Drake vs. Lil Wayne, an Absurdly Detailed Investigation
Drake and Lil Wayne are currently on their aptly-named Drake vs. Lil Wayne Tour, and while the general hip-hop populace might not view the tour as a historical moment (because, you know, this and this and this and this), it is kind of a big deal. We're talking about well over 20 number one songs hitting the stage every night, many of them with each other.
So now that the planets have aligned and we've got the perfect chance to cross "absurdly detailed comparison of Drake and Lil Wayne" off our bucket list, we're going to seize the day. Carpe diem and what not. But enough chatter, let's get to the important stuff, like who would win in a fight. Let me turn things over to Lucas for the specifics...
Real Name: Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. vs. Aubrey Graham
Considering hip-hop has a long line of famous Carters, we gotta give this to Lil Wayne. Also, Aubrey Graham sounds like the name of counselor at a YMCA summer camp.
Breakthrough Appearance: "Go DJ" vs. "Best I Ever Had"
Look, for a pretty bubblegummy (dare I say it) lame song, "Best I Ever Had" had a great run. In many ways it still serves as a blueprint for Drake's sound. Still, it doesn't hold a candle to "Go DJ." It may have sold more, but you will never convince any self-respecting hip-hop fan that "Best I Ever Had" is a better. Want to talk about shelf life? "Go DJ" still gives me goosebumps like I'm hearing it for the first time in high school and Drake's was rocking a mic from his wheelchair.
Mixtapes: Wayne's (Approximately) 9 Billion Mixtapes vs. Room for Improvement & So Far Gone
Lil Wayne is the mixtape king (sorry, Chamillionaire). Not only was he a driving force behind the mixtape era, but some of Lil Wayne's best work came on those free projects, and there was a time when he would take the most popular songs on the planet and just obliterate it with a remix. Drake had Room for Improvement and So Far Gone, which was good and would later become an album, but there's no way he can match up with Wayne here.
Here's where things get interesting. There are a few things to consider here. First, Weezy has more albums (11 to Drake's three, four if you count So Far Gone), but he has also just been in the game longer. Wayne dropped his first album eleven years before Drake's debut arrived. If you are going by volume, Wayne has Drake beat - not to mention Tha Carter series - but if you level the playing field, I actually think Drake bests Wayne.
Hear me out. With 2.6 million copies sold, Drake's sophomore album, Take Care, is his best selling to date. It took Lil Wayne five albums to outsell Take Care (Tha Carter III sold 3.6). Aside from Tha Carter III, none of Weezy's ten other albums have outsold Drake's second major effort. Plus, Drake got there in just two albums, as opposed to Lil Wayne who took five and a shit ton of mixtapes to break the two milli mark. Then you factor in the success of Nothing Was The Same and Thank Me Later, each selling 1.5 million in the U.S. and I think you have to give the edge to Drake. Especially, considering that Drake came up in an era when album sales were in severe decline, even though he has less than half the albums, he's got Wayne numbers. And I think you can argue that Drake's album output has been far more consistently quality.
It sounds crazy, but I think the edge goes to Drake. Lil Wayne still bodied about a billion rappers on their own beat, but they weren't so much guest verses as mixtape remixes, so we can't officially count them as your standard guest verse. Still, he has contributed to Kanye records, Jay Z records, shit even a record on a Biggie album. Drake, however, not only does plenty of guest spots with the bigger names (Kendrick, The Weeknd, A$AP Rocky, Rozay, etc), but he will make an artist a star overnight with a single guest verse (a la Migos) or co-sign (see The Weeknd). A Drake guest verse all but ensures said single will be a hit. Plus, can't we say Drake's done more dope guest verses for Wayne than vice-versa?
Nathan S. Update: I gotta disagree with Lucas here. Yes, right now there's probably no other rapper you'd rather have on your song if you're looking for a hit than Drake, a guest verse from him is far more valuable than one from Wayne. But taking the long view, there was a time when Wayne was killing guest verses so bad he made Kanye say, "You ain't fittin to murder me like everybody else." When Drake's so good even Kanye's forced to say it on record, then we'll talk.
Awards: Lil Wayne (19 Grammy nominations and 4 wins) vs. Drake (18 Grammy nominations and 1 win)
Look. Obviously the Grammy's aren't the most reliable barometer of quality. Still, if you ask any artist if they would want to win a Grammy, 100 out of 100 would say "Yes." It's still a mark that you're undoubtedly doing something right. You don't just get there by accident. While they have almost the same amount of nominations, Weezy has more wins. It's simple math.
Endorsements: Weezy (Trukfit, Mountain Dew, Christiano Ronaldo) vs. Drake (Sprite, Jordan, Kodak)
Considering I'm not a fifteen year old skater and Mountain Dew Dropped him, I'd say Drake has Wayne beat here. Shit, a Jordan/Nike deal alone trumps Weezy's bunch.
TV Appearances: Lil Wayne (SportsCenter/First Take, The Boondocks) vs. Drake (ESPYS, Anchorman 2, SNL, Ice Age)
Lil Wayne's claim to fame is arguing with Skip Bayless. Drake hosted the ESPYS. Also, the only way Lil Wayne could get into an SNL skit is when Drake played him. Drake has a bright future ahead of him both on TV and the silver screen, so this one's a cake walk for Camp Aubrey. (Related note, how isn't Drake in more movies?)
Trademark Accessory: Lil Wayne's Hair vs. Drake's OVO Chain.
Could have been Drake's wheelchair too, or maybe his diamond teat-drop ski mask, but his OVO chain is defintiely his go-to accesory. I mean, he even stated, "I wear every single chain, even when I'm in the house." On the other hand, Wayne's dreads are almost thier own entity. He should have them insured, and he just might. Lot's of rappers have 'em, but Wayne's are definitely the most famous, and it's almost impossible to picture him without them.
Has Kissed Birdman?
Point: Weezy (Or is that point Drizzy? We'll call it a draw.)
Wayne has four known kids, at least, but think of all the rappers Drake has fathered. More than half the time I hear a Kirko Bangz song drop, I first think that it's a Drake cut... until I realize it's not nearly as good. Plus, he has guys like Migos, PARTYNEXTDOOR and OB O'Brien and more all calling him daddy.
Tattoos: Lil Wayne's million tattoos vs Drake's OVO Owl
Drake has like three total, surprised he didn't hide them from his mom so he wouldn't get grounded, and one of them is that kind of creepy portrait of Aaliyah. Weezy's may not all be the best quality, but he has too many to count, and you have to admire the man's commitment. Go hard or go home.
Now here's where things get really tough. On one hand, Lil Wayne's got a full on wife who's pretty hot, he impregnated Lauren London, he (allegedly) fucked Chris Bosh's wife and there have to be about 40,000 other women who have done things with Weezy that can't be put into print. By contrast, Drake's managed to pull Rihanna (aka the female Drake of her generation), Kyra Chaos and Maliah Michel, among many others.
Do we give Wayne bonus points for actually impregnating one of the most attractive women alive? Or should we dock him points and award them to Drake for (apparently) being smarter about wrapping things up? Is it quantity here, or quality?
Point: Weezy (barely)
Worst Song: Lil Wayne "Good Time" vs. Drake (None?)
I'm not saying Drake doesn't have any bad songs, but even when it's less than good it's not fill your ears with fire ants bad. I'm legitimately stumped trying to think of a Drake record that's outright terrible. Wayne, however, has two rock albums and a song with Paris Hilton.
Point: Weezy....or actually Drizzy
Who Would Win in a Fight?
Now, Drake get's the rep that he's softer than Jhené Aiko's skin, but the fact is that he's a 27-year-old who probably works out more than you and me combined. Wayne is 30, stands at only 5'6", plus he's had multiple strokes. Wayne might be hard to handle, he'd come at you like a spider monkey, but ultimately I think Aubrey's coming out of the octagon the victor.
According to our completely random scoring system and categories that we made up as we thought of them, Lil Wayne's eight points barely edged out Drake's seven, which means absolutely nothing but we're going to take very seriously. So, congratulations Lil Wayne!!! We're sure this is a huge moment in your career, don't let the honor go to your head.
Related: If you want to just focus on the music, take a listen to our Drake vs. Lil Wayne playlist.