The beat is addictive and the lyrics are bullets.
I can’t stop listening to it. Perhaps I’ll make a diss track for anyone who hates on this post.
It’s also short enough that I want to hear it again and again. Perhaps I should make this post short. Let’s see if I can keep my ego in check.
Here are 10 things I learn from listening to Drake’s “Back to back:”
1. Relish confrontation
I’m often scared of confrontation because what if I’m wrong? What if someone shouts at me? What if someone hits me? Whenever I’ve got past that, or been too consumed to realize I was in a confrontation, things usually work out.
Whenever I decide to listen to who I am and not who fear is telling me to be, things usually work out. It sounded like Drake relished this. It sounded like he wanted it. The lyrics sliced into who Drake thinks Meek Mill is.
He confrontation was honest and it’s made him the most popular person on the internet for the last few days. I hope he’s onto something.
Self-deprecation warms me to people. I think some of the best writing I read involves a lot of self-deprecation, or bleeding. It’s why I became addicted to reading James Altucher. It’s why I write how I write.
I’m going to assume Drake has watched 8 mile. Eminem wins the final rap battle with Papa Doc because he spends his minute and a half self-deprecating.
He talks about his friend Cheddar Bob shooting himself in the leg, how he’s white trash, how he lives in a trailer with his mum, how Papa Doc’s friend had sex with his girl.
What can Papa Doc say? Nothing. Which is what he says.
3. Follow through on your promises
What if I change my mind? What if I don’t want to follow through? Should I still follow through, even though I don’t want to, just because I promised?
Sometimes I follow through even when I don’t want to and I feel good because I’ve followed through. But, if I don’t want to do the thing I promised I’d do, I still feel frustrated. Sometimes I don’t follow through and I feel guilty because I’ve let someone down. But then I also feel happy because I said “no” to something I didn’t want to do.
Let’s just agree than Drake is a better person than I.
“You gon’ make me buy bottles for Charlamagne.”
He’s referring to Charlamagne tha God. The two don’t like each other. He sent him 6 bottles of Dom Perignon champagne, which Charlamagne showed on his Instagram account. He finished the video by saying “classy guy.”
The video went viral. Because he followed through on his promise.
4. Know that people are who they are
I’ve wanted people to be who I’ve wanted them to be. Sometimes I’ve realised it and sometimes I haven’t.
Whether it’s wanting a girl to like me when I know she doesn’t, wanting a friend to behave differently when I know they won’t, wanting people to do whatever I say so I can have what I want, it’s come back to me as confusion and pain.
“Trigger fingers turn to twitter fingers.”
Meek Mill started the “beef” by tweeting that Drake used a ghostwriter for his verse on Meek Mill’s album.
And then he tweeted when Drake released his first Meek Mill diss track, Charged Up. And then, after Back to Back, in which Drake said the words above, what did Meek Mill do? He tweeted. Showing us that Drake knows who he is.
5. Make sure your emotions aren’t your decisions
“Emotions tell us what’s important to us, not to act on it.”
A mentor told me that and it impacted me as if he grabbed my shoulders, shook me violently, and screamed it in my face. I’d never heard it before I knew he was right.
Well, maybe I didn’t, but I thought it would be the right way to live. Letting my emotions tell me something was important to me but not immediately taking action because that would be a waste of my consciousness. I’ve made decisions based solely on emotions and I usually find myself thinking “I shouldn’t have done that.”
I say “yes” when I want to say “no” because I feel guilty for saying “no” because I don’t want to hurt the other person. How arrogant of me.
I’ve wanted to meet girls because I’ve wanted them to want me, not because I want them.
“When I look back I might be mad that I gave this attention.”
6. Be subliminal
The subliminal is alluring. When I find out something is deeper than I thought, whether it’s a song or a product or a person, it drives my curiosity wild. What else haven’t I noticed? The picture accompanying the song is a picture of the Toronto Blue Jays beating the Philadelphia Phillies for the championship. Drake is from Toronto, Meek Mill from Philadelphia.
He doesn’t reference it in the song but a picture has it’s own voice.
7. Do it, then tweet it
I remember, about 3 years ago, I used to tweet before work, something I thought thought-provoking and inspirational, with the hashtag #morningthoughts
Did I live any of those quotes? Did I even believe in them or was I recycling them, someone else’s words, refusing to tell my own story? While Drake has made two diss tracks, Meek Mill has tweeted about Drake’s two diss tracks.
He’s tweeted about them despite Drake’s taunt “trigger fingers turn to twitter fingers.” Now, Meek Mill’s own diss track is out, and he hasn’t tweeted it. Why didn’t he tweet it with the hashtag #TriggerFingersTurnToTwitterFingers?
8. ‘The point I’m tryna make is I don’t ever need em’
I don’t want to need anybody. No, Mum, I’m not saying I don’t want anybody.
But I want to be responsible for all of me. That’s why I want to be self-employed and not have a boss. A boss can fire me and that’s totally out of my control.
That’s why I’m single right now. I’m still learning how to be responsible for all of me. I want a woman who doesn’t need me.
9. ‘I took a break from views’
This line reminds me of one of Kurt Vonnegut’s writing tips: “write to please just one person.” That person probably isn’t Meek Mill, but himself.
He said what Meek Mill said had been “weighin’ heavy” on his “conscience.” He’s probably feeling lighter now. Even if posts from other writers have more views than everything I’ve written combined, that doesn’t mean I’m going to write a post like that. It’s not my style.
I started writing to please me. I publish writing because I want people to read it, and love it, and want more, but if I tried to write for every single person who read my work, where would I start? Should I message everyone who’s ever read anything I’ve written? Imagine how many different things people would say?
So, thanks Drake. You reminded me there are more important things than views. And that taking a break from views might lead to more views.
10. Get it off your conscience
When I know I’ve wanted to say something, and I’ve thought about it long enough that it’s not my emotions making the decision, and I haven’t said it, I regret it.
So what stops me? Well, what if she says no? What if I put it all out there and get rejected? What if someone doesn’t like what’s beneath the mask? I’ve mostly made this mistake with women. I either don’t say anything or I tell them I like them when I know it’s too late and they’ve already lost patience with me.
Being scared of being rejected led me to being rejected. If I’d said something, and they still rejected me, at least I’d know, which seems better than waiting and waiting and waiting until I know it’s too late, and then still being rejected.
But I’ve written this post. I wanted to write something about “Back to Back” because it ran deeper than expected. I’ve listened to it so many times in the last couple of days. I love the confrontation, the direct honesty, the addictive beat. I held back at first.
“It’s not what I usually write about…” And it’s not. So maybe I will be rejected. But I will not let rejection close the door to what I want. “Yeah, but it’s weighin’ heavy on my conscience.” Not any more.