Drake Is The Donald Trump Of Hip-Hop

Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

I don't remember exactly which day last week Funkmaster Flex became a top trending topic. I do remember, however, that when first seeing his name, I assumed that he either 1) died (which, fortunately, didn't happen) or 2) finally completed his transformation from New York City DJ to the world's first sentient Lugz chukka. (Which, unfortunately, didn't happen.)


Instead, he was trending because of a 24-minute-long response to Drake's comments during his "Summer Sixteen" tour; specifically where Drake rapped that he'd allow Hot 97 to interview him after they fired Funk Flex. In his reply, Flex threw some would-have-worked-much-much-better-in-1996 jabs at Drake's fanbase (“70% of your fans wear high heels. The other 30% are guys who wear sandals."), and then proceeded to levy versions of the same criticisms Drake receives whenever he's criticized in this manner.

1. He's an inauthentic habitual liar

2. He's not a true MC (because he doesn't write his own rhymes)

3. He's a punk

Which mirrored what pedophilic gerbil Tyga said about him in VIBE Magazine. And what Meek Mill said last summer. And what allegedly led to Diddy allegedly open-hand smacking him in South Beach. And what Joe Budden said in his 32643874 minute-long freestyle last month that no one other than prisoners, prison guards, and (maybe) Tahiry actually listened all the way through.

Each of these are serious allegations. Allegations that Drake critics and antifans hoped would finally, if not completely knock him off his pedestal, make him wobble on that bitch a bit. Unfortunately (for them), Drake has ultimately proven to be the alien from The Day the Earth Stood Still. The criticisms don't just not hurt him. They seem to make him stronger and more popular. Making this even more absurd is the fact that these criticisms are pretty much accepted as truth by both Drake haters and Drake stans. I doubt very many people still carry many doubts about whether Drake is a bit of a phony. We (collectively) just don't seem to care. The emperor has no clothes, and we're like "Eh. I guess nude is in this season."

We (collectively) don't even care that no one seemed to like Views. It wasn't hated, but the general consensus was that this was his weakest and laziest album. The equivalent of the manager of your favorite pizzeria saying “Everyone seemed to love the pizza we served last week. So we’re just going to keep reheating and serving that same, week-old pizza every week.” But it’s on pace to be his most commercially successful release.

This is why the hyperventilations about the rumored possibility of Eminem stepping into the Drake diss arena are unnecessary. Sure, Eminem would probably "win" that battle. But even Marshall "I killed my own damn mother on a record before" Mathers would be unable to knock Drake off his perch. He could rap about, I don't know, Drake's love of golden showers, and have video footage to prove it, and all Drake fans would say is "Well, urine is just vegan champagne anyway." And then #veganchampagnepapi would trend for the rest of the week.

And while Jay Z's reign from 1996 to 2002, where he seemed to be virtually untouchable, would seem to be the closest cultural analogue to Drake's current position, when I think of Drake and how his fans seem to give no fucks about whether the criticisms and allegations against him are true, I can't help but think of Donald Trump.


This, btw, is not a unique observation. Lauren Chanel Allen (@michellehux) tweeted last week about the Drake/Trump comparison.

OMG. Drake is rap game Donald Trump. He was never supposed to get this far and now he's burning it all down.

— Lauren Chanel Allen (@MichelleHux) August 5, 2016

And that's not where the comparison ends. They both transitioned into their current positions after successful stints on TV; Drake as a wheelchair-ridden Canadian and Trump as an NBC-centered pitch person for steaks. They both have star-crossed relationships with their hair. They both dance like no one is watching, literally. Like no one has ever watched them dance before. And they both do odd things with their hands when on stage.


But mostly importantly, they both seem to be criticism magnets and somehow immune to the intended effects of that criticism. Every week, Donald Trump does a thing — and, sometimes, a series of things — that'll make people proclaim that this is the nail in the Trump coffin. That he can't possibly recover from or continue after this. But like Jason Voorhees, this nigga is unkillable. At this point, I doubt there's anything he can say or do that would make his supporters reconsider their positions. He already said that a journalist was compromised in his interview with her because she had blood leaking out of her vagina. He already said that he's going to build a wall of Legos around Mexico and have them pay for it. He already called a nationally-renowned Vietnam War prisoner of war a bitch-ass nigga. He already kicked a baby out of a rally. Again, he's already done these things, and these are just a few of the things he's already done. And it doesn't matter. None of it.

Of course, Drake is just a rapper (a rapper that I, admittedly, actually enjoy when he's actually rapping) and Donald Trump is a bleached brussels sprout who might be president. So the comparison isn't perfect. But just know that if you truly want to "kill" Drake, the only thing that would work is the only thing that would work with Trump: Fire. You need to kill him with fire. And by "fire" I totally mean "Rihanna."

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)



Related to a comment I posted: since we're talking about "he can do no wrong" characters, I'd love to hear the VSB perspective on one Mr. Frank Ocean.