Drake raps over ‘BBL Drizzy,’ and he’s not cool enough anymore for that to matter 

OPINION: On Sexyy Red’s song, “U My Everything,” Drake dropped some bars over the “BBL Drizzy” beat, and well, it sucks. 

Drake speaks onstage during Drake's Till Death Do Us Part rap battle on October 30, 2021 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/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.

I don’t hate Drake and never have. I wouldn’t call myself one of his biggest fans, but I will always defend him against people (like my colleague, Touré) who swear that he can’t rap or isn’t relevant, whether the most ardent hip-hop heads like it or not. Drake has been a bop machine, even if all of the claims Kendrick Lamar made about him being a colonizer-of-sorts echo every criticism levied against him over the past decade. Drake might ape everybody’s steez for the sake of nomadic-cultural relevance, but he’s etched out his space; other people have also aped him trying to gain that same level of relevance by being like Drake. 

Part of the reason that Drake’s been able to do that is because he has somehow managed to be the kind of corny that has made him, seemingly, one of the coolest and most unaffected artists in the game. He traffics in his “bigger-than-everyb0dy-else” persona that only folks like Jay-Z have managed to perfect. Drake has been part of the “I’m cooler than you” brigade for a very long time now and that’s been his biggest calling card. Well, that, and his ability to make any song he hopped on an immediate success. Drake was a hit machine AND cool and well, that is a currency that works anywhere in the world. 

Until now. Kendrick Lamar basically jumped Drake musically and beat him down with his own formula, and while I doubt Drake will lose his ability to make hit songs, what he has lost is that “cool” that has kept him afloat. There are scratches and dents in his armor and it isn’t polished anymore. Drake is a bop machine but his antics look different now. He’s looking real regular right now. The stuff that would look like he’s in control now just looks like a dude trying to look like he’s in control. And it doesn’t hit the same. Drake’s the same dude, but he’s not the same persona. 

Such is the case with the release of Sexyy Red’s new album “In Sexyy We Trust,” which I have not listened to nor do I intend to. But social media told me that Drake is on a song, “U My Everything,” and there’s a beat change to the Metro Boomin”s instrumental for “BBL Drizzy,” which has traveled around the world and back about a hundred times by now. “BBL Drizzy” has bought a condo in my head; I can’t shake the beat for anything. It is wild that an instrumental record would take up this much space in a beef between Kendrick Lamar and Drake, but if I’m being honest, I can’t remember what any of Drake’s records sound like. Meanwhile, “Not Like Us” ALSO lives rent-free in my head. Drake’s down bad.


Anyway, in the middle of Drake’s verse on Sexyy Red’s song, the beat switches to “BBL Drizzy” and Drake does what Drake does and tries to take back that power but it doesn’t work. In fact, it just seems corny and lame. There was a time when Drake taking a song used against him and flipping it into a Drake record would be the ultimate power move; in this case, it just feels like Drake should have left the beef alone and moved on to other hobbies. Drake rapping over “BBL Drizzy” doesn’t give him a point in a beef we’ve all decided is over; if anything, it just gives everybody else another reason to clown him. Lord knows, he better never perform “U My Everything” with Sexyy Red because well, Kendrick covered that, too, with his line from “Euphoria” where he says, “When I see you stand by Sexyy Red I believe you see two bad bitches” and … ouch. 

Here’s the thing, Kendrick’s dismantling was so clinical that calling Drake a lame just seems par the course. Drake isn’t cool enough (anymore) to pull off what he’s trying to pull off. You should never say never, so I won’t, but I don’t see any universe where Drake is able to not only come back from the lyrical beatdown by Kendrick but also regain that cool that made even Drake haters have to acknowledge his presence and stature in the game. Now, you can clown Drake and you ain’t wrong. His boys must be so annoyed right now. Sure, Drake’s fans will stand by his side, but now they have to deal with the claims of lameness and don’t have a retort. Drake over “BBL Drizzy” ain’t it. Plus, I’m sure we all kind of expected it at some point. This isn’t even surprising nor does it make anybody say “Wow, look at Drake still punching.” Naw, he’s just punching the air like Trey in “Boyz n the Hood.” 

Which was also corny, but at least he had a good reason. Drake, on the other hand, is grasping for straws. 

Panama Jackson theGrio.com

Panama Jackson is a columnist at theGrio and host of the award-winning podcast, “Dear Culture” on theGrio Black Podcast Network. He writes very Black things, drinks very brown liquors, and is pretty fly for a light guy. His biggest accomplishment to date coincides with his Blackest accomplishment to date in that he received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey after she read one of his pieces (biggest) but he didn’t answer the phone because the caller ID said “Unknown” (Blackest).