On Friday, the Champagne Papi dropped another hit that had fans buzzing on social media.
With his new track “Nice For What,” Drake gives a major shoutout to women with lines like “That’s a real one in your reflection, without a follow, without a mention. You really pipin’ up on these n*ggas. You gotta be nice for what to these n*ggas. I understand.”
With his song, Drizzy honors the independent women of the world and he even pumped out a dope woman-directed music video to go with it.
Everyone from Issa Rae, to Tiffany Haddish, to Yara Shahidi appeared in the clip.
Drizzy’s sort-of “public address” to women reminded me of another iconic song by a rapper…
“Keep Ya Head Up” by 2Pac.
Now before the 2Pac stans ascend and do me cold like Lil Xan, let me argue my case!
Drake and 2Pac’s tracks are similar in that they both address women from a man’s perspective. But I actually think “Nice For What” builds on what “Keep Ya Head Up” was doing almost 25 years ago.
With “Keep Ya Head Up,” Pac was addressing a very specific group of women:
“I give a holla to my sisters on welfare
2Pac cares, if don’t nobody else care.”
With derogatory talk of “welfare queens” in the 80s and 90s, Pac was showing support for women who were demonized for living in poverty.
And while 2Pac champions women loving themselves throughout his song, he also seemed to center his understanding of women around struggle and childrearing:
“And since we all came from a woman
Got our name from a woman and our game from a woman
I wonder why we take from our women
Why we rape our women — do we hate our women?”
While Pac brings up important issues that women face, every woman out here isn’t trying (or able) to have a baby.
Are these women still worthy of respect?
Meanwhile, Drake starts off “Nice For What” with a Big Freedia intro, a twerk-worthy Lauryn Hill sample, and the lines “something for ya to cut up to.”
Clearly, this is not the same women’s empowerment song of 1993.
On Drake’s track, the women have their bills paid, they don’t want no “slow song,” and yea they might have broken up with bae Friday night, but they’re letting the booty fly on Saturday night.
This begs the question, how are men seeing women in 2018 vs. 1993?
With folks like Beyoncé, Cardi B, Janelle Monáe, Laverne Cox, Issa Rae, Lena Waithe and more leading the way, women are further complicating our ideas of womanhood and it seems like the fellas are taking notice.
Now, neither 2Pac’s “Keep Ya Head Up” nor Drake’s “Nice For What” are perfect all-encompassing portrayals of women.
But they definitely provide a space for men to acknowledge, talk about, and hopefully support women, as they continue to show us the many sides of their selves.