“And my father living in Memphis now he can’t come this way
Over some minor charges and child support that just wasn’t paid
Damn, boo-hoo, sad story, black American dad story.”
These were the lines from Drake’s 2011’s “Look What You’ve Done.” Too soon? Well let me explain my purpose for starting the article this way.
For more than a decade, Grammy Award winning rapper and actor Drake has been taking over the rap game by storm and has been widely recognized for his distinct artistry, lyricism and charming as well as charismatic personality. As we all know, Drake’s music has been centered on a variation of topics. Such as relationships, betrayal, greed, and even beef, as he went bar for bar with some hip hop heavyweights, such as Meek Mill and Pusha T.
However, there is one topic that Drake talks about that most people can relate to. It is the one that revolves around his childhood growing up. In some of his songs, Drake directly and sometimes, in the abstract, talks about his rather ‘difficult’ childhood, living with a single mother and identity issues because of his biracial background.
In some of his other songs, Drake also mentions his relationship with his father, Mr. Dennis Graham. To elaborate, Drake would go on to say that he would only see his father down in Memphis, Tennessee during the summertime in his childhood years, stating that life was in fact, different from the life he knew in Toronto, Canada.
But as of recently, Mr. Graham had went on Los Angeles’ Power 106 radio with Nick Cannon and had a deep conversation with him regarding his son’s lyrics about their relationship. Cannon stated that in most of Drake’s songs when he mentions his father, Drake talks about how absent his father was in his life growing up.
“I talk to him, if not every day, every other day. And we really got into a deep conversation about that. I said, ‘Drake, why are you saying all this stuff about me, man? Like, this is not cool.’
Mr. Graham had then begun to elaborate on how he felt and try to figure as to why Drake says those things on his records.
“Dad, it sells records,” as Mr. Graham re-track his conversation with Drake previously about his music and his reason as to why he puts that on records.
Drake had responded on his Instagram story two days ago, stating that he was “hurt” by his father and that his father was being in denial of his absence in Drake’s childhood.
One of the most interesting things for me about this topic was the fact that I had always been a Drake fan since 2008 and study his music very carefully. I always admired Drake’s authenticity and transparency about his life through his music. In fact, one of my favorite songs from him was the re-edition of Rick Ross’s 2010 hit “Aston Morton Music “, called “Paris Morton Music.”
One of my favorite lines from him on “Paris Morton Music ” was:
“Uh, it take a certain type of man to teach
To be far from hood, but to understand the streets“
The reason why I resonated with those lines and still believed that might of been one of the hardest lines Drake has ever spit is because, in today’s culture, this notion of being “hard” or “real” must be aligned with street credibility in which I beg to differ. Being real is more so being in tune with self and figuring out your role in society, while also having the courage and knowledge to know where you want to go in life.
Ironically, within the same song, Drake had also rapped:
“And fear that I won’t remember?
I wish you could still accept me for me
I miss Memphis, Tennessee, my cousins, my dad
The simplistic beauty that all of them Southerners have.”
What are your thoughts? Do you think that Drake might have been lying about his relationship with his father all this time and that it was a gimmick to sell records? Or, could it have been true that Mr. Graham was absent in Drake’s life and it did take an affect on Drake’s life?
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