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Drake's "Shot For Me" As a Template for Modern Masculinity

A close reading of how one of the world's biggest rapper-singers does manhood differently.

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It’s this part, this is the second part that just gets to me. “The way you walk, that’s me.” Even, “the way you talk, that’s me.” There’s no part of her that’s not from Drake, from his example or guidance. Her whole personhood’s been stripped away, figuratively. And now, literally, “the voice in your ear / that’s me.” The fact that she’s gone from a figure in the story to being addressed, literally, in real life as someone hearing the song, is proof itself that Drake’s made it. This is, if you think about it, the progress and force of the narrative, just devastating. Just, devastating. The point’s made clearer: “I’m the reason why you always getting faded.” As in, breaking up with Drake has given this woman a drinking problem, and the song he’s using to tell the story is called “Shot For Me”. It’s a song in which he exhorts his ex, whom he’s ruined and upon whom he’s left only anger and alcoholism, he smugly tells her,

Take a shot for me.

THIS GUY!

I really do not think Drake gets enough credit for being an intricately tuned asshole savant asshole. He’s the Rain Man of douchery. Drake’s a comfortable inhabitant of the post-“Runaway” world. (Side note: What happened to that post-“Milli” world we were supposed to have? It evaporated faster than Obama’s post-racial America.) Thing is, Drake doesn’t need to call himself a douchebag, asshole, or scumbag. Even less does he hoist a toast to them. Rather, he just is an asshole, and his toasts are meant to push the frazzled, beat-down women in his wake further into a pit of despair. I mean, yes, that is some scumbag shit.

To keep the parallel going, all the “that’s me” from above is, to me, a lot more realistic (and thus more cutting) than that “Yeezy taught me.” It’s also much less funny, which might also be the point. Kanye’s id is totally up front and comfortable flexing, and therefore comfortable with its own inherent absurdity. Drake, like the Canada he hails from, has a slight inferiority complex. His strokes cut more deeply, and his jokes don’t quite stick their landings. He’s a meaner version of Yeezy, with a decadence that’s just within reach of everyone, maybe — no golden Louis Vuitton slippers or $3,500 t-shirts — and thus easier to lampoon. Sweaters? Fancy showers? Cover art that is, instead of baroque gold itself, just a depiction of some goblets and a Greek owl? I think my grandma has one of those on the mantle. It’s his understandable indulgence that makes him more like us , and thus, a better target for our scorn . Because self-hatred isn’t just a symptom of the rich. Mogul get emotional.

No. Drake only seems soft because he bears a surface resemblance to us, but he’s a cold killer. It’s only after he lyrically dismembers his ex that he actually softens up.

Ok, look, I’m honest. Girl, I can’t lie, I miss you.
You and the music were the only things that I’d commit to.
I never cheated, for the record, back when I was with you.
But you believed in everything but me, girl, I don’t get you.
She says, “I know you changed, I never see you.
Cause you’re always busy doing things.”
I really wish she had a different way of viewing things.
I think the city that we’re from just kinda ruined things.
It’s such a small place. Not much to do but talk and listen.
The men are jealous and the women all in competition.
And all your friends telling you stories that you often misinterpret. And taint all your images of your Mr. Perfect.

 
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