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Goldsmiths' Official Student Magazine

Drake The Type of Nigga: The New Meme

October 24, 2013
Writer_Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff Charlie Brinkhurst Cuff considers Drake’s new single, Hold on, We’re Going Home, in the light of new meme ‘Drake the Type of Nigga’. Drake’s new album, Nothing Was the Same, dropped on the 24th of September. But although the whole album admittedly appears emotionally attuned, the focus of attention at present is the…

Writer_Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff

  • Charlie Brinkhurst Cuff considers Drake’s new single, Hold on, We’re Going Home, in the light of new meme ‘Drake the Type of Nigga’.

Drake’s new album, Nothing Was the Same, dropped on the 24th of September. But although the whole album admittedly appears emotionally attuned, the focus of attention at present is the lead single, Hold on, We’re Going Home. The response to the song illuminates the sexist attitudes associated with R&B music coming out of the Internet community.

In the badly acted, relatively sickening video that accompanies this catchy song, a girl is captured by gangsters, and eventually Drake comes along and sorts out the mess by shooting a few people up, GTA V style. The video is mock Hollywood, and typically sexist tropes feature throughout; the girl is displayed as helpless in comparison to the macho, gun-shooting males, and is completely sexualised; with recurring close-ups of her scantily clad body.

But, unsurprisingly, it is not an acknowledgement of the blatant sexism that is trending in the YouTube comments below. Instead, the focus has been on Drake’s sentimentality, with the creation of the meme ‘Drake the type of nigga…’, used to make fun of Drake’s apparent sappiness.

From ‘Drake the type of nigga to steal your girl and cry about it with you’, the relatively touching ‘Drake the type of nigga to get a nude from a girl and say you have beautiful eyes’, and the attempted grotesque, ‘Drake the type of nigga that would put a tampon up his ass so that she doesn’t go though her period alone’, the memes may appear humorous face value, but they reveal a type of latent misogynist, homophobic sentiment that continues to permeate the internet community.

The problem lies within the fact that the comments mainly seem to be written at the detriment of women. It is a simple concept, but to insinuate somebody is gay or unmanly for having emotions, and further, to insinuate that being gay or unmanly is bad thing, shows the fear the heterosexual male has against the feminine other, and being perceived as such. It reinforces the idea that being a woman is a negative thing, as stereotypically, women are the sex who show more emotions.

There are of course a lot of male artists who get slated for the emotional content of their music. Ed Sheeran and Drake write in significantly different genres, but Sheeran too has been attacked by the public and the press (a recent Guardian article describes him as ‘bellowing grand yet meaningless statements about heartache’).  But the way Drake is currently being persecuted is particularly vehement, and is not reflected in the media at all – who have mainly given his new album positive reviews.

As Drake put it himself in a recent interview with journalist Elliott Wilson, ‘everybody might say, “Oh, everything’s so emotional” but if I didn’t write about that what the fuck else would I write about?’ It seems that he is more than aware of the response his new album has received, and although this sentiment may be masked by the sexism found in the video to Hold on, We’re Going Home, the fact that he is willing to support the display of his own emotions within his music is admirable.

And as for the memes? Well, as with most internet fads, they are destined to die out pretty soon. Hopefully sexism, misogny and homophobia will suffer the same fate too.