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Just in case you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, you should know that there is some SERIOUS hype surrounding Drake. The mixtape which sounded more like an album, the yet-to-be-released real album, the Young Money takeover and of course the holding down of the title while Weezy is away.

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When I first listened to So Far Gone I fell in love. This is what I had been waiting for. The boy does the hip-hop and the R&B, and he does it well-I was seriously impressed. ‘Best I Ever Had’ was commercial enough for pop listeners but it was still hard enough for hip hop listeners. I’m 21 and after thinking really hard about this, I couldn’t come up with anyone else besides Lil Wayne who has been able to break these barriers that I could remember. ‘Successful’ featuring Trey Songz was also a huge success -no pun intended- and in this day and age having two hit records back to back is a huge accomplishment in itself.

Drake has a lot going for him that makes him so popular and that separates him from other rappers and hip-hop artists. He appeals to both a male and female audience. His lyrics let listeners know that he has a deep intellectual side and he doesn’t try to fake who he is or where he came from. He’s open about his upbringing and being a dorky child star. This makes him likeable as an artist and as a person.

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The Drake effect is serious. It seems like everything he has become a part of has taken off.

Even Sprite has jumped on the Drizzy bandwagon making him a spokesperson. The last hip-hop figure to have an endorsement like this was Chris Brown with Wrigley’s but he got dropped after everything that happened last year. Think about it-a major company giving an endorsement to someone like Chris Brown and the next hip-hop name to get the same type of endorsement is Drake. This says everything about the level that Drake is seen at. Chris has been in the game since he was 16, he had released 2 albums and had even done movies before he got the deal. Drake hasn’t even come out with a real album yet. What does this say about the level of expectations we expect his album to be at?

Don’t get me wrong-I LOVE Drake…it seems like he can’t do anything wrong. He’s killed every song he has ever been featured on. But where does he go from here? He needs to pull something serious to prove he deserved all this hype. He’s been impressive so far but what can he do to keep it going? A good album won’t cut it, it needs to have classic potential at best.

Whether or not he does actually live up to all the hype, at this point the game needs more from Drake. I’m hoping the insanely high expectations don’t end in epic failure for the sake of my listening pleasure, his career and for the state of hip-hop in general.

Let me know what you think…

-Rachel Samara, GlobalGrind Blogger

twitter.com/rachelsamara

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