Drake’s popularity isn’t a surprise if you’ve heard his music. His start in the music industry doesn’t hurt either. At the time, Lil Wayne was the biggest artist in rap. Being next to Wayne was great for Drake not only because of the visibility, but he got to see what success looks like.
Drake got to see the work ethic, commitment, and time to see what it takes to be on top. Combine that with all the factors below, and it’s no surprise that he is what he is today.
Drake has dominated the charts for a whole decade and that’s no exaggeration. If you look at his top hits, you’ll notice the music ranges from club bangers, to R&B, and Dancehall. He has different flows and different drum programming patterns to make you move.
You don’t know what to expect from him when he releases music. He has a lot of different influences he takes into his music.
On top of the different genres he uses, he also uses different flows. His rapping style is constantly changing. A lot of that is so he doesn’t sound stale, and he also adapts to the artists he’s collaborating with.
He’s also an excellent songwriter. He has written for many big artists and this gives him more leverage. Being able to write for others without taking credit means other artists are likely to return him favors. This can include sending him free beats or placing him on a popular song.
The songwriting also goes hand in hand with his hooks (chorus). Being able to sing means sometimes all he has to do is be on the hook and the song is a hit. With his writing ability, sometimes he doesn’t have to sing, all he has to do is create the right melody.
Drake is also adept at finding the trendy sound. For example, look at “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late” 2015 release. He was ahead of the curve when he released this because he incorporated a lot of trap elements.
At the time, the trap sound was already there, but he helped propel it to mainstream status. Ever since then, he got on the Dancehall trend and is now incorporating more Drill music into his sound.
People will call him a trendsetter or a vulture for copying sounds, but if you want to stay relevant in the music industry, you need to adapt.
Memes are funny, but that’s not their only value. Memes that go viral provide insane marketing at no cost. Going viral means you can be popular overnight. In Drake’s case, he has many memes that have gone viral, he can stay relevant for days which is a long time online.
Even if you weren’t a fan of Drake, if you’re on Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media platform, there’s a good chance you’ve seen him on a meme. Memes also encourage more people to get creative.
Anyone can make a meme and partake in the fun. This is what makes them so popular. The combination of entertainment and creativity is irresistible on social media.
It also helps that Drake’s hit songs have simple lyrics. This makes it easy to place on a meme and digest.
His meme-ability could be part of his marketability, but we wanted to keep it separate because that’s one of the reasons he has a lot of reach.
2 factors that help his marketability are his relatability and label. To be popular, you need all types of people to like you, and that’s what Drake has. If you ever attend a concert of his, you’ll see all kinds of people. To garner this type of attention, you need mass appeal. But, what do audiences find appealing about Drake?
Drake appeals through his different types of music, and more importantly, his content. He loves to get emotional and introspective on his tracks. There have been times where people have been critical of him because of this.
But, the introspectiveness and emotion laid out make it easy for people to understand him. He shares his personal relationships along with the emotions he feels during certain moments. People can understand the authenticity.
In addition to his relatability is the machine behind him. There are a lot of artists who have talent, but they’re not known. There are better singers and rappers than Drake out there, but he has the record label behind him to propel to the masses.
This means he gets access to all the producers. Both, popular and rising producers. Having the record labels behind you also means you’re more likely to get radio play. Since he’s so big, and has social media presence, people reach out to him for opportunities. This is how he can find new sounds and build hype around new music.
Putting Drake into Perspective
There are a lot of factors that go into making a superstar. They need the right push, style, and talent. And, Drake has all 3. Coming up under Lil Wayne who was the biggest at the time allowed him to begin his career. Even if Drake was bad, having a co-sign from an artist like Wayne means he still could’ve had a year or two doing tours.
Drake also came at the perfect time. During Drake’s beginning, Kanye West was already in his prime. He was making emotional content that paved the way for Drake. Drake just took it to another level. Combining his style with his ear for production and his ability to spot trends and you have the recipe.
No matter who you are, if you’re popular, you’re going to get people who don’t like you. If you’re online long enough, you’ll find slander against Drake. Even if you’re not a fan, let’s appreciate the run we’re seeing. He literally has a decade of dominance and looks like he’ll keep going.