Review: A Childish Drake Rears His Ugly Head on ‘Her Loss’

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Videographer: Aaron McMurtry

The Come Up Show | Wikimedia Commons

Maya Alexander

It’s hard to know which is worse: a deservingly celebrated rapper who soiled a good — at points, even great —project with unnecessary, hurtful and misogynist attacks, or that the negative attention it has received is completely justified?

This is the war at odds surrounding Canadian rapper Drake and British ex-pat 21 Savage’s latest collaborative effort, “Her Loss” which was released this month.

To step back a little, “Her Loss” is the latest installment in a more-than-busy year for both artists. For 21 Savage, this album came as his first full-length LP since his last collaborative project, “Savage Mode II,” with producer Metro Boomin in 2020.

“Her Loss” served as a nice rebound for Savage following a more-than-lackluster string of singles released this year, including his appearance on the greatly panned, “Cash in Cash Out” with Pharrell Williams and Tyler the Creator.

On the other hand, “Her Loss” on first listen, seems like Drake desperately wanting to reclaim something that both his fans and himself realized was missing from his current sound. This year for the rapper definitely had its high and low points, starting off very successful with an appearance on the earworm single, “Wait for U” alongside rapper Future and promising newcomer Tems.

His first full-length album of the year, “Honestly, Nevermind,” arrived in June to equal parts interest and derision. With its house-inspired production, the album was received more welcomingly by critics.

Jon Caramanica of The New York Times called the LP  “a small marvel of bodily exuberance – appealingly weightless, escapist and zealously free.”  He continues to call it an album of  “entrancing club music” and that it all pointed toward an “evolution” for Drake.

While it was undeniable that his first full-length project of the year was made to appeal to the hearts of every music critic weary of the future sound of rap music, it is clear that the artist wanted to let his fans know that “Honestly, Nevermind” was just a false start to the arrival of the old Drake, leaving it up to them to decide whether or not he was back and better than he ever was.

The consensus? Not quite.

Let’s start with the obvious. Despite all of the valid criticisms of the alblum’s lyrics, the bottom line is that “Her Loss” is good. The rap is tighter and the production is nearly flawless. This latest LP can definitely stand amongst some of Drake’s heaviest hitters in his catalog.

The braggadocious rhyming on tracks like “Rich Flex” and “Treacherous Twins” coupled with the chopped and screwed soul sample that encompasses the album’s standout song, “Middle of the Ocean”, makes for a well-rounded and enjoyable listen.

The real discourse begins a little over halfway into the album’s runtime with the song, “Circo Loco.” Much has been written about Drake’s left-field attacks on female rap powerhouse Megan thee Stallion.

On the track, he raps, “This bitch lie ‘bout gettin’ shots, but she still a stallion/She don’t even get the joke, but she still smilin’.”

Although no names were mentioned, many, including Megan herself, perceived the verse to be a sly diss to the MC in reference to her ongoing legal battles following a shooting incident involving Canadian rapper Tory Lanez in 2020.

Megan responded on Twitter shortly after the album dropped, criticizing Drake’s pack mentality.

“Ready to boycott bout shoes and clothes but dog pile on a black woman when she say one of y’all homeboys abused her,” she tweeted.

For Drake, this whole incident is simply embarrassing. A good project has been rightly overshadowed by unprovoked, sneaky disses that have only revealed how much the rapper, at 36-years-old, still has some growing up to do.