The part of hip hop that always worried me was its competitive nature; as a little girl, I didn't quite grasp the intricacies of "rap beef." In sixth grade, I did a project about the Roxanne Wars, which made industry drama seem so baffling and horrific that scar tissue started forming in my brain to block out every hip hop feud I encountered from then on. Thankfully, this ordeal coincided with the emergence of snap music on the Billboard Hot 100, and those guys never fought. So it was cool.
After years of therapy and hours of crudely-made Lil Kim vs. Nicki Minaj YouTube slideshows, I have begun to accept the fact that not everyone is going to be friends around here.
(I like to pretend that "here" is "The Rap Industry" as if I have "a solidified spot in the hip-hop world." Just let me dream, okay.)
Some of the stuff in Drake's new song "5 AM in Toronto" makes me feel weird, like when you're in eighth grade and the girl who already has big boobs is talking about them really loudly to all the girls who haven't filled out yet. Like, "My boobs are bigger than yours!" And then at first you feel embarrassed of your small boobs, and then you're like, "Whatever, everyone else has small boobs too." And then you're like, "Why is she even bragging about her boobs in the first place? Don't they make her back hurt? It can't be THAT great to have huge boobs."
Drake goes so heavy on the boob brags in "5 AM" that he didn't even come up with a cool catchy hook for me to use as my Facebook status. At first, he talks about how he's the best and then he talks more about how he's the best, and then he talks about how much money he has and how it doesn't matter when people say bad shit about him because he still has more money and he's still the best. So already I'm feeling the boob-envy, because I am not the best and I don't have as much money as Drake. Meanwhile, he's throwing around cool lines like, "That's why every song sound like Drake featuring Drake," in there, so I remember that he actually kind of is the best. But then I hear little digs in there that trigger my rap beef anxiety:
Cause I show love, never get the same outta niggas
Guess it's funny how money can make change outta niggas
For real; Some nobody started feelin' himself
And then I think like, isn't it going to be awkward at parties when Drake runs into the Weeknd? Is it already awkward when rappers run into each other at events after they write shit like this about each other? I mean, stuff like this is the Hot 100 artist equivalent of a subtweet. Everyone with a radio is gonna hear that diss and be like, "Ooohhhhhhhhhhh." So like, the song is cool and I'm probably going to play it very loudly if I ever end up owning a car again. But it still makes me sad because damn Drake, can't we all just get along? If you're this mad at 5 in the morning then maybe you should let me take you to yoga and we can get some herbal tea and talk it out. I'm here for you. Even though I'm poor. And flat-chested.
Kitty is a professional rapper and a hesitant music journalist. She is on Twitter - @kittaveli