After years of being labelled a culture vulture, Canadian rapper Drake is speaking out about his use of foreign genres (and vernacular), including dancehall and afrobeats.
In an interview with Rap Radar, the Controlla singer said the backlash comes from artistes who are ‘in their feelings’ because they did not get the opportunity to work with him.
“You can always tell when it’s personal and fuelled by personal gain that was not granted to them.”
“It’s gonna be the guys that didn’t get the look or guys that are no longer even relevant in that space but they have a radio interview that day and they wanna be like, ‘oh yeah Drake…him doing Jamaican music is whack’, but they’re also mad that OVO signed Popcaan, they’re also mad that I was billing with Mavado back in the day,” he said. “You can always tell when it’s personal and fuelled by personal gain that was not granted to them.”
He added that he is not guilty of appropriating any culture, as he collaborates with artistes within the respective culture, and supports them by appearing at their events, vice versa.
This is proven true as Drake performed at Popcaan’s inaugural Unruly Fest concert in 2018, and Popcaan appeared at his OVO Fest early this year.
Drake’s show also featured a host of afrobeats artistes.
“Doing songs with people who are deeply rooted in that culture, giving opportunities to people who are in that culture, that’s not appropriating”— Drake
“The definition of appropriating a culture is not supporting that culture. Doing songs with people who are deeply rooted in that culture, giving opportunities to people who are in that culture, that’s not appropriating,” he said. “Appropriating is taking it for your own personal gain and denying that it was ever inspired from this – that’s the true disservice that somebody could do to the UK, to dancehall, to afrobeats.”
He is not daunted by the criticism as he said he is accepted by the immediate dancehall and afrobeats communities.
“The chatter is one thing but in the community amongst the real G’s that are doing the sh*t, I’m solidified for sure,” he said. “You can ask anybody with real respect in any of these genres and communities.”