4.18.2010

Over?

There seems to be a growing sentiment that Drake's star is starting to lose a little of it's luster. Over the past couple of weeks, I've heard/seen more than a few people asking this question: Is Drake Over?
My best guess at the root of the question is that people don't feel like Over has taken...umm, over...the radio like his other singles and features. On the Billboard Hot 100 charts, Over currently sits at #22, a two-slot increase from last week's position of #24, but below it's peak position of #17. On the R&B/HipHop charts Over is currently sitting at # 7, a rise in three slots from last week's position of #10. Three weeks ago it was at #20.

So my question is: Is the gut-feeling test altering people's perceptions of Drake's success?

Here are some comparative facts: Best I Ever Had hit #1 on the R&B/HipHop charts and peaked at #3 on the Hot 100 charts. Successful peaked at #61 on the Hot 100 and #17 on the R&B/HipHop charts. But both songs clearly ran the airwaves last summer, with BIEH receiving so many spins that people began to think they were hearing it every other song.


In the most basic comparison (chart numbers), Over is not clearly doing as well as BIEH. There is no question that his introduction to the masses was a smashing success. But can you really argue that Over isn't holding it's own? It's already outperforming Successful and one of his most current collabs Say Something with Timbaland is sitting at #6 on the R&B/HipHop (peaked at #1) and #29 on the Hot 100 charts respectively. Meanwhile BedRock is sitting at #14 (peaked at #2) on the Hot 100 and #30 (also peaked at #2) on the R&B/HipHop charts.

Again I ask: Is the gut-feeling test altering people's perceptions of Drakes [continued] success?

Based on those numbers, I'd have to say "yes." I'm not denial about the success that was BIEH, but I am arguing that Drake has been charting in his genre (R&B/HipHop) and in music overall since the weeks just after BEIH debuted. That's nearly a year of consistent chart presence- in the top half no less. How many artists would love to be in that position?

Beyond the Numbers

There is a lot of truth to the saying "numbers don't lie," but there are instances when the subject matter that leads to those numbers alters the outcome. Think about it. Until Over, only one of Drake's singles or features was introspectively tinged (or as some call it "emo"). That was Successful. Everything else was high-energy and club worthy. Therefore, I am more inclined to believe that the perceived drop off has more to do with the calculated change in direction the Toronto native took for this single. Check out what he says about the song and it's video:



Now peep the video:


If you are one of the growing people that think Drake's career is flatlining, you may want to rethink your position. The numbers suggest that Drake may not be chart-topping with every song he releases or is featured on, but he is consistently producing quality numbers. I think it's also important to not fall into the hype of what was 2009. It's unrealisitic to believe Drake could ever match the hype. Almost, the way it would have been unrealistic to expect LeBron James to win every title and M.V.P. award since entering the league. Greatness is measured by the overall career, not in pieces of it.

Sidebar: The interesting thing to me is that there is a big pocket of people that clamor and long for a return to honesty in music. But when it's presented to them, they say, "this isn't what you've been giving us. Give us you have been." I commend Drake for putting out the record he wanted, instead of what was "expected" from him. It's a risk many artists wouldn't have taken. Ask Plies.

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