Complex: Champagne Poetry

For Complex, I talked to award-winning poets Hanif Abdurraqib and Aris Kian about Drake’s new book of poetry titled Titles Ruin Everything. Unexpectedly (or maybe expectedly?) Drake read it?? And had critiques??? The thing is I said a lot of nice things about Drake in the story! He’s one of my favorite artists and has made a lot of my favorite songs! I just offered a few critiques, that’s it!

Anyway, I hope we’ll be able to patch things up one day soon.


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Enjoy an excerpt of the story below and read the full thing here.

Award-Winning Poets React to Drake’s New Poetry Book

Drake wrote a poetry book called ‘Titles Ruin Everything.’ Is it any good? We got our hands on a copy and asked award-winning poets what they think of it.

Drake has a long history of being silly. Remember when he went viral for bringing a lint roller to his courtside seats at a Raptors’ game? And then invented the lint roller dance in the “Hotline Bling” video? Drake is at his most lovable when he doesn’t take himself too seriously. He contains multitudes, though, and right now one of them is: published poet. And, boy, are these poems silly.

Titles Ruin Everything is the new offering from Aubrey Graham and longtime songwriting and composing partner Kenza Samir. It was published by Phaidon Press out of London, and graciously bestowed unto me by Word On Road founder Megan Sumpton, courtesy of Drake Related.

The book opens with a QR code that reveals a statement from The Boy himself: “I made an album to go with the book. They say they miss the old Drake girl don’t tempt me. FOR ALL THE DOGS.”

I’ll admit, back in the “Best I Ever Had” days I used to hate on Drake. Publicly! But Drake and I have the same mentor, Bun B, who was quick to teach me a valuable lesson. One particular night, backstage at a show, I was doing my usual Public Drake Hating – which, as a Real Hip Hop Head, I viewed as my duty – when Bun checked me.

“He’ll never be as good as Mos Def,” I said. I’m cringing now, just thinking about how I really said those words out loud.

“Sama’an,” Bun said to me in a very disappointed, fatherly tone. “Is Drake trying to make the same music as Mos Def?”

I couldn’t believe he was forcing me to think critically about the artform I claimed to love so much. I had to be honest in my reply.

“No,” I said. “He’s not.”

“Then why are you trying to compare them?” Bun said.

I had a whole existential crisis in that moment. Why was I trying to compare them? I didn’t know who I was any more.

It was a valuable lesson that allowed me to much more fully appreciate not just Drake, but the full spectrum of music.

Read the full story here.