Rick Ross verbally smacked Drake in the face by calling him white boy

OPINION: "Champagne Moments" is a diss record that's meant to undermine Drake's identity in hip-hop

RIck Ross, Drake diss track, theGrio.com
Rapper Rick Ross walks the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series Quaker State 400 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on July 10, 2022 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

Rick Ross’ “Champagne Moments” gives us Ross spitting like the devil. This record has the ill feel that a diss record should have. Ross sounds slow, smooth and evil. And he calls Drake “white boy” obsessively. This song is wild. What a time to be alive.

We know Drake is biracial. He’s never hidden that, but many of us think of him as Black or at least as a part of the culture. (As opposed to, say, Logic.) On this record, Ross is out to change that. In a Black space, calling a biracial person white is a strong diss. It’s hyperproblematic as well. We shouldn’t be excluding biracial people from the Black community, but in a rap beef where all is fair as a way of attacking someone and undermining their credibility and their identity, it’s a powerful message. 

Ross is saying you’re not one of us. You’re an outsider. We shouldn’t even take you seriously. 

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In the illest part of the song, Ross says Drake is, “Another white boy at the park wanna hang with the crew.” We all know that white guy who wants to be down because he fetishizes the culture. We generally dislike him. It feels like he’s using us. To align him and Drake is … wow.

We also know the biracial guy who fits into Black spaces a little awkwardly. (I’m not saying all biracial people don’t fit in. I’m talking about the specific group of biracial people who don’t fit in.) Ross wants us to think of Drake as someone like that. That is an ill move because it seeks to change Drake’s entire relationship with the hip-hop audience. This is the sort of thing someone can grab from Ross’ record and say to Drake to hurt him.

As I discussed in my breakdown of “Push Ups,” two of the most important elements of a diss record are: 

1. Say truthful things that embarrass your opponent.

2. Say things that could change the audience’s mind about who your opponent is as an artist or as a person.

Ross is saying something truthful about Drake — he’s biracial — and he’s using that to try to change the way the audience sees Drake. 

For real, Drake should hire Ross as a writer because this is the sort of diss record he should be doing. Ross sees Drake’s financial boasts and offers his own — I’ve got a lot of money, too. What’s up? But he also has all the street tough guy boasts that Drake could never drop. 

Ross mentions Drake’s ghostwriters, which is, to many, the most disqualifying thing that can be said about Drake. Many people think if he has writers; he can’t be considered one of the greatest. There’s a separate tier for rappers who don’t write their own rhymes — they can never reach the top — like a noncitizen can never become POTUS.

The “white boy” jab is the most devastating to my ear, but the line that really jumps out at me is, “Like his moves, but he never had to fight in school / Always ran, another n— had to write your grooves.” Ross is taking us back to Drake’s childhood, painting him as a kid who was scared, as if to say he’s always lacked heart. He’s always gotten other people to do his dirt for him. I imagine young Drake running from beef. He’s not running from it now, but he’s still getting others to help him while Ross, like Kendrick, A$AP Rocky and all the others currently battling Drake are writing for themselves. 

“Push Ups” is a deeply forgettable record. “Champagne Moments” is one I find myself wanting to play again and again. Ross loves to troll, and right now, hip-hop’s favorite sport is trolling Drake.

Touré, theGrio.com

Touré is a host and Creative Director at theGrio. He is the host of Masters of the Game on theGrioTV. He is also the host and creator of the docuseries podcast “Being Black: The ’80s” and the animated show “Star Stories with Toure” which you can find at TheGrio.com/starstories. He is also the host of the podcast “Toure Show” and the podcast docuseries “Who Was Prince?” He is the author of eight books including the Prince biography Nothing Compares 2 U and the ebook The Ivy League Counterfeiter.

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