Drake: Culture Vulture or Culture Appreciation?

Is Drake a really a culture vulture? Short answer is… maybe. Sort of. Ok, maybe there isn’t exactly a short answer to this question, but this has been debated furiously between music fans for the past couple of years with Drake reaching the peak of his popularity. What most people can agree on is the fact that there is an extremely thin line between taking influence and being inspired by a culture or sound, and blatantly stealing from a culture for personal gain. To fully look into to this subject, we must fully delve into both the Canadian superstar’s career, to identify if Drake organically started ‘borrowing’ from other cultures as well as what exactly is culture vulturing.

Drake is an artist that has always worn his influences on his sleeve and throughout his career, he has clearly stated and adjusted his music according to the sounds he’s feeling at the current time. For example, in Drake’s early career with the release of his mixtapes, ‘Room for Improvement’ and ‘Comeback Season’, had a more neo-soul and soulful hip -hop sound; probably taking influence from the likes of hip hop groups Little Brother and Slum Village. However, his following breakthrough project, ‘So Far Gone’, where he first linked up with the producer 40, clearly drew big influences from R ‘n’ B music as well as the Southern Hip-Hop sound.  Now, at this point in Drake’s career, where he was very much an upcomer, there was no mention of Drake being a culture vulture, even as a young, Canadian rapper, using the chopped and screwed sounds coming out of Houston, Texas. In fact, he was applauded for his unique twist on Hip – hop and eventually launched him to become one of the most exciting prospect in rap for a long time.

After, this point Drake went on to release albums ‘Thank Me Later’ and ‘Take Care’ which displayed Drake’s ability to make both club bangers and smooth, slow jams; sticking with and improving his ‘signature sound’. After this, however, is where we started to see Drake begin to use other genres and cultures in his music by remixing songs from other artists from genres that didn’t follow his usual sound i.e. Trap and Electronic music. A first example of this was the track ‘Wildfire’ by British electronic producers SBTRKT and his remix of the track ‘Versace’ by Migos. To call these tracks cultural appropriation would be a stretch, in my opinion, and I very much believe that these tracks were Drake showing his versatility, but there is no doubt that Drake benefited from jumping on these songs.

The first instance I can recall of Drake being labelled a ‘culture vulture’ was when fellow rapper, Earl Sweatshirt, who took to twitter to voice his feelings towards Drake posting a video of himself dancing to a Kodak Black track. Earl stated: “Drake can be a bit of a culture vulture on young rap niggas and I don’t want lil Kodak to be a victim of it” and then later tweeted, in response to a fan, “I feel u but I still feel like drake overall statement isn’t “check out this new shit I heard” it’s always self-serving. I can see this point view, as it is true that Drake is much more likely to remix an artist’s song, or use their sound rather than just simply shouting them out, and he rarely does a selfless co-sign. But, Drake is one of the biggest stars in music. Period. He definitely doesn’t need to work with artist or remix their tracks to remain relevant, and this is a common counter argument for anytime he is labelled a culture vulture.

Another artist who called out Drake on his cultural appropriation, was dancehall legend, Mr. Vegas, who found an issue with Drake’s recent use of dancehall-influenced records, such as on the song ‘Controlla’. Mr. Vegas made it clear that this wasn’t just simply due to him using the genre, but more him not giving credit to the artists that influenced him. He also pointed that it is not just Drake who has partaken using the dancehall sound and not giving credit to the artists. In a DJ Vlad interview, he pointed out that dancehall artist, Assassin, had been featured on both Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Blacker the Berry’ and Kanye West’s ‘I’m in it (Ft. Justin Vernon)’ without receiving any credit as a featured artist. Therefore, unless you are familiar with Assassin’s work, you will have no clue it was even him on the record, which is quite clearly unjust. This ideology was also shared by, dancehall artist, Sean Paul, who also stated in an interview with the guardian that: “It is a sore point when people like Drake or Bieber or other artists come and do dancehall-orientated music but don’t credit where dancehall came from and they don’t necessarily understand it.”

Regardless, of major artists in the dancehall scene calling out Drake and sticking up for their genre/culture, these feelings hasn’t been reciprocated by all their peers. Popcaan made a video response to Vegas threating and demanding him not to violate ‘Drizzy Drake’; asserting he knows nothing about OVO and Unruly. Konshens, also recently commented on the subject stating that although he thinks Drake is a culture vulture, so are many artists, including himself, and people need to stop bitching and enjoy the music. It is very easy to see both sides of this argument.

See Also

Lastly, we must touch on the most recent allegations of culture vulturing, and that is the appropriation of UK rap/grime culture. This has been a very controversial topic of late, as although some think he’s selflessly pushing the UK music culture as a genuine fan, others believe that Drake is doing this all for personal gain. This is much closer to home for me and my thoughts on this matter, is that it may be a mix of both. Although I cringe when I hear Drake try to use a London accent and slang on tracks such as ‘No Long Talk (Ft. Giggs)’, there is no denying that Drake is clearly a fan of UK music and its culture, which is clear to see throughout his career. We can go all the way back to when he released his mixtape ‘Comeback Season’ in 2007, and the track ‘Closer’ where he referenced Craig David, Shola Ama and Artful Dodger; showing an interest in Garage music. Drake has also previously shouted out artists such as Sneakbo, who he claimed inspired the hook for ‘Cameras’, and Ard adz; claiming he stumbled across these artists while watching a documentary on UK gangs. He also made sure that UK rap legends Giggs and Skepta appeared on his most recent project ‘More Life’, and this is a complete rarity in the US Hip Hop Scene. Unlike with the dancehall influences, Drake has given clear credit to the artists in the UK that have influenced him and this is something that should be celebrated rather than dismissed as Drake simply jumping on a bandwagon.

So, overall I do believe Drake is somewhat a Culture Vulture, but the real question is: Is this such a bad thing? He has used these genres to make music that have become worldwide successes and has opened the mind of many music fans to other genres such as grime and dancehall. Even ‘One Dance (Ft. Wizkid & Kyla)’ which used the sample from the funky house classic ‘Do you mind’ by Crazi Cousins, became one of the biggest hits of the year and exposed a very different sound to millions of fans around the world. Ill end this with a quote from Pablo Picasso for everyone to ponder ‘Good artists borrow, great artists steal’.

View Comments (90)
  • Hello There. I discovered your weblog using msn. That is a
    very smartly written article. I will make sure to
    bookmark it and come back to learn extra of your helpful information. Thanks for the post.
    I will certainly return.

  • I discovered your site web site on bing and check many of your early posts. Keep up the good operate. I simply additional encourage Rss to my MSN News Reader. Looking for forward to reading much more from you finding out later on!…

  • What’s Taking place i’m new to this, I stumbled upon this I have
    found It positively useful and it has aided me
    out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution &
    help other customers like its aided me. Good job.

  • Hey there! I know this is kind of off topic
    but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for this site?
    I’m getting fed up of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and
    I’m looking at alternatives for another platform.
    I would be awesome if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  • Definitely believe that which you stated. Your favorite reason seemed to
    be on the web the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to
    you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they just do not know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the
    whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal.
    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  • Hello there I am so excited I found your site, I really
    found you by mistake, while I was looking on Google for something else, Nonetheless I
    am here now and would just like to say cheers for a incredible post and a all
    round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design),
    I don’t have time to go through it all at the minute
    but I have saved it and also included your RSS feeds, so when I have time I will be back to read much more,
    Please do keep up the superb work.

  • I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right
    here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject
    matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the
    following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the
    same nearly very often inside case you shield this

  • Excellent blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost
    on everything. Would you recommend starting with a free platform like
    Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many options out
    there that I’m completely confused .. Any ideas? Kudos!

  • Hiya very cool website!! Guy .. Excellent .. Wonderful ..
    I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds also? I am happy to search out numerous
    useful info right here in the submit, we need develop
    more strategies in this regard, thanks for sharing. .
    . . . .

  • Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking
    the time and actual effort to create a really good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate
    a lot and don’t manage to get nearly anything done.

  • Thanks for every other wonderful post. The place else may just anybody get that kind of info in such a perfect manner of writing?
    I have a presentation next week, and I am on the search for such

  • We’re a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme
    in our community. Your web site offered us with valuable info to work on. You’ve done an impressive job and our entire community will be thankful
    to you.

  • Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a
    really well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark
    it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.

    I will certainly comeback.

  • Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having a tough
    time locating it but, I’d like to send you an email.
    I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  • I am now not certain where you’re getting your information, but
    good topic. I must spend a while learning much more or understanding more.

    Thank you for fantastic info I used to be
    in search of this info for my mission.

  • I just like the helpful information you provide in your articles.

    I will bookmark your blog and test once more right here frequently.
    I am fairly certain I’ll be informed plenty of new stuff proper
    here! Best of luck for the following!

  • What i do not understood is if truth be told how you’re no longer really a
    lot more neatly-appreciated than you might be right now.
    You are so intelligent. You understand thus considerably in terms of this
    topic, made me in my opinion consider it from a lot of numerous angles.
    Its like men and women are not involved except
    it is something to accomplish with Lady gaga! Your own stuffs excellent.

    All the time handle it up!

  • My husband and i were quite thrilled when Chris could finish up his investigations with the ideas he obtained out of the web site. It is now and again perplexing to simply possibly be giving out tactics which usually others could have been making money from. And we remember we have got the blog owner to give thanks to for that. The explanations you’ve made, the straightforward blog menu, the friendships you can aid to create – it is everything superb, and it is making our son and the family do think that idea is fun, and that’s pretty essential. Thanks for everything!

  • Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything this way before. So nice to seek out somebody with some original ideas on this subject. realy appreciate beginning this up. this excellent website can be something that is needed on the internet, a person with some originality. beneficial job for bringing something new towards the web!

  • After study a handful of the blogs on your internet site now, we really like your technique for blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark internet site list and are checking back soon. Pls have a look at my web page too and let me know if you agree.

  • Good day very cool website!! Man .. Excellent ..
    Superb .. I will bookmark your blog and take the feeds
    also? I’m happy to seek out a lot of useful info right here within the submit, we’d like work out extra strategies on this
    regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  • Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thank you, However I
    am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t understand the reason why
    I cannot subscribe to it. Is there anybody having the same RSS
    issues? Anyone that knows the answer will you kindly respond?

  • Do you have a spam problem on this site; I also am a blogger, and I
    was curious about your situation; we have created
    some nice practices and we are looking to swap solutions with other folks,
    be sure to shoot me an email if interested.

  • Hi, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just
    wondering if you get a lot of spam comments?
    If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any support is very much appreciated.

  • Hey there fantastic website! Does running a blog such as this take a
    large amount of work? I’ve very little understanding of
    coding but I had been hoping to start my own blog in the
    near future. Anyways, should you have any suggestions or tips for
    new blog owners please share. I understand this is off subject nevertheless I simply needed to ask.
    Thanks a lot!

  • I’m impressed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s equally educative and interesting,
    and without a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something too
    few men and women are speaking intelligently about.
    I am very happy I found this during my search for something relating to this.

  • Hi, I do think this is a great blog. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will revisit yet again since I bookmarked it.
    Money and freedom is the best way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

  • After looking over a handful of the blog articles on your web page, I seriously appreciate your technique of writing
    a blog. I added it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back soon. Please visit my website too and let me know what you think.

  • That is a very good tip particularly to those fresh to the blogosphere.
    Brief but very precise info… Many thanks for sharing this one.

    A must read post!

  • Excellent post. I used to be checking continuously this weblog and I am inspired!
    Extremely useful information specially the last section 🙂 I handle such info much.

    I used to be seeking this particular info for a long time.
    Thanks and best of luck.

  • Thanks , I’ve recently been looking for information about this subject for a long time and yours
    is the greatest I’ve discovered till now. But, what concerning the bottom line?
    Are you positive in regards to the supply?

  • whoah this blog is fantastic i really like studying your articles.

    Stay up the good work! You already know, many persons are searching around for this
    information, you could aid them greatly.

  • Thanks for finally talking about > Drake: Culture Vulture
    or Culture Appreciation? – GUAP – The World's First Video
    Magazine < Loved it!

  • Magnificent website. Lots of helpful information here.
    I am sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious.
    And obviously, thanks for your effort!

  • Good day! This post couldn’t be written any better!
    Reading this post reminds me of my old room mate! He always kept talking about this.

    I will forward this page to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Someone necessarily assist to make critically posts I would state.
    This is the very first time I frequented your website page and to this point?

    I amazed with the analysis you made to make this particular publish incredible.
    Fantastic task!

  • It is appropriate time to make a few plans for the longer
    term and it’s time to be happy. I have read this publish and if I could I desire to suggest you
    few attention-grabbing things or tips. Perhaps you can write next articles relating to this
    article. I want to learn even more things approximately it!

  • I don’t even understand how I finished up right here, but I assumed this submit
    was good. I do not understand who you might be but definitely you’re going to a famous blogger
    should you aren’t already. Cheers!

  • A motivating discussion is definitely worth comment.
    I think that you should write more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but
    generally people don’t speak about these subjects.

    To the next! Many thanks!!

  • The other day, while I was at work, my sister stole my iphone and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just
    so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views.
    I know this is completely off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  • I just want to mention I am just very new to blogging and site-building and honestly liked your web page. Most likely I’m planning to bookmark your blog post . You actually have perfect articles. Regards for sharing with us your web-site.

  • We’re a group of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community.
    Your web site provided us with helpful info to work on. You have done a formidable
    activity and our whole group might be grateful to you.

  • Have you ever thought about adding a little bit
    more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and all.

    However imagine if you added some great visuals or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this
    site could certainly be one of the very best in its niche.
    Wonderful blog!

  • I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you
    hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to
    create my own blog and would like to know where u got this from.

    appreciate it cheap flights 32hvAj4

  • Thank you for another magnificent post. The place else may just anyone get that type of information in such
    an ideal method of writing? I’ve a presentation subsequent week, and I’m on the search for such information. cheap flights 3aN8IMa

  • You’re so cool! I do not believe I’ve truly read anything like that before.
    So great to discover another person with genuine thoughts on this issue.
    Seriously.. thank you for starting this up. This
    website is one thing that’s needed on the web, someone with a bit
    of originality!

  • This design is spectacular! You obviously know how
    to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
    I really loved what you had to say, and more than that,
    how you presented it. Too cool!

  • The very crux of your writing while sounding agreeable at first, did not settle perfectly with me after some time. Someplace throughout the paragraphs you actually managed to make me a believer unfortunately just for a while. I nevertheless have got a problem with your leaps in assumptions and one might do well to help fill in those gaps. When you can accomplish that, I will surely end up being fascinated.

  • My spouse and i were really delighted Emmanuel managed to finish up his investigations because of the precious recommendations he gained from your own web site. It is now and again perplexing to simply find yourself giving freely steps that some other people may have been selling. And we also realize we now have you to give thanks to for that. These explanations you have made, the straightforward web site menu, the relationships you assist to engender – it is mostly wonderful, and it is leading our son in addition to us do think this issue is exciting, which is certainly especially fundamental. Many thanks for the whole lot!

  • I just want to tell you that I am very new to blogging and actually liked this website. More than likely I’m going to bookmark your website . You definitely come with great stories. Regards for sharing your website.

  • After study some of the blog articles in your web site now, and I truly appreciate your way of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website list and will also be checking back soon. Pls consider my web site too and tell me what you believe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2020 GUAP International LTD. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of GUAP.