Friday, July 17, 2020

War Song Lyrics Meaning - Drake

Read Drake - War Lyrics Song Meaning Explained.

Album: Dark Lane Demo Tapes
Release Date: May 1, 2020
Record Label: OVO, Republic Records
Songwriter: Graham, Manalla Yusuf
Producer: Axl

This is the producer tag of UK producer AXL Beats, who is well-known for helping globalize the UK drill sound. He has worked with American artists like Fivio Foreign, Pop Smoke, and Sheff G, but this is his first time working with Drake.

“Woi-oi” is an ad-lib that’s often heard in UK drill music but has Jamaican roots dating back to the ‘80s with reggae artists using it in some form. Though the ad-lib has been around for years, it gained popularity after Jamaican artist and OVO signee Popcaan used it in a number of his songs, which include his December 2015 song, “Wicked Man Ting,” his December 2016 song, “Christmas Gift” and his April 2017 song, “Stronger Now.”

Chubbs is one of Drake’s closest friends and his OVO bodyguard. In June 2016, producer Detail filed a lawsuit against Drake, claiming that back in 2014 Chubbs broke his jaw and sent him to the hospital. It was later reported that the judge threw away the case because Detail didn’t appear at the final status conference.

This line is in reference to a classic Toronto hood DVD that was called The Real Toronto. A Toronto rap fan who went by the name Madd Russian had put together a compilation-documentary in which he would showcase various hoods around the city, interview rivaling gang members, and in some instances even document crimes.

Upon the films release in 2005, it had spread like wildfire through word of mouth. DVDs had been sold by children in their schools, and some teachers had even purchased copies to play in their classrooms. It did not take long until the media and law enforcement got a hold of the DVD, which led to various raids and dozens of arrests.

In the DVD, Ricky shows us around the Teesdale neighbourhood in Scarborough. He talks about previous issues with members of the Sir Lankan neighborhood Crescent Town, a snitch in their complex who is too scared to set foot out of his own apartment, and at some point in the recording an associate shows off and shoots a loaded shotgun. To bring things full circle, Ricky now works with OVO Sound and Teesdale is actually the neighbourhood that The Weeknd grew up in.

Niko, otherwise known by the nickname Neeks, is one of Drake’s longtime friends from Toronto. He is noted by Drake as his “closest confidant” on the Thank Me Later album credits.

“Neeky” is slang popularized in the United Kingdom which means geeky or out of fashion. Drake underscores that Neeks has never fit that description, instead wearing Nike and Dolce & Gabanna (DG) sweatsuits. Drake rapped a similar line connecting Niko to designer clothing on the 2016 track, “Views”.

Drake’s likely talking about Toronto rapper Mayhem Morearty, who was popular in the late ’90s to late 2000s. He was a gangster rapper who hailed from a project housing within Toronto known as “The Jungle” or formally, Lawrence Heights.

Mayhem became infamous for aiding a Toronto serial killer Mark Moore, who was also a rapper that went by the name of Presidenteh. In the early 2010s, Moore went a killing spree, where he ended up murdering four people to prove he was a serious rapper to Mayhem. After Moore’s fourth victim, Mayhem became an informant for the police and confessed Moore’s actions.

In 2014, Moore and Mayhem were both sentenced to 12 years in prison for a jewelry robbery they committed years prior. It was also where Moore committed his first murder. However, the following year in 2015, Moore was given four additional life sentences for each murder he committed, following Mayhem’s testimony against him. In response for his cooperation with the police, Mayhem received a reduced sentence of 10 years.

Drake plays on the abbreviation “PC” as it means a personal computer, which Drake alludes to by mentioning Dell computers and the Windows operating system and protective custody, which Mayhem needed after he got “pinched” and snitched on Moore.

Kendall Jenner is a well-known supermodel from Los Angeles, California. She has been seen together with Drake frequently since their high profile dinner in 2015. The two remain good friends, despite Drake’s highly publicized rap beef with Kendall’s brother-in-law Kanye West. Ferrari Enzos are exclusive models of cars that are highly coveted—a car Drake used to dream about but owns a Yellow Ferrari LaFerrari, the successor model to the Enzo.

Though fans thought Drake was talking about his old flame Rihanna, he’s about talking about Munchie, a woman that has OVO ties. Not much is known about her as her social media accounts are private. One of many overlooked links to russian culture in this song. Drake is talking about russian poet Joseph (Iosiph) Brodskiy (Иосиф Бродский), who emigrated from USSR to USA in 1972. Also he is obviously mentiones his “bro” Jay-Z.

Private jets aren’t cheap, costing around $3 million at the cheapest. Drake himself owns a private jet; his customised Boeing 767 “Air Drake” is worth $185 million.

“Waps” is a slang term for “guns”, while “beating a case” refers to winning a court case. Drake also emphasises here that he doesn’t deal with anyone taking shots at him, alluding that he’ll shoot them and make them “fly” into the air.

This could also be an allusion to Preme’s court case which Drake helped win. After Preme was pulled over with three guns in a car, Drake paid legal representatives to assist Preme in beating the case.

Drake gives a shoutout to fellow Toronto artist Pressa. “Wassa” is a term used by Pressa’s gang, Wass Gang—which includes friends GD, FB, and Robin Banks—to refer to other members of the gang. The name comes from one of Pressa’s close friends, Kwasi “Wassi” Skene-Peters, who was shot to death by police in 2015. He also has a November 2015 song named after the group.

“Crodie” is Crip slang for ‘brother’ as it alters the word “Brodie,” replacing the B for a C and “passa” is Jamaican Patois for gossip.

Drake is giving a shoutout to Jamaican artist and OVO signee Popcaan, whose nicknames include Pop Skull and Hot Skull, though he could also be shouting out Dre Skull, the founder of Mixpak Records label, which Popcaan signed to in 2012.

Unruly Cuz is a friend of Popcaan’s and has been mentioned in his music before, such as his May 2015 song, “Unruly Prayer”:

Cuz haffi give thanks, yeah

Lastly, Jamie YVP is a producer for Mixpak Records.

To “link up” means to meet up and “ah yard'—also written as “ah yaad”—is Jamaican patois for “at home.”

“Gaza” is Jamaican slang for Waterford, a district located in Portmore, which is a large coastal town located in southern Jamaica. The slang is largely associated with popular Jamaican dancehall artist and former musical mentor of Popcaan, Vybz Kartel as he grew up in Waterford and is largely responsible for popularizing it.

‘Clashing’ is a term derivative of Jamaican sound system culture that describes a battle between two or more MC’s.

This has had a heavy influence on British genres such as grime. Lord of the Mics is a prominent grime platform dedicated to clashing between MC’s. Drake has publicly demonstrated his appreciation of it. In particular the famous clash between Devilman and frequent collaborator Skepta: Diss tracks also heavily feature in UK drill music, of which “War” draws its inspiration. Drake is asserting that no MC would want to clash with Drake.

Here, Drake is stating that people pretend to be concealing weapons in their Louis Vuitton bag(s), but in reality, it is just a facade.

This line is a nod to Baka Not Nice’s 2017 single “Live Up to My Name”. Baka is a long-time friend of Drake and is signed to his OVO Sound record label. Drake and Baka sitting courtside for game 2 of the Raptors vs. Wizards series in Toronto in 2018

On the opening line of the track, Baka famously rapped:

Louis pouch across my body, this is not for fashion

“Live Up to My Name” was Baka’s first release on the label and went on to peak at number 77 on the Canadian Hot 100. Additionally, it was revealed that Drake had ghostwritten the song when a reference track leaked in 2017.

Chromazz is a Toronto rapper. Drake plays on her name to represent the chrome wheels on his Rolls Royce. “Are you dumb or stupid” is a nod to Toronto slang that has Jamaican origins. Calling someone “stupid” is usually a response to their actions or comments, but in Toronto circles, the slang is an initial claim, often used at the start of a monologue.