Drake is Not a Nice Guy
As rappers go, Drake doesn’t seem like too bad of a guy. While many male rappers blatantly objectify women in their lyrics, Drake worships the “good girl,” a woman who is goal-oriented and virtuous yet sexy. He has made a brand for himself as the sensitive “nice guy.” But while his lyrics seem empowering on the surface, they hide Drake’s actual problematic image of women. This “nice guy” is a misogynist. While Drake may venerate the pure “good girl,” his lyrics slander and slut shame women who participate in sexual behavior he considers to be gross or excessive. A “good girl” stays at home, “bad girls” go out to the club. This discrimination between “good” and “bad” girls is sexist. He finds women who are sexually aggressive to be masculine and untrustworthy (“women want to fuck like they’re me and I’m them). Drake doesn’t want to be with a slut, he wants the “women who still remember who they slept with” that are “too busy studying to make the guest list.” Drake never blatantly calls women “hoes” but his lyrics imply his true feelings. Even Drake’s “good girl” is problematic and wrought with double standards. A “good girl” has to be good at sex but not too good at sex. She can be goal- oriented and be going to college, but a man is paying her tuition. A man is there to support her so she doesn’t become too independent. A “good girl” has some power but needs a man’s help. Drake’s lyrics are also paternalistic and reflect his idea that his woman needs to be and can only be “saved” by him. He is obsessed with controlling women and finds completely independent women offensive. His woman belongs to him and no one else. Nice Guy Drake is oblivious to the fact that women don’t need to be saved and especially not by his whiny ass. Drake feels like because he is a nice guy, women owe it to him to be with him. Ex’s who have moved on from him are “ungrateful.” He holds every favor he has done for a woman against her (“remember when you had to take the bar exam, I drove in the snow for you?). Drake seems completely oblivious of his own sexist views and believes that he actually empowers women. In fact, he feels so overwhelmed by all the women he is trying to empower it’s “a danger to his health.” But instead of doing anything that would actually empower women, such as supporting a woman’s right to make her own decisions without being criticized, he believes that telling his girl he’s proud of her and that she doesn’t need to wear make-up makes him an ally. And then there’s “Hotline Bling.” Not going to lie, this song is a jam. I suggest drowning out the lyrics, though. Although beyond catchy, this song further perpetuates Drake’s problematic view of women. In “Hotline Bling,” Drake plays the role of obsessive ex boyfriend who can’t get over the fact that his ex has moved on and is living her life contrary to how he would like her to be living it. Because he can’t have her, he proceeds to slut-shame her, accusing her now more revealing wardrobe and the new reputation she has garnered. He then continues to attempt to control her, telling her to “just be yourself” – Drake wants her to be his “good girl” again. Although Drake’s lyrics are not violent, they perpetuate very dangerous views of women: that a woman’s worth is determined by a man, that women who are confident in their own sexualities are undesirable, and he promotes pitting women against each other. And because his lyrics are not so blatantly obvious in their promotion of sexism, they make his unhealthy view of women more accessible to his listeners – his catchy but misogynistic lyrics creep into your everyday life without you even knowing. Despite all the evidence to contrary, Drake still believes he is a nice guy. But through my own personal experience, I have found that nice guys do not have to call themselves nice guys. They just are. It is the men who insist they are nice that you have to watch out for. Perhaps Drake is hoping that if he calls himself a “nice guy” enough times, we might actually believe him.