet from a track expected to arrive on the album has surfaced – and its lyrics have fans hung up. Drake has long dealt with an artistic push and pull over his “realness”, with the rapper facing criticism from fans for things like his fake Jamaican accent and the exaggeration of his past experiences. And that came up once again when fans heard the new snippet in which Drake raps, “I should probably be in there with Thug and them,” of course implying that he should be in jail for, well, whatever crime it is that someone like him would commit. Breaking hearts, perhaps?

Fans reacted to the statement about how you’d expect. “Bro he is far from this life, why lately he been acting gangsta,” reads the top comment on a repost of the short clip. “Why bruh wanna be gangsta all of a sudden the past few years,” another agrees.

In August, Drake flexed his supposed mob ties once more on Travis Scott’s ‘Meltdown’, where he rapped, “You lucky Vogue was suing cause I would’ve been with the Wassas in Paris and shit.” That bar, of course, references the lawsuit the rapper faced from Anna Wintour for his and 21 Savage’s fake Vogue cover promoting their album Her Loss. However, look a little deeper, and Drizzy’s lyrics offer up something darker. 

Toronto rapper Pressa, of the WassGang Drake mentions, has been longtime friends with the rapper, with Drizzy shouting him out in various tracks, including the drill inspired ‘War’. Allegedly, Pressa was involved in a shooting that resulted in Florida rapper Kodak Black – who recently denounced Drake for not giving him features – being struck by a bullet in the leg in 2022. Fast forward to 2023, and Kodak takes a trip to Paris to perform at Fashion Week in January (the same time as the Vogue lawsuit). Pressa and his affiliates then record themselves taunting Kodak from the sidelines of the runway, making jokes about his security presence. Overall, Drake implies that without the Vogue lawsuit, he would’ve been in Paris taunting Kodak, too.   

Exaggeration in hip-hop is nothing new, and it’s almost expected for our favourite rappers to amplify themselves to seem more threatening than they really are. But when it’s coming from the Certified Lover Boy himself, it’s difficult not to cringe as a 36-year-old man who shaved a heart in his head and who used emojis of pregnant women as an album cover, tries to latch onto the street credibility of those around him.

But who knows? Maybe Drake really is a Batman-style villain, holding an iron grip on Toronto’s underworld – a Canadian mob boss almost. We doubt it, but who would ever suspect someone who calls themselves Champagne Papi? We’re onto you, Aubrey.

WriterChris Saunders