Joven Haye (@JovieChase)'s avatar

Will Drake’s “Nothing Was the Same” Make Toronto a Hip-Hop Capital?

Posted by Joven Haye (@JovieChase) on 09/24/13 | Filed under Opinion, Drake, Album Reviews

If, for whatever reason, you aren’t the biggest Drake fan, we could only imagine how hard the last couple weeks have been for you. In the midst of his promo run for his third studio album "Nothing Was the Same", it is seemingly impossible to avoid being bombarded by album promotion everywhere (we can guarantee every day someone on your Instagram timeline has liked a pic that has a NWTS shirt in it). But while the world listens, as a Toronto native, I need to know what this album means for the city? Does surpassing the sophomore jinx put Drizzy in a position to make T. Dot the new hub for hip hop, on par with the Atlantas and L.A.s of the world?

Without a shadow of doubt, Drake originally put Toronto on the map. Of course, there were people to make respectable noise before him such as Kardinal, Maestro, Choclair, etc. But even collectively, no artist has even come close to touching the heels of Drizzy’s milestones since his 2009 release, "So Far Gone". When he boasts on "Wu-Tang Forever", “I just gave the city life, it ain’t about who did it first, it’s about who did it right,” Torontonians can’t help but nod accordingly whether they’re a fan or not. Being a city known for it’s extensive knowledge in both hip hop and R&B, it was only a matter of time before an artist can successfully embody both genres in a unique style on such a big scale.

They say if you could make it in New York, you could make it anywhere. But shockingly enough, Toronto has built the reputation as “The Screwface Capital”. Not being honest about your artistry could leave you with a series of empty concerts and a trunk full of merch for about a couple years.

“Comin’ live from the Screwface, livin’ out a suitcase / But I’m feelin’ good, Johnny got me pushin’ two plates” -5am in Toronto

It is important Drake becomes more and more honest about the lifestyle he portrays via his music. On records such as "Paris Morton Music" and "Too Much" for example, there are as much factual bars as there are fabricated ones. Along with the clever bars, being truthful will be the backbone of his longevity.

This has been a formula that seems to be working so far. Settings himself aside from the pack, Drake has positioned himself to have an advantage over other artists. Whenever there’s a rapper from a new city, that means fresh influences, slang, and esthetic will be introduced to the game.

It is a safe bet to say Drizzy will be around for the next few years, but can he usher more acts into stardom through the OVO imprint? His co-sign with The Weeknd was a knock out of the park; will he be able to bat a thousand with PartyNextDoor & Majid Jordan as well? Intentional or not, Drizzy has become the bridge between a scene that has been bubbling in Toronto for years and the attention of the mainstream. In the meantime, we sit back and let time take its course and enjoy watching one of the biggest superstars during their run. Here, it's always 5 AM. (Written by @JovieChase)

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