Is Drake just a glorified feature artist?

As Drake breaks yet another record, we ask, is Drizzy just a hyped up features artist?

Drake’s fulfilling accomplishment of passing The Beatles for most Billboard Hot 100 Top 10 songs in a single year has cemented his prosperous legacy into the music hall of fame. Nine out of the twelve tracks that appeared on the Top 10 Billboard charts were singles from Drake’s fifth album Scorpion. An iconic accomplishment, to say the least, Drake’s accolades now make up for a great argument when debating about some of the greatest musicians in history.

A magazine advert appearing in an issue of Billboard magazine, from 1 May 1965.

However, an insight into the rapper’s career can allow one to argue that his success will be remembered more as an artist who always goes above and beyond in featured songs, rather than his own singles. Drake has ten featured singles out of thirty-two (also 68.75%) which have been in the Top 10. Some of the songs included are Look Alive by Blocboy JB, MIA by Bad Bunny, She Will by Lil Wayne and F**kin Problems by A$AP Rocky. This information is pivotal in showcasing to us the success that Drake’s perception has led fans to believe that he’s more iconic as a featured artist leading a career of pivotal music from his own catalogue.

An insight into Drake’s succession into the Billboard Top 100.

Out of all his six singles which have peaked number one in the Billboard 100, two of them were of him appearing as a featured artist in Rihanna’s Work, which sold over one million units in the UK, and six million in the USA and the other – What’s My Name which released in 2011, an important turning point in Drake’s career as this single became his first to enter number one on the charts, sparking a series of iconic features which are all available to see on his Billboard chart history.

Drake performing at the Summer Sixteen Tour. Photography by: Charito Yap for The Come Up Show.

This prominence of being renowned as a featured rapper is also exhibited through the colleagues and associates affiliated with Drake and even the Cash Money Records group. Lil Wayne is one artist that comes to mind where listeners tend to recognise his features as more successful than his own work. Two of his three singles which have peaked at number one are of him appearing as a guest feature on Jay Sean’s Down and DJ Khaled’s I’m The One. Aside from that, Lil Wayne is featured on twelve of his twenty-four Top 10 singles, demonstrating that whether he’s the feature or not, recognition for being a talented artist, in general, is the most important thing, especially making tunes that gross as much as these do.

Lil Wayne at the Oslo Spektrum in 2013. Photography by: Kim Erlandsen, NRK P3.

Whether you like Drake’s music or not, a huge amount of creditability should be awarded to the success of his musical career and the fact that he is still able to break records (no pun intended) that were previously held by musical greats. It is within your own right to judge his success as a talented rapper, who has been able to show that his songwriting and popular releases are played on a loop by everyone, or whether his memorable bars sang on featured songs will argue you to say he’s better.

Words: Luke Furr | Subbing: Jake Woods

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