Drake and 21 Savage’s new collab album, Her Loss, dropped last night and was met with immediate, damn near-universal acclaim. It’s not unearned. The beats are fire and both MCs are rapping their asses off, particularly Drake, who hasn’t been in true form like this since If You're Reading This It's Too Late.
I still stand on the idea that Honestly, Nevermind is Drake’s best album—I love house music—but Drake going bar-for-bar with 21 is a welcome exercise. It’s a shame that while Drake proves he’s unmistakably a wizard with the pen, he also turns his usual brand of misogyny and chauvinism up to 11.
In particular, there’s a line that pokes fun at Megan Thee Stallion and questions the veracity of the claim that Tory Lanez shot her in 2020. “This bitch lie about getting shots, but she still a stallion,” Drake raps on “Circo Loco,” the album’s ninth track. What’s so disturbing about this raggedy-ass double entendre is it paints a picture of how little violence against Black women is given care or consideration in hip-hop. Meg went off on the subject last night in a series of tweets and, at one point, asks a very good question: Since when has it become cool to joke about women getting shot?
We know misogyny is no stranger to hip-hop. But the wave of rappers bullying Megan Thee Stallion and defending, collaborating, or coming to the aid of the man so short his legs dangle in Fisher-Price chairs is despicable.
In general, Her Loss is a filthy display of toxic masculinity, but let’s be real, if it weren’t for the line about Meg, it’d be par for the course. Joking about a Black woman getting shot is a bridge too far. If Lizzo and Beyonce can get bullied into changing lyrics in their songs because of what ultimately amounts to cultural differences between two communities on different sides of an ocean that don’t speak the same version of English, maybe Drake should amend this bullshit, too.
Remember when “The Story of Adidon” dropped and Pusha-T went scorched earth on Drake, even going as far as to joke about his best friend’s worrisome health condition? There’s a rumor that the beige boy wrote a song in response that was very ugly, but J Prince intervened because he believed it would tarnish Drake’s image too much and paint him as a villain.
“That’s not Drake’s character to tear a man down to that extent,” Prince said in an interview. That’s an interesting view of Drake’s integrity, but it feels like a lie. Or maybe it isn’t, and that level of grace and decency is only reserved for men, never women.