In his new song titled "Summer Sixteen," Drake throws President Obama into the mix, but it's not all fun and games. The name drop isn't an homage to Obama's two terms in office. In fact, it's not even a shout-out. Instead, it's a testament to Drake's burned ego, which was deeply cut after Obama said Kendrick Lamar would beat him in a rap battle. Obama chose to bring the red hot fire, and Drake's made it all too clear that he's going to throw the shade right back at him. I mean, who wants to be called second to best by the President? As Ludacris said in 2004, "Rappers swearin they on top! (Nuh uh, uh uh) / But I'm comin' for they number one spot!" Drake's out for the number one spot in Obama's heart.
Last week, during his OVO Sound Radio show on Apple's Beats 1, the rapper released "Summer Sixteen," the first single from his upcoming album Views from the 6. Drake keeps his address to Obama short and sweet and includes it early on in the first verse.
To do what you couldn't do / Tell Obama that my verses are just like the whips that he in / They bulletproof...
But according to Obama, Drake's verses aren't as "bulletproof" as those of Kendrick Lamar. In a Jan 15 interview with YouTube's Adande Thorne, otherwise known by "SWooZie." In the interview, Thorne asked the president whether he believes Kendrick Lamar or Drake would win a rap battle.
Gotta go with Kendrick. I'm just saying. I think Drake is an outstanding entertainer but Kendrick, his lyrics, his last album was outstanding. Best album I think last year.
In actuality, no one should be upset at Obama for siding with the "M.A.A.D City" rapper. Kendrick Lamar's latest album To Pimp a Butterfly is wrought with deeper meaning, commentary on racial discrimination, difficult to decipher poetry, and intensely catchy jazz riffs. That being said, I'd rather dance to Drake's singles. Thus, the comparison between the two artists seems futile. They simply have different strengths. Even so, Drake caught onto Obama's remark impressively quickly. His "Summer Sixteen" rebuttal came less than two weeks after the statement was made.
It's not completely clear whether or not Drake wrote the line solely in response to Swoozie's Obama interview about favoring Kendrick. If so, Drake incorporated the line into the song on pretty short notice. It is completely clear, however, that Obama is not the only person Drake calls out in the new single. Meek Mill, Chris Brown, and Toronto rapper Tory Lanez are among the others. Drake also adds references to Jay-Z and Kanye West but his attitude towards them is unmistakably more amicable. Drake playfully claims to have surpassed his role models' riches.
I used to wanna be on Roc-A-Fella, then I turned into Jay / Now I got a house in L.A., now I got a bigger pool than Ye / and look man, Ye's pool is nice, mine's just big is what I'm saying...
In the rap genre, calling out other rappers or celebrities has proven to be the name of the game. It never fails to get people talking. Take, for example, Big Sean's 2013 single "Control," during which he calls out 12 rappers including Drake. Fortunately, the "Hotline Bling" singer has yet to reach that level of aggressiveness. And since the president is one of the most powerful people in the country, he's played his cards right by keeping the jab fairly subtle.
Though the hip-hop artist has never explicitly rapped about Obama in his verses, fellow artists have alluded to the president in his more collaborative hit singles. For example, in Drake's "Forever," Kanye raps, "You would think I ran the world like Michelle's husband." Apparently, Obama has to make a new addition to his "before I leave office" to-do list — get on Drake's good side.