Star 67 – Drake ** Michelin Barred
Drake’s album If You Are Reading This It’s Too Late dropped in February with absolutely no promotion. The reasons for Drake deciding to “Beyonce” his album/mixtape are unknown, but by breaking the internet with his release, he is showing the world that he’s as prominent and influential in the music industry as Mrs. Carter herself. The album displays the many different facets of Drake’s personality while demonstrating his growth and experience as an artist. Since Take Care, Drake’s exponential maturation speaks to the change in his flow, lyrical capacity, and production. Each of the 17 tracks remind listeners that Drake is so far from average, but a verse in Star 67 crystallizes his image as a Hip-Hop legend.
The song begins by quoting Lil Wayne and his frustration with current rap artists and the “game” itself. He draws a comparison between rappers and R&B singers in order to highlight the laziness of artists that have been associated with the genre.
“Thats what they doin’, camera on, they actin’ like these singers man. I ain’t goin’ to the studio until I got a situation. A subject, I need a beat, I need the producer. Who gonna be on the hook? Man, what is you doin? Go in the studio with fuckin’ clips, clips, ammo!”
Drake shares this belief and Wayne’s sentiment is echoed on songs such as Furthest Thing, and Tuesday: “Y’all ni**as party too much I just chill and record,” and “ Ain’t got no motherf**kin’ time to party on the weekend.” He too feels that rappers should be more keen to going into the studio with nothing but lyrical ammunition, instead of finding excuses not to be in the booth.
“Brand New Beretta, Cant wait to let it go.”
Drake alludes to Wayne’s intro and maintains the metaphorical imagery by referencing his figurative Beretta- which is Star 67. In this song he proves to the world that he has enough ammunition to Take Care of any current artist in the genre.
Syllabic Count: 10/4/7/7/7/9
Average syllables per word: 1.29
Drake knows exactly what he is doing phonetically when he delivers these lines. When analyzing his cadence, paying specific attention to stressed phrases and pauses, we notice a deliberate speech pattern. Save “reply,” Drake carries a simple mono-rhyme scheme throughout the verse by granting himself ample leeway with pronunciation.
The structure of the syllables play greatly into why the verse flows so well. On lines 3 and 4 he delivers 4 concise monosyllabic words before ending his verse with a trisyllabic phrase. Instead of stressing every syllable in the phrase like he does with the 4 words that precede it, he creates a dactyl by stressing the first and last syllables. i.e. CALL the GUARD or CUT the CRAP. He also aligns the start of these dactyls with the bass drum that sounds on 1 and 5 in order to accentuate the pattern.
Drake then increases the syllabic pace and generates a more bouncy flow by using disyllabic words in lines 5 and 6 before the dactyls. The reason he adds the two extra syllables in 6 is twofold. Most of the instruments come back into play after “credible” and the chiming of the bell signals the breakdown. Drake, like most rappers, increases the word count during this segment in order to display his lyrical dexterity at a time when listeners are the most attuned to the song. Moreover, he uses the extra syllables
to offset the rest of the line so that pu**y is now the word highlighted by the bass drum, while our expectancy for the bass to hit on pedestal underscores his alliteration.
Anonymity & Drake
When you Star 67 a phone number, it makes the number presently calling show up on caller ID as an unknown number. Drake titles the song Star 67 in order to refer to his days in the basement, when he was conducting phone scams to supplement his acting salary. During those times he was just a nameless voice on the other side of the line, shrouded by complete anonymity. However, now Aubrey’s face is known around the world, and his voice has become his indispensable trademark. He currently lives a life where anonymity is inconceivable; where people make livings off of documenting his every move.
This transition that his persona took from scammer to superstar is a motif that persists throughout the track, but fully blossoms in this verse.
Instead of Aubrey making the calls, he has centerfold models contacting him. Examining the syllabic structure again we can see that line 1 is the farthest from the mean syllabic count. Drake distorts the pattern and blurts the line out of rhythm in order to flaunt the fact that he is currently getting texted while in the booth recording. While some people couldn’t fathom the opportunity, Drake takes it a step further by ignoring her message. Moreover he uses the read receipt function on his phone to let her know that even though he’s read the text, he’s just not interested. Now that Drake is “credible,” centerfold models offering themselves up to him is seen as nothing more than a scam.
Star 67 ** Overall Grade
MICHELIN BARS: 1 BAR