As promised, here is Part II of my top 10 pop singles on the radio in 2015. Please note that Part II is way too long and I was including way more than just the last five pop songs, so nothing makes any arithmetic sense.
You can view Part I here.
As you make your BevMo runs for your glittery night out or Trader Joe’s 2 Buck Chuck runs for your sweatpants-hair tied chillin with no makeup on (see what I did there?) night in, let’s reflect on the year in entertainment.
More specifically, let’s reflect on one entertainer in particular: Aubrey Graham. You may know him as Drake, Drizzy, 6 God, or even by his Instagram moniker Champagne Papi. Drake started from the bottom, if you
will, (I hear your groaning from here) and has risen up from the wheelchair that his character Jimmy Brooks was bound to on Canada’s hit drama, Degrassi (Still groaning?). Drake won 2015 and let me tell you why.
In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I am a recovering Drake stan. I watched Degrassi and thought Jimmy was a cutie. I was a little confused when he started rapping but copped his mixtapes and told everyone how great he was. People laughed when I spoke of his bars, telling me that he was weak and was more of a singer than a rapper. I have at least 3 different posters of Drake (whether they’re hanging or not is irrelevant) and I’ve seen him in concert twice. To this day, I believe Take Care is one of the best albums of the past 5 years.
This all changed in February of 2013. Why, you ask? That’s when Drake dropped his “Started from the Bottom” video. Drizzy bouncing around in his convertible while it snows and rapping about how he started from the bottom, even though Degrassi is SO not the bottom was just too much. I put myself on a Drake hiatus. Tired of hearing about the money and the fame he’s garnered, I was done.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. Drake has redeemed himself in my eyes. This was the year that Drake headlined Coachella –ok, maybe he wasn’t great but uhh… shouldn’t the audience have been looking for Bey & Nicki who filmed “Feelin Myself” there? And what about when Madonna held Drake against his will as she made out with him? That should be good enough to distract from his lackluster performance, right?
Ok, let’s move on. In February, he dropped his new album/mixtape, “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late” and the album art itself became an Internet phenomenon, used in everything from the everyday Twitter trending topic to the NBA Finals.
Speaking of the NBA, Drake not only brought the Toronto Raptors out of obscurity (well, in my eyes) and back into the headlines for the first time since Chris Bosh took his “talents” to Miami. Toronto hosted its own “Drake Night” where Drake announced the 6’s lineup and released a bunch of OVO Raptors shit. He solidified his place in the basketball sphere by attending a bunch of random games
and even making In-N-Out runs with NBA’s First Family, The Currys (President Riley, who would run on the Drake-inspired platform: “Wayy Up, I Feel Bwessed”).
While we’re talking about Drake and sports, let’s not forget about his relationship with world champion and Sportsperson of the Year, Serena Williams. Drake and Serena were spotted canoodling in Cincinnati following her win at the Women’s Tennis Association Tournament. After Serena’s stunning loss in the US Open semifinal, the Internet was quick to blame Drake, who attended the game and left with a disappointed Serena. Although it appears Drake may have been friendzoned, we’re sure he’ll be fine as he enters 2016.
Still not impressed? Well, the summer of 2015 is when Drake really proved his rap chops during the beef of the year which, unless you’ve been living under a rock, occurred when Meek Mill (forever known as the guy we can’t believe Nicki Minaj is still with) threw a tantrum over Drake not tweeting about Meek’s new album. As if Drake doesn’t have better things to tweet about?
Well, Meek decided he needed to expose Drake and let the world know that the 6 God has a ghostwriter. Instead of addressing Meek’s accusations on Twitter, Drake decided to do it musically, dropping a single called “Charged Up” which didn’t reference Meek directly but definitely called him out. With lyrics like “6 God is watching, I just hope you’re prepared to face him,” the world anxiously waited for Meek to respond with his own bars. Instead, Meek turned to Twitter, bashing on Drake’s single without dropping any music of his own. Then, the unthinkable happened.
Drake dropped ANOTHER single, “Back to Back” (now GRAMMY-NOMINATED, by the way) that didn’t spare Meek at all, calling him out on his Twitter escapades and the fact that he’s an artist on Nicki Minaj’s tour.
To add insult to injury, Meek’s response single, “Wanna Know”(released one whole week later) was equivalent to the drill that fills in your large cavities at the dentist: painful and you just want it to end.
Drake took it one step further at OVO Fest in Toronto, compiling Meek memes and presenting a comedic Power Point presentation for not only the fans but Will Smith and Kanye West to enjoy.
We can only hope that Weak..er, I mean Meek Mill learns his lesson not to fuck with Drake in 2016.
What else has Drake done? Hmm…while Jay-Z was gathering artists for Tidal, the streaming service that that puts more money into his own pocket, Drake was scheming with the big dogs, showing his tech prowess by helping Apple present its own streaming service, Apple Music, at its Worldwide Developer Conference. Don’t write Mr. Aubrey Graham off as he’s well on his way to becoming a mogul on par with Hov himself.
And finally Champagne Papi blessed us all this year with the video for his hit single that threw it back to the old Drake days: “Hotline Bling.” Knowing that the video would inspire countless memes, GIFS, and Vines, Drake was his dorkiest self, dancing like a dad at a Bar Mitzvah and even pulling out some lowkey salsa and Indian Bharatanatyam moves. Thank you, Drake, for making it acceptable to dance like a complete derp at the club when your song comes on.
Drake proved himself in 2015. Now that he’s got nothing left to prove, will he go back to rapping in the snow with the convertible top down? Or will he use his powers as 6 God for good? Only time will tell. 2016: bring it on.