It is hard to imagine music without Drake.

For over a decade, he's been one of the most influential figures not just in Hip-Hop but in music period. He went from a child actor to Lil Wayne's protege to a G.O.A.T. in his own right. Drake's consistency and diversity are what keeps him at the top of the mountain.

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Drake Shares First Photos of His Son, Adonis

And we have Pusha-T to thank for bringing the family together.

By Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

A short lifetime ago, the most-discussed topic of pop culture was the ongoing beef between Drake and Pusha-T.

Drake—Drizzy, Champagne Papi, Canada's finest export—is no newbie to feuds with his contemporaries. But in spring of 2018, just before Drake released his most recent album Scorpion, Pusha went where no opponent had gone before: confirming the longstanding rumor that the "God's Plan" rapper had a child.

Today, Drake finally seems to be owning up to his fatherhood, having shared a handful of photos of his son, Adonis, on Instagram. "I love and miss my beautiful family and friends and I can't wait for the joyful day when we are all able to reunite," Drake wrote in the caption, marking the first time he's posted photos (or directly acknowledged) his two-year-old child. With piercing blue eyes and a full head of blonde ringlets, they don't look much alike (as we've discussed, celebrity genetics are wild), but this proof of parenthood is as good as any. He also included a full-family shot featuring Adonis' mother, French artist Sophie Brussaux.

Whispers of Drake's potential fatherhood have been circulating for years, but no names had been confirmed until Pusha's diss track aimed at Drake, "The Story of Adidon," first surfaced. "A baby's involved, it's deeper than rap," Pusha says on the song. "You are hiding a child, let that boy come home...Adonis is your son / And he deserves more than an Adidas press run; that's real."

Considering how sneaky Drake had been previously about his child, it seems like we very well might have never known about Adonis if it weren't for the diss track. Who knew? Pusha-T: bringing families together since 2020.

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Let's Not Be (feat.)-Obsessed

(feat. Me)

Earlier this month, Drake jumped on a song by a mostly unknown Memphis rapper. The song is now one of the most popular in the country. Two weeks later, its music video has over 20 million hits on YouTube, almost 30 million plays on Spotify, et cetera et cetera. Now BlocBoy has a feature in XXL. Articles like "BlocBoy JB is now in the running to become America's next top rapper" from The Fader have begun to pop up around the internet. Suffice to say that, as a result of one song feature, this persons life has changed forever.

Drake is so powerful, it's creepy. Few people on Earth without "CEO" or "President/Prime Minister" in their title have a greater influence over large populations of people as he does. You'd be hard pressed to find more than a few hip-hop artists of this generation who've come up without the help of a Drake cosign. He hopped on "Tuesday" and created iLoveMakonnen, remixed "Tony Montana" and out came Future, gave "Versace" a verse and helped birth Migos. It's amazing to think back now on his 2012 "Club Paradise" tour, which featured such up-and-coming rappers as Kendrick Lamar and A$AP Rocky as opening acts. Today, that same show would cost you an arm and a leg, then your other arm and your other leg too if you purchase secondhand.

Cosigns and song features long precede Drake, and hip-hop was on a track towards the mainstream even before he entered the set of 'Degrassi'. But in a music space where a single artist can vault another artist to nationwide (even worldwide) fame solely on the basis of a single guest appearance, it makes sense that features have become comparably as significant to a song's success as the quality of the music itself. It's why you'll see weak album tracks like "White Sand" (Migos feat. Travi$ Scott), "Lil Baby" (2 Chainz feat. Ty Dolla $ign) and "Relationship" (Young Thug feat. Future) over-performing their superior counterparts—in this case, songs like "Countin", "Open it Up" and "Me or Us", respectively. Furthermore, in an environment where songs often gain popularity in proportion to the number of famous people involved, it makes commercial sense for musicians to pair up more often, regardless of actual artistic considerations.

At first this was all really cool. "Watch the Throne" put together the game's two biggest names, and it couldn't have been more hyped. Years later it happened again, with "What a Time to be Alive". Of course, both albums turned out to be slightly underwhelming—good but not great, and of lesser quality than any of the involved artists' individual works. What were the lessons learned? Perhaps that putting two artists together isn't simple arithmetic, if you're a listener. Or, if you're a label, that a collaborative album of enough star power can sell regardless of quality.

In 2017, it felt like we learned the second lesson but not the first. There was the 21 Savage-Offset album which was pretty good, and the Travi$ Scott-Quavo tape that was supposed to be even better but ultimately turned out worse. Metro Boomin' and Gucci Mane put in a solid project with a couple of certified bangers, but Young Thug's mixtape with Future was nt worth a second play through.

I think it's great that rappers these days are friends, and the violence and territorialism of the 90's isn't really around anymore. And I'll admit I'm part of the problem here: when the hype machine starts rolling on, say, the rumored Migos-Young Thug tape, I'm right up on it. I'd also never presume to tell anyone else what to listen to. But maybe we could do more to reward quality of music, rather than this additive fame factor, by being aware of ourselves.

BlocBoy is better than Drake on "Look Alive". We're at the point now where that sort of thing really doesn't matter.

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