Understanding Summer Sixteen: With Meek Mill digested, Drake sets his sights on bigger targets
Toronto, ON – Listening to Episode 14 of OVO Sound Radio earlier tonight, it’s clear that the next few months are shaping up to be quite eventful. It’s a nice change of pace from an otherwise uneventful start to the year. If Drake’s 40 and Boi-1da-produced “Summer Sixteen” is even just a taste of what to expect from the rest of Views From The 6, we could be looking at onslaught of ego-checking and ego-saving attempts to dethrone Drake from the position he’s claiming so strongly.
You see, “Summer Sixteen” is not just the next step towards the highly anticipated release of the Views From The Six album, but also Drake officially making a claim for his spot as the top dog in the hip-hop chain of command. The song references the top players that would otherwise be considered for the title, directly or by way of reference.
For example, Twitter and Instagram are going crazy right now over Drake’s response to President Obama suggesting Kendrick Lamar was better than Drizzy. The line, “Tell Obama that my verses are just like the whips that he in, they bulletproof.”
My DMs just blew up w/ ppl telling me @Drake referenced my Obama interview on his new single- Drake u need me to spit on the remix orrr
— sWooZie (@sWooZ1e) January 31, 2016
Obama revealed the opinion in an interview with YouTube sensation sWooZie. In the video, sWooZie asks the President who he’d pick if he had to choose between Drake and Kendrick Lamar in a rap battle. And as a surprise to some, Obama didn’t hesitate to pick the Compton star, stating: “I think Drake is an outstanding entertainer but, Kendrick.. his lyrics, his last album was outstanding. Best album of last year.” The video (embedded below) was posted to the White House’s official YouTube channel and has been viewed over 1.3 million times. But clearly Drizzy took exception.
So if you know Obama isn’t off limits, no one in rap’s royalty could be untouchable either.
Fresh off an amusing Twitter rant directed at Wiz Khalifa, Kanye West is the victim of an assault on his pool size as Drake proclaims he now has a bigger pool than the College Dropout: “Now I got a bigger pool than Ye, look man Ye’s pool is nice, mine just big is what I’m saying.”
Kanye will apparently attempt to rip a man’s career to shreds over a tweet that doesn’t actually even warrant his attention (it turns out the ‘kk‘ in Wiz Khalifa’s tweet about his own strain of marijuana had nothing to do with her holiness, Kim K), but when he’s called out directly he’s quiet. Maybe he’s on a plane. Maybe he’s already working on a response in the form of a record? But I’d sooner wager he was looking into getting a bigger pool.
Needless to say, these bars will fuel waves of memes that will flood social media over the coming weeks and months. Will they fuel a wave of diss tracks? You could argue that the song is full of lighthearted jabs that don’t warrant beef, but we’re talking hip-hop and we’re talking an everlasting and often subtle battle among hip-hop’s elite to be considered the No. 1 player in the game. I think most would agree that Jay Z was the undisputed king for a long time, but retirement tends to take you out of the running. Plus, Drake repeatedly states he’s looking for revenge. Not exactly something you say lightheartedly.
Kanye West & Drake in Toronto
It could just come down to how much of an impact each rapper thinks a war with Drake would have on their game plans. Kanye might not have factored in a feud with Drake in his blueprint for his self-proclaimed magnum opus, Waves. Or perhaps it’s the final promotional piece he needs to get the album on top. Time will tell. Would Ye pit Waves up against Views? Would he have as much success as he did with Graduation when it went head-to-head with Curtis back in 2007? Lots of new questions that will hopefully find answers in the coming weeks.
Kanye got to tell Drake that he is his OG and he got to respect his pool.
— Nigel Int'l D. (@Nigel_D) January 31, 2016
The warning shots have come and gone. With Meek Mill fully digested, Drake is obviously out for blood and hungry to engage anyone questioning what he perceives is the spot he’s earned at the top. But even then, Meek is still included as the new song reflects on the “Charged Up” summer that would majorly strain their friendship:
“I’m just a sicko, a real sicko when you get to know me, n*gga / I let the diss record drop, you were standing right below me, n*gga / We must have played it a hundred times, you was going to bed / Why would I put on a vest I expect you to aim for the head / I coulda killed you the first time / You don’t have to try and say it louder n*gga, trust me heard you the first time.
Drake is allegedly referring to booking a room at the Four Seasons in Toronto after finding out Meek was staying there with Nicki Minaj for The Pinkprint Tour. And not just a room, but one directly above Meek’s with then intention of disturbing him by blaring the new diss song at obnoxious volumes late into the night. Oddly enough, Meek shows some strategic brilliance of his own by essentially addressing “Summer Sixteen” and that very same hotel incident on a new EP he released very soon after OVO Sound Radio had given the new Drizzy tune it’s sixth consecutive spin. The new Drake diss by Meek is called “War Pain” and it’s featured on a dope new EP by the Philly MC titled 4/4 Part 2. You can check it out here on SoundCloud.
As promised in “War Pain,” Meek spends the night at the Sixers’ game
Along with making it clear he’s not done with Drake, what makes this aspect of things even more intriguing is the fact that Meek Mill had a solid response diss track ready to go within minutes of “Summer Sixteen” being released. And not just a generic diss track to Drake, but directly addressing things Drake mentions in his new song such as the Four Seasons incident, and Drake’s belief that he’s now bigger than Hov.
So how did Meek Mill get the lyrics? Well according to Meek himself (on Instagram): “The ghost writer told me! 😂” Yup, he’s saying it was the very catalyst of the beef between Meek and Drake last summer, Quentin Miller. And there’s also almost certainly more unexplored layers of complexity to this whole situation that we will uncover in the coming days.
Watch the throne, Hov
SweetSummer Sixteen” Drake doesn’t exactly diss Jay Z, but he does make it clear that there should be no questioning his position at the top of the game. It’s no secret they’ve had a turbulent history and there’s no shortage of people that would kill to hear the Brooklyn god get back in the lab to ether Drizzy… or at least attempt it. But the line might not be enough to do it: “I used to want to be on Roc-A-Fella, then I turned into Jay.” I mean, it’s not exactly like telling him that he owns his children (I’m looking at you, Ye), but even Wiz hasn’t recorded a response to that tasteless tweet.
— HipHopCanada (@HipHopCanada) January 30, 2016
Views From The 6
Lastly, The Weeknd may or may not be a target as Drake spits a line which could be considered a XO reference. But who are we kidding… nothing should be considered accidental or coincidental. When it comes to being a wordsmith, you know what you’re saying and how it’s going to be perceived the moment it leaves your pen. The line is “All your ex’s know I like my O’s with a V in the middle.” Even still, that seems like a bit of a reach. Maybe not.
So everyone gonna act like the weeknd shots didn't happen…?
— Racc Brigante (@BishopBrigante) January 31, 2016
Not surprising, the rap lyrics website Genius has already been updated with a full break down of “Summer Sixteen” and one contributor offered this take on the questionable line:
“Drake cleverly blends the phrase X’s and O’s while referencing his record label. Drake and The Weeknd’s two labels make up OVOXO, but Ex’s may refer to past girlfriends. “O’s with a V in the middle” spells out the letters of the label he holds very dear to his heart: OVO Sound.”
Drake sings over The Weeknd’s “Tell Your Friends”
But with that logic it could also be a shot at chart climber Elle King.
On top of everything else, Drake saves a bar or two for local Toronto MCs who might have changed their style up just a bit too much after witnessing Drake’s rise to fame. “All you boys in the new Toronto want to be me a little.”
There’s a thought that it’s directly targeted at Tory Lanez, but ambiguity leaves it a bit too open-ended to be absolutely certain. The next few weeks should clear that up. Lanez was quiet on social media after “Summer Sixteen” dropped but has been on the road making some power moves of his own. Most notably an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel where the Canadian star won the crowd over with a performance of “Say It” (below).
Meek Mill even appears to come to Lanez’s defense on his new Drake diss, adding to the speculation that he was given the lyrics to Drake’s song with enough time to prepare a rebuttal. The coincidences are just too strong for it to be anything else. The line goes, “Tory from the 6 and you hatin’ on em, Lord Knows” which makes reference to the Meek Mill song Lanez was featured on late 2015. “Lord Knows” likely didn’t help Drake and Lanez’ relationship, which according to several sources had seen better days even prior to the song’s release.
All-in-all, between the NBA All-Star weekend and Views From The 6‘s now-looming arrival this April, Toronto is the place to be in 2016. Things are heating up nicely and we’re likely in for a long ride.
Written by Jesse Plunkett for HipHopCanada
Last updated Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016 @ 08:39 ET
— HipHopCanada (@HipHopCanada) January 31, 2016
— HipHopCanada (@HipHopCanada) January 31, 2016
Tags: 40, Barack Obama, Boi-1da, Drake, G.O.O.D. Music, Jay Z, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Kim Kardashian, Lil Wayne, Maybach Music Group, Meek Mill, MMG, Nicki Minaj, Noah "40" Shebib, October's Very Own, OVO, OVO Sound, Quentin Miller, Roc Nation, Roc-A-Fella Records, Swave Nation, TDE, The Weeknd, Top Dawg Entertainment, Tory Lanez, Wiz Khalifa, XO