After a false start, Drake and 21 Savage released their collaborative album, “Her Loss,” on Nov. 4.
I had hopeful expectations for the project, excited to hear how both rappers would cohesively blend their distinct sounds. Instead, “Her Loss” essentially functions as a solo project for Drake, with his collaborator sidelined. Drake's main character moment, however, shows him at his best and worst — talented but insecure.
This project isn’t the pair's first rodeo at collaborative albums. 21 Savage previously released "Without Warning" with Offset of Migos and producer Metro Boomin, and Drake’s 2015 mixtape was a collaboration with Future.
You would think these projects primed the two on how to share the mic. But, clearly, Drake wanted the spotlight — a decision 21 Savage may be grateful for, given that it’s landed Drake in the hot seat.
Before I was even four songs into the album, I opened Twitter to find that it was already embroiled in controversy. Users were calling Drake out for dissing Black women, particularly rapper Megan Thee Stallion.
In verse one of the song “Circo Loco,” Drake raps “This (bitch) lie ‘bout gettin' shots, but she still a stallion.” Listeners noted that this line seemed to be dissing Megan Thee Stallion, who has publicly claimed that rapper Tory Lanez was the gunman who shot her in the foot in 2020.
In an interview earlier this year, Megan said she didn’t inform the police immediately after the incident to due to her fear it would escalate the situation. Her initial explanation for her injuries was that she had stepped on glass, but she later exposed Lanez as the shooter and expressed that he and his team were trying to silence her. Lanez has pleaded not guilty to the shooting and stoked skepticism about his involvement.
Drake possibly using this instance as a punchline only adds more skepticism and invalidates her experience as a victim. It's a shameful act, especially given the recent loss of rapper Takeoff due to gun violence.
Rapper Lil Yatchy, one of the song’s co-writers, addressed the rumors and stated that the line was not about Megan Thee Stallion or the incident with Lanez. Instead, he said, the line is about women lying about getting plastic surgery. Unfortunately, this meaning is no better — the bodies of women shouldn’t be a man’s business, let alone a line in his song.