You recently tweeted about a Drake backlash, which had me scrambling to figure out if someone had released a diss track, only to see it was just that Justin Charity had tweeted about him, which is actually a fate far worse. Aside from "Views," which felt like a fairly minor L (or not an L at all if you're a streaming numbers apologist), do you think Drake will ever take an actual L? Outside of the Justin Charity tweet, of course.
You’re right, Drake has been surprisingly Teflon for a Canadian formerly known as Wheelchair Jimmy from “Degrassi.” When I think back on his past Ls — getting robbed in 2009 right after “So Far Gone,” rapping off the Blackberry for Flex, Meek Mill’s initial tweets and the leaked reference tracks — what mostly sticks out is his ability to bounce back. Every time he makes a wrong, or even questionable, move, he seems to see it relatively clearly and course-correct in a way I find to be extremely rare (and self-aware) for a pop star at his level. Think “Back to Back” promptly following “Charged Up.” Even in the lead up to “Views,” I think people forget that the first single was “Summer Sixteen,” which rehashed the Meek beef long after everyone was over it except him. (“One Dance” was the fix.) When “Views” was dubbed meh as an album, we got “More Life.” And when “More Life” didn’t have a smash and felt a little like over-saturation, there was silence followed by “God’s Plan.”
If anything, I think he shares a ubiquity problem with Taylor Swift, a general audience fatigue after so many years of domination. What’s been fascinating to watch is Drake’s refusal to change his M.O. — whereas Taylor has retreated a bit in the “Reputation” cycle — and instead try to maneuver around the whiffs of backlash. I think it’s still in the ether because people are just ready for a new king, but for now he’s still managing to outrun it. (“They don't know they got to be faster than me to get to me/ no one's done it successfully.”)
It's almost March. What's your favorite thing to do in New York in Spring?
On the first real day when everyone sheds their layers and shows their shoulders and remembers what it’s like to smile, I like to take the train to West 4th and just walk through Washington Square Park and up 5th Ave. It’s corny, but it reminds me of being 18, and there’s just a real electricity in the city when almost every single person you pass is feeling the same “We made it” buzz.
On a scale of 1 to "All Too Well" how hard do you stan for Liz Rose?
I might be OK, but I’m not fine at all.