Our message to Drake, in his own words: “don’t do it, please don’t do it.” Drake squashed his beef with Chris Brown at the end of last year, which is decent news to prevent any more nightclub drama. But last week, he checked their loyal fanbases’ temperature by captioning one of his posts “2019 cook up…Aubreezy,” lumping his first name with Chris’ Breezy nickname and hinting at music being done between the two prolific artists. Who knows if Aubreezy is referring to a song or project, but whatever it is, they can keep it.
Based on Drake’s previous relationship with Rihanna, this looks tone deaf at best, and at worst a petty, calculated move by the Scorpion artist. The optic of him assuming a new friendship with the man who assaulted Rihanna in the past is hard to ignore, especially after she noted that she and Drake are no longer friends last year. Even beyond the specter of Rihanna, Chris Brown is not the person Drake should be aligning with.
It’s well-known that many in the industry love Chris Brown, who is admittedly gifted, but just last year he was accused of stalking and hitting a woman. He still has some fundamental issues that need to be resolved before even thinking about getting back into the general public’s good graces.
Below are some other ideas for more fruitful collaborations Drake should consider. I rue music fans’ propensity to demand artists collaborate because they merely took a pic at the club together, so this list consists only of practical requests, based on established relationships currently in good standing:
Drake and Lil Wayne
Right around the time Watch The Throne dropped in 2011, there were rumors that Drake and his Young Money boss Lil Wayne Wayne would craft their own titanic duo album. Birdman, who was both of their bosses as Cash Money CEO, announced in August 2011 that the two had an album on the way, but it never dropped. Wayne fell back from releasing studio albums for years after falling out with Cash Money over a $50 million dollar debt, but after his Carter V comeback album, he’s back on top of the game.
Drake and Wayne have both had their gripes with Baby and Cash Money, but their love for each other has never ceased. Drake is celebrating the 10 year anniversary of So Far Gone this year. Why not further celebrate that era with a mentor-mentee album full of lyrical exercises, autotuned harmonies and lovelorn records?
Drake and Migos
Drake and Quality Control might as well strike while the iron is hot. After a Drake and the Three Amigos North American tour that succeeded through several stop-and-start moments, the four artists should celebrate their bond with more than a chain — why not drop an EP? There’s probably more bangers and creative videos where “Walk It Talk It” came from. We know the prolific artists have no problem locking in with studio sessions, and it would be a nice way to stir anticipation for any European tour that Drake and Migos may be planning.
Drake and Meek Mill
2019 is wide open for Drake and Meek to run together. There’s no way I could see myself typing that in January 2016 in the heat of their rivalry, but the two artists put their differences aside in 2018. They’re both maturing into their position as young OGs, and could further show young artists the way by making a boatload of money together and capitalizing off the chemistry of energetic records like “Going Bad,” “Amen,” and “RICO,” the song that initially caused their fracture. To paraphrase one of their mutual idols Jay-Z: After you beef long enough, nothing sells like the reunion.
Meek has said a video for “Going Bad,” their Championships collaboration, is on the way. Maybe someone at the shoot should bring up keeping the ball rolling with an EP of bangers ready for Memorial Day weekend?
Drake and Travis Scott
This one is a no-brainer. The two artists set the world on fire with “Sicko Mode,” one of the biggest tracks of 2018. Perhaps on a collaboration project we can hear where Drake was going at the beginning of the track, as well as a few other trap-oriented bangers from the two ambitious artists. Controversy aside, Travis has officially entered rap superstardom with his Astroworld project, and Drake is set to release another solo album sooner than later. Perhaps shortly before or after, he’d be ready to celebrate another great time to be alive in 2019.
Drake, Gunna and Lil Baby
2018 did usher in some Drake fatigue, especially for “trap Drake.” But Drake’s late-year appearance on Lil Baby and Gunna’s “Never Recover” from Drip Harder was one of his strongest verses of the year. Perhaps Drake was invigorated by the new energy of the two Atlanta upstarts. If that was the case, maybe he should get with Atlanta’s co-rookies of 2018 for a fun, genre-bending project.
Neither artist has his name value, but a project would be an amazing way for him to do his friends at QC and Young Thug’s YSL a solid and introduce the two burgeoning stars to more of his vast fanbase. Gunna’s melodic gifts could make him a bonafide music star, as Camilo Cabelo knew — even if Gunna’s manager didn’t know Camila Cabello. Putting together the right hit with Drake could be a massive boon for Gunna to make sure he breaks through commercially.
Drake and Young Thug
Drake produced Young Thug’s Beautiful Thugger Girls in 2017, and tweeted his anticipation of YSL Record Label’s Slime Language last spring. The two artists should consider taking us into Slimey Six mode with a collaboration this year. They both have a knack for incredible, genre-bending moments, and Thug’s verse on More Life‘s “Sacrifices” was one of the most intriguing appearances of his career, with an unusually lucid delivery and some revealing backstory.
It would be fun to see how their gifts could rub off on each other over the course of an EP or album that would hopefully help Young Thug out of the middling Billboard status that belies his cult standing in the trap world.
Drake and Rick Ross
Before Drake was best amigos with Quality Control, he had a dazzling creative chemistry with another crew: MMG. Drake and Rick Ross collaborated on “Aston Martin Music,” “Lord Knows,” and “Stay Schemin,” which are some of the most beloved songs/verses in both artists’ catalog. They displayed such an impressive one-two punch that there was talk of the two creating a YOLO mixtape. Drake told XXL back in November 2011 that “I’ve been working on that for the last couple of weeks. We haven’t really connected because he’s been going through this thing with his health. I’ve been stashing my little beats and verses.” Ross, who had health issues last year, suffered two seizures in October 2011 which pushed back the follow-up to his star-making Teflon Don album, and may have affected the conception of YOLO.
Ross appears to be in a better space in 2019, and Drake and Meek are cool, which means the path is clear for them to collaborate once again. If Rick Ross’ upcoming Port Of Miami 2 is a well-regarded album, he should take advantage of the good energy and hit Drake up again. You only live once, and musical chemistry like Ross and Drake’s should be taken advantage of with more music.
Drake and Tay Keith
Drake had his best moments of the year on Tay Keith beats like “Look Alive,” “Nonstop,” “Never Recover,” and “Sicko Mode” — the latter of which Keith contributed to along with Travis Scott. Perhaps that’s why Drake announced plans to record with Keith after his tour with Migos ended — which means they’ve been cooking up for the past few months. It would be fun to see Drake go in with Tay Keith over the course of an album, matching Keith’s thumping production with some braggadocious rhymes and catchy hooks. In fact, Keith could provide the soundscape for several of the previously mentioned projects, especially Drake/Migos, Drake/Meek Mill, and Drake/Gunna/Lil Baby.