No matter how much of a Drake stan you are, you have to recognise his aliases have been bountiful throughout his music career. I’m old enough to remember Degrassi Drake but we’ve all witnessed R&B Drake, gangster Drake, UK Drake, Papi Drake and most recently Middle Eastern Drake. However, it seems his Jamaican persona may have landed him in some hot water with dancehall general, Mavado…
While immersing himself in Jamaican culture, Drake became close friends with another dancehall artist, Popcaan. Back in 2016, Mavado and Popcaan exchanged a few diss tracks but the beef seemed to end fairly quickly and nothing went beyond the music. Fast forward to last month, Drake released his “Only You” freestyle featuring London rapper Headie One. In this freestyle Drake states “n****s want peace like cassava but we let bridge dem burn like grabba.”
With Drake publicly endorsing and supporting Popcaan, and Mavado hailing from ‘Cassava Piece’ Kingston; this bar seemed like a direct shot at Mavado. Some spectators recalled that the same “peace like cassava” lyric was used in the original Mavado vs. Vybz Kartel (Gully vs. Gaza) clash at the 2008 Sting festival. In true Jamaican fashion, Mavado deemed the bar to be disrespectful and released his diss track “Enemy Line” days later. In “Enemy Line” Mavado states “die tryin but you will never be a yaadman” as a reminder to the Drake camp that they do not hail from Jamaica and therefore can never be of the culture.
If we know nothing else, we know Drake can hold his own in a rap battle. However, history shows the last major clash between Vybz and Mavado separated the island in two. Even playing their music in your own car at the time could insight violence. Many reports of the day also blamed their 2008 Sting clash as the usher for the highest ever Jamaican murder rate in 2009. We know Mavado is the street representative but we hope this stays in the studio.
You’ve likely already chosen if you’re Gully or Gaza. But now, are you Vado or Drake?
Words by Amanda Q. Wallace