By: Taylor Shelley (@taylorsshelley)
In January, before the commercial release of his sixth album “Views,” Beats 1 radio listeners received the first single from the album’s dominant campaign, “Summer Sixteen.” Drake spoke of the revenge he would lust for all summer long, seemingly predicting his albums reign.
This past week “Views” reached triple platinum success. It’s the first album of 2016 to achieve such status in the U.S.
The numbers are tricky, but they don’t technically lie, the first six weeks of the album’s release were the largest streaming weeks ever for an album. According to Nielson Music reports, its 20 songs produced 2.1 billion audio streams through Aug. 4.
“Views” is the biggest album of 2016, and Drake knew it would be because of the power in streaming.
Nielson’s mid-year 2016 report revealed that audio streaming has doubled since the first six weeks of 2015 with digital music consumption growing 14.8 percent.
The album can be seen as his landmark of embracing his dominant pop culture identity, which inevitably borders the barriers of hip-hop. Look at Drake as the “mutant” whose hidden power relies on setting himself apart from the mere human/classic rap identity.
“Got the Billboard melodies, Rap is something I do on the side, crossed over to the other side, and I didn’t even have to die.” –“Big Amount” (2016), 2 Chainz ft. Drake
But Drake’s “cross over” to pop will always be correlated with his declassification as a hip-hop MC.
Drake found himself in a conspiracy of allegations, which questioned his credibility as the writer of his own words.
Through a series of tweets, Rapper Meek Mill accused Drake of using a “ghostwriter” for his verse on their collaboration effort, “R.I.C.O” on his 2015 “Dreams Worth More Than Money” LP.
Drake sparred back at Meek with the Grammy-nominated “Back to Back” and the two danced around the ropes of hip-hop beef in their summer feud.
No matter how embarrassing the memes became, Meek’s most damaging blow was his first. A stomach punch that bruised Drakes near perfect legacy.