Hi. I’m buzzed. I also shamelessly peeped the lack of content surrounding Drake’s very-recently announced two-song drop in celebration of the Toronto Raptors NBA Finals victory, so here I go trying to write something quality while taking advantage of an SEO gap.
Coming off of my predictions for Chris Brown’s Indigo, this may be a series. Who knows. Until then, here are some educated guesses and good old speculation on what “Omertà” and “Money in the Grave” will do for the culture:
Post has been updated as of 6/15/2019. Reviews of my predictions have been added.
The word itself is Italian, a code of silence adhered to by the Italian and Italian-American Mafia. In other words, “no snitching” for Italians.
The growing global profile of Toronto’s multicultural atmosphere—helped along in part by Drake—has made Drake’s musical globetrotting a lot more palatable lately. While the hate poured in as he confidently unleashed Jamaican Drake and British Grime Drake (Views and More Life), Aubrey has continued to flex his prowess for dipping in and out of cultures with finesse and juuust enough authenticity for it to fly.
Drizzy’s always been one to draw parallels between his OVO operation and notable cliques/groups/organizations to paint a darker picture of what he goes through in the music biz. Recently, it’s been about “Mob Ties,” down to pronouncing “Don CorleonE” in “Going Bad” with the correct and often neglected use of the long “ee” sound at the end where most people say it as the shortened “Corleon.”
With his obnoxious yet unavoidable presence hovering around the now NBA Champion Toronto Raptors, Drake has an undeniable hold on the city of Toronto. While he’ll always manage to irk the souls of millions, he’s going to talk some tough shit on “Omertà” and get away with it because he can.
Whether Drake’s perpetual clout chase is smart or sad? Another conversation for another time…
As far as these predictions go, I’m expecting at least one more Godfather reference from the man on this track. Maybe an allusion to J Prince, and probably something slick about Chubbs as his right-hand man (but not a Draymond reference this time around).
UPDATE (6/15/2019): The results are in.
- Godfather reference – nope
- J Prince allusion – nope
- Direct Chubbs reference – nope
0/3, but we did get a lot of Mafia-influenced bars in this one, and a subtle J Prince shoutout in “Money in the Grave.”
The “Omertà” bars are “Diplomatic Immunity”/”Weston Road Flows” level. The narrative hasn’t really been added to (like most of his music the past four years), but there are a couple of beliefs and feelings we’ve all known Drake to have that he carved deeper into the stone with this song:
- Man is strongly anti-marriage
- He is completely committed to being “the guy” for as long as possible
Favorite bar: “Forever grateful, forever thankful/Diamond necklace but she wears it on her ankle, the bitch is trendy.” Rare moment of humorous wit in 3 minutes of jaded-mob-boss-Drake which, if you can’t tell, I’m tired of.
“Money in the Grave (ft. Rick Ross)”
When these two link up it is always a problem (e.g. “Stay Schemin,” “Made Men,” “Lord Knows,” “Us,” muhfuckin “Free Spirit”).
Again, given the knowledge of what “Omertà” will almost certainly be about, Drake is comin’ about as cocky as he did with “Duppy Freestyle.” I expect more bars off the strength of true brags rather than clever European references, a strong Ross verse, and a faster, more menacing sound than the first joint. Probably in the vein of If You’re Reading This and “Can’t Take A Joke,” but heavy enough (soul sample? Horns?) for Rozay to sound as regal as he always does.
UPDATE (6/15/2019): The results…
- Drake wild cocky: Yup
- More boasts than punchlines: Mhmm
- Faster, more menacing: Yessir
- Classic Rick Ross: Nah. Certainly wasn’t his best.
I don’t think egomaniac Drake was really in doubt so I won’t count it. Still, 2/3 on this one.
Not a big fan of this. He gave us fair warning that he’s turned into the guy who’s concerned about nothing but money and women a while ago, but it’s still bleh to see as a fan who remembers Drake’s musical direction being interesting.
I get that it’s just a fun two-pack of songs, but if we know anything about Drake looseys, they tell you where he’s headed. These songs don’t say anything except, “I’m staying relevant out of spite and avoidance of my issues.”
- Over/under 3 Toronto Raptors references? I’m actually going with under. He’s probably had these songs ready for a while and most likely won’t go back to add some of the later happenings in the wonderfully dramatic Finals series.
- UPDATE (6/15/2019): Correct!
- “Money in the Grave” will do better numbers than “Omertà” but “Omertà” will definitely be a better showcase of Drake’s rapping.
- UPDATE (6/15/2019): Seems to be the case thus far
- I’d be more excited about these songs if I didn’t have to see Drake receive media coverage all series as if he was on the court for the Raptors in the Finals.
UPDATE 5/16/2021: Edited for clarity and internal links