Since 1986, white rappers have maintained residence atop the charts of Hip Hop. The Beastie Boys, Vanilla Ice, Cypress Hill, Eminem and Drake have all outsold their black urban counterparts by establishing unalike support when being freely accepted in all markets. An example of this is Drake’s first tour, where he appeared in New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Canada. All while having a notable rock band as his opening act. His following tour didn’t include Canada or any states listed above. Kendrick Lamar was the opening act. During the 2000s, Eminem appeared on magazines and television more than anyone. His antics were topics of discussion on major news networks for years. Obviously, white privilege is alive in the show business of Hip Hop.
Once upon a time, Eminem was everything to everyone. Kids hero-worshiped him while adults blamed his mockery and disregarding of serious social issues as a reason for school shootings. Nothing lasts forever. Even if you’ve sold 172 million albums, your core fans age and lose interest as your music becomes less interesting to us former customers. Eminem’s eighth and latest album, Revival, revises the 45 year old rappers career. Forcing us to reevaluate how the former sales king will be remembered when compared to few others. Still, Revival debuted at #1 on Billboard selling 267k albums while featuring Beyonce,
Ed Sheeran, Kehlani, Alicia Keys and Pink, his most expensive and cheapest debut to date. For good measure, Taylor Swift’s, Reputation, slid to #2 that week. It must be sad, though it hurts to say, the album covered with the flag of America, landed lighter than Eminem’s Relapse in 2009.
Marshall Mathers is no stranger to recovery but as fifty closes in, Slim Shady’s creative years may be lost. Perhaps Eminem’s baton was out of reach for Kendrick, J. Cole or Logic, or maybe Drake’s acceptance and production had him on the track first.
Drake is Hip Hop’s reigning sales king and he’s gearing up to release his eighth number 1 album. The biracial Jewish child actor of a televised Canadian teen drama has overcame the odds by capturing our curiosity through innovative sounds, celebrity exploits, and imaginative lyrics. Drake’s most impressive feature is how wide he stretches himself across subcultures allowing for ultimate visibility rivaling only Eminem’s fame in the 2000s. By checking so many different shaded boxes, Drakes bound to seize abandoned fan bases, changing casual listeners into die hard supporters due to reliable output. Looking at what he’s been through, he deserves an applause.
Grahams is a problem that has never ever been solved, and no matter what, nobody can take that from him. Someday Drake’s pop ballads will sound more Bruce Springsteen and less Kanye West. As of March 4th 2018, it could be 5 years or another decade. As Drake climbs the ladder, he’s fully aware of his opportunity to go down as G-O-D, and still, he sounds as catching as Over My Dead Body.
Much like sports, Hip Hop is competitive. Some play past their prime while others slow their output allowing for a smoother transition. Many athletes bow out gracefully but no rapper has ever committed to a retirement album. If you’ve listened to Eminem’s Walk On Water, its clear, he knows his grip is lost even if his bars are as forthcoming and transparent as ever. If you’ve heard Drake’s “Gods Plan”, it’s plain to see, he’s not letting go of the game anytime soon.
“White rappers often get confused for singers while black rappers do not.”
Written by Justin Morris