Drake’s Views album is here and if you buy into the hype, you will believe that the Canadian has ushered in a new era of pop music. Yet, for many of us in the Caribbean, his style isn’t so much new as it is stolen.
Laced with samples and uncredited vocals from many of dancehall music’s greats, including genre leader Bennie Man, Views is a shining example of how pop acts appropriate West Indian culture.
This is the point when someone at the back of the room yells, “But Drake is black so he can’t appropriate other black people’s culture!”
You think so, huh?
As Jamaican dancehall artist Mr. Vegas highlights in his recent rant against Drake, building success by using other people’s original music and not contributing to their community is insulting.
Drake is not Jamaican. Drake does not feature or collaborate with the Jamaican acts he samples for his songs. Instead, he imitates their patois, has them chant in the background, and exploits their compositions to boost his own hits.
Then, he gets praised by American media giants, such as Ebro of Hot 97, for opening the door for dancehall. A door that had already been opened decades prior…
This isn’t a whole new world; a dazzling place Americans never knew, Christopher Drake Columbus.
Beyond Jamaica, some of us in Trinidad and Tobago are quite curious about how reviewers have been wrongly attributing our national instrument, the steel pan, with Jamaica. Worst yet, the influences of our soca music on Views songs “Too Good” and “One Dance” are being completely overlooked.
You know, because according to the cultural experts in America, everything in the Caribbean comes from Jamaica.
Watch Trini Trent TV break everything down and share your own views. Pun.