I’m surprised to be back after only a month to talk about Drakeo the Ruler again, but there’s undoubtedly extra motivation for Darrell Caldwell to be prolific given how much time he lost behind bars. “Because Y’all Asked” implies via its title that Drakeo is doing it for the fans who demanded it, not because he’s frustrated at more time in the pen than wielding the pen. That’s a classic “control the narrative” power move and if nothing else you have to respect him for shaping it before you even listen to it. He does the same thing with the song titles. “Social Media Can’t Help You” is a warning to Drakeo’s haters who’d love to see him go right back to jail.
“Twitter fingers, it’s about to get deadly
You woofin to the streets, social media can’t help you
A million followers and none of ’em can’t help you
Tell ’em jump up out the screen, I’m playin Elvis
Twitter fingers, it’s about to get deadly
I catch you in the street, social media can’t help you”
I don’t think Drakeo will be giving up his 50,000+ on Twitter and 375K on Instagram any time soon though. Back to song titles that make their intentions clear though — let’s take a look at “Fuck the Party Up” featuring Rio Da Yung OG. As mentioned in the last review there’s a point at which you have to decide Drakeo is playing a character, because deciding in advance you’re going to ruin a good time for other people is reprehensible to the extreme. From the lyrics it seems clear that Mr. Caldwell’s persona is one who will take any slight provocation as reason for extreme retaliation, whether it’s scuffed sneakers offline or a bruised ego online.
“Shit! I gives no fucks
Yo’ money or yo’ life, you ain’t have no luck
Bitch! Don’t hate me for me it
I’ll fuck the club up and make Mai Ling pay for it
[…] I’ll fuck the party up with this chopper”
The one thing that can’t be denied whether you enjoy his gravelly delivery and relentless negativity or not is his success. From his first “I Am Mr. Mosely” mixtape six years ago to the present, Drakeo has ruled through a cult of personality and the kind of street cred that for better or worse comes from actual time in prison. Even his plea bargain to get out of jail bolsters that credibility as he had to admit to firing a gun from a moving vehicle to get leniency. There’s a poetic irony to ending the new album with a song called “Fictional” that I can’t deny, even as it opens with a classic Riley Freeman speech from The Boondocks.
Let’s assume for a minute that “Because Y’all Asked” for my opinion on whether Drakeo the Ruler is everything he says he is, I’m going to tell you what I think. It doesn’t matter that you didn’t actually ask any more than you asked him for this new album — just play along. The answer is simple. “YES.” Drakeo wouldn’t have been fighting court cases for years if he wasn’t doing real dirt. The line between his persona on record and in real life is probably thinner than a sheet of tengujo. “To Tell the Truth” it probably doesn’t matter if there’s a difference, because he’d deny it just the same. Drakeo’s entire modus operandi is to tell you he’ll do you dirty if he thinks you’re a snitch, a cop, a hater, or just forgot the drink in his combo meal.
Real data on how many “units” a rapper moves is also paper thin these days. Everybody makes moves digitally these days, and if you get enough traction online it CAN help you even if your followers “can’t.” Let’s summarize Drakeo the Ruler like this — he’s every bit the thug he says, the success he claims, and he can even count the same social media he so readily dismisses as a virtual army that will keep his name relevant and music successful. For those reasons you’re likely to see coverage of Drakeo for years to come, but barring miraculous throat surgery or a sudden shift in personality I’m not going to enjoy it much. That’s fine though because he’ll be a success as long as he stays out of jail and keeps making music, and I sincerely hope he does.