Drake gets a lot of criticism from music fans for a variety of reasons, but one of the most common arguments against him is that he often borrows sounds and styles from underground subcultures like New Orleans bounce, Caribbean dancehall, and UK grime and funky house on some of his biggest hits, earning him the title of “culture vulture.” For the most part, he seems to let those comments breeze by, remaining unfazed as he continues to sample world music, but it seems he’s finally deemed the time right to address them in a rare radio interview with BBC Radio 1 while on tour in the UK.
“I hate that people think that me being into music from these kids that are trying to make it and build a name for themselves is like, ‘Oh, that’s some culture vulture,'” he admitted. “What does that even mean? I don’t understand. Would you rather me not acknowledge anything or not support? That’s some real confused hater sh*t.”
He went on to point out that he does such sampling to show support, not simply to amplify his own voice, which hardly needs it (“Most number ones ever, how long did it really take me?”): “I’ll never understand how supporting somebody’s song, or even going a step further, giving somebody a song or linking up.. I’ll never understand how that’s not viewed as something admirable.”
The so-called “Drake Effect” has been widely discussed in various outlets and on social media, with some commenters noting that the Drake co-sign can go a long way toward launching a rising artist into the spotlight, while others criticize him for making songs that sound similar to other artists’ emerging waves, possibly overshadowing them — for instance, DRAM, whose 2014 song “Cha Cha” was a burgeoning hit before Drake released the similar sounding “Hotling Bling,” which nearly delivered Drake his first solo No. 1 record.