Is Drake's Sophomore Album Too-Emo for Men?

Surely you heard Drake’s much anticipated (and leaked) sophomore album. Drake’s given listeners his blessing to, “Listen, enjoy it, buy it if you like it...and take care until next time.” So I have, listened, that is, and I like it. But then again, I favor R&B and introspection. “Take Care” is what I put on at the end of the day when I’m winding down and prepping for bed.

This, of course, annoys the men in my life. They all acknowledge that Drake can spit. That isn’t the problem. What is, is they felt duped by Drake’s first album, “Thank Me Later”, which they determined was for the ladies. “Take Care” was supposed to be hard and for the fellas, an assumption I’m not sure how they arrived at. He rocks Cosby sweaters on red carpets. There was no way this would be for the streets. Maybe the suburbs?

The first listen garnered the following reactions from my dudes:
“This is too f---in emotional man. He sounds like the male Mary J.”
“Softest dude ever.”
“Someone needs to email him the link to Childish Gambino. Help him get his testosterone back.”
“Nikki spits harder.”

It seems my guys aren’t going for emo-rap. No real surprise. In general, guys are never all that great with discussing (or dealing with) emotions. But maybe, every now and again, they need to be. 

On Take Care Drake brings up a lot of issues that men need to address, most notably his unresolved issues with his father. On “Look What You’ve Done,” (my favorite track. I replayed it four times) Drake addresses his daddy issues, an  idea that’s overwhelming discussed about women, but affects men with absent fathers equally. Drizzy also raps about a argument with his mother where she crossed the line, “And you tell me I’m just like my father, my one button, you push it/ Now it's "Fuck you, I hate you, I'll move out in a heartbeat." 

Later in the verse, he adds, “And my father living in Memphis now/ he can't come this way/Over some minor charges and child support that just wasn't paid/ Damn, boo-hoo, sad story, Black American dad story.”

Drake’s dismissal of his situation as just another “Black American dad” speaks to the number of Black males who don’t grow up with a father in the home—82% since 1990. And a father’s absence affects his son in every aspect of his life, from his self-esteem to his relationships to the way he views the world. It gives him a vulnerable spot, the one Drake notes when he blows up at his Mom, that few things other than a father or father-like figure (Drake addresses that in verse two) can fill.

The best way for anyone to get thru (not over) an issue—any issue, not just absentee fatherism is to confront it and talk about it. Stuffing it down emotions or avoiding them, or rejecting them in favor of bravado—what so many guys do—doesn’t make the issue better, rather just allows it to seep out in other forms.

Instead of guys dissing Drake as too emotional, I wish they’d give Take Care a chance and open up a little more. I don’t expect Drake to solve anything, of course, but maybe it could make them think, “it’s not just me” and be a first step to a discussion. --Demetria L. Lucas

Demetria L. Lucas is a life coach and the author of “A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life” (Atria) in stores now. Follow her on Twitter @abelleinbk

From the Web

More on Vibe

JC Olivera/Getty Images

‘Candyman’ Reboot Pushed Back To Next Summer

The long-awaited reboot of the ‘90s horror flick, Candyman, has been pushed back yet again. The film, written by Jordan Peele and directed by Nia DaCosta, is now expected to arrive on August 27, 2021.

Like many productions delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Candyman remake has been postponed more than once. In September, Universal Pictures removed the film from its calendar. Da Costa later explained that the film was made to view in theaters.

“We wanted the horror and humanity of Candyman to be experience in a collective, a community, so we’re pushing Candyman to next year, to ensure that everyone cans the film in theaters, and share in the experience,” DaCosta tweeted at the time. Her Twitter account has since been deleted.

Described as a “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 original, the reboot stars Yahya Abdul-Mateen II as the supernatural monster lurking within the character Anthony McCoy. The film’s premise finds McCoy (Abdul-Mateen) returning to the now gentrified Chicago area where the legend of Candyman first began.

“I’m really honored to be stepping into those shoes,” Abdul-Mateen said in an interview with Collider.com. “They’re big shoes to fill because, obviously, that’s an iconic character and a story that people relate to. Even people who have not seen it, have ideas about it, or they’ve still been able to interact with it, and that iconography has penetrated their lives. So, it’s an honor to be able to step into that, and to re-tell that story, and to introduce the mythology of Candyman back into the world, in 2020, and to put our own social lens and our own spin on it. I think that’s gonna be a lot of fun, to put that iconography back into the conversation.”

Continue Reading
Samir Hussein/WireImage

Daniel Kaluuya Explains Why His Upcoming Live-Action ‘Barney’ Movie Is “Really Needed”

Daniel Kaluuya shared an interesting take on Barney, and the motivation behind his up-coming live-action adaptation of the children’s series. The 31-year-old British actor is producing what will be a sobering interpretation of the lovable purple T-Rex, one that Kaluuya says is “really needed” at the moment.

“Barney taught us, ‘I love you, you love me. Won’t you say you love me too?’ That’s one of the first songs I remember, and what happens when that isn’t true? I thought that was really heartbreaking,” Kaluuya told Entertainment Weekly  in an interview promoting his upcoming film Judas and the Black Messiah. “I have no idea why but it feels like that makes sense. It feels like there’s something unexpected that can be poignant but optimistic. Especially at this time now, I think that’s really, really needed.’’

Mattel Films is co-producing the live-action Barney film alongside Kaluuya’s production company, 59%, and Valparaiso Pictures.

Barney & Friends originally aired on PBS from 1992-2009. The purple dinosaur and his sidekick,  B.J. and Baby Bop, taught legions of young viewers educational messages through songs and dance.

Aside from Barney, Kaluuya opened up to EW about portraying Black Pantry Party member Fred Hampton in Judas and The Black Messiah, co-starring Lakeith Stanfield.

“One of my aspirations was to show how brilliant these people were in every way, and what they were really doing, to show the full picture, away from the narrow narrative that has been portrayed. Show what they were really doing in this time, and how revolutionary their ideas were. It didn't necessarily mean destruction. They were actually about healing and loving and taking care of your community. These activities do not feel like they're associated with the Black Panther party but that's the foundation of it, which is why it spread.”

Continue Reading
Netflix/FilmMagic via Getty Images

Ludacris Announces Netflix Animated Series ‘Karma’s World’ Inspired By His Oldest Daughter

Ludacris has an animated series in the works. Karma’s World, which is inspired by his oldest daughter, Karma Bridges, is in development at Netflix, the rapper announced on Tuesday (Oct. 13).

“I’ve had a lot of accomplishments in my life, but everything that I’ve experienced seems to have led up to this point to where I can leave a legacy for all my daughters,” Luda said in a statement. “Karma’s World is one of those legacies. I hope this series will show kids that there are many ways to overcome difficult situations.

“This show is going to move hip hop culture forward, and show young girls that they have the power to change the world,” he added. “This project has been a long time in the making and I can’t wait to bring Karma’s World to the entire world.”

The series follows 10-year-old Karma Grant, a smart, resilient, and “deeply empathetic” aspiring singer and rapper with “big talent and an even bigger heart.” Karma pours out her deepest feelings and channel her emotions into the music that she hopes will one day change the world. The animated show chronicles how Karma begins to recognize the true power of music, and will tackle issues such as self-esteem, body positivity, friendship, family, and celebrating differences.

Karma’s World has been a decade in the making, Luda revealed in an  Instagram post.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

10 years in the making. THIS IS HOW LEGACIES ARE BUILT! • I’m pleased to announce that I will be joining the @netflixfamily, and bringing my new animated series #KarmasWorld which is inspired by my oldest daughter in partnership with @9storymediagroup and @BrownBagFilms to @netflix for the world to see! • It was important to me to provide a positive @StrongBlackLead to show our youth that there are many ways to overcome difficult situations, and that their dreams no matter how big are possible! I’m looking forward to finally being able to share what I’ve been working on behind the scenes for so many years! Welcome to Karma’s World! Click the link in bio RIGHT NOW!!! • #Ludacris #Netflix #AnimatedSeries

A post shared by @ ludacris on Oct 13, 2020 at 11:03am PDT

Besides creating the series, Luda is also executive producing alongside Vince Commisso, Cathal Gaffney, Darragh O’Connell, Angela C. Santomero, Wendy Harris and Jennie Stacey from 9 Story Media Group.

Karma’s World is a partnership between 9 Story Media and Luda’s production company Karma’s World Entertainment.

Continue Reading

Top Stories