Six years ago, Nathan brought his hilarious “Rap Lines That Make No F**king Sense” series from Refined Hype (RIP) over to DJBooth and spent almost 800 words picking apart some of the most nonsensical bars in Drizzy’s early catalog.
As it turns out, some things are the same in Aubrey’s world, because his latest project More Life also has its fair share of lines that make no fucking sense.
Yeah, the album (sorry, but he’s selling it on CD, therefore it’s not a fucking “playlist.” Nice try deflecting criticism, though) has already broken two Spotify streaming records and survey says it's better than Views (which, let’s be honest, wasn’t that difficult to do).
But More Life also gives you more reason to despair at some of Drake’s—and his guest’s—lyrical choices, which clearly sound cooler in his head than they do coming out of our speakers.
Just please don’t hurt me, October Firm. I like my headtop just the way it is, thanks.
“Free shmoke, free shmoke, ayy!” — Drake, "Free Smoke"
When I first heard “Free Smoke,” I probably wasn’t the only who thought, “oh, didn’t realize Smoke Dawg was locked up. Free Smoke, though!” But as it turns out, Smoke is neither currently in jail nor has he ever been arrested. In fact, he’s spent the last few weeks touring Europe with Drake.
According to Genius annotators, “Free smoke” doesn’t have anything to do with Smoke Dawg. Instead, it’s “a dare—Drake’s warning to anyone thinking of testing him that if they do, he’ll crush them.” Maybe it’s another Toronto thing that goes over everyone else’s heads, but to me, “free smoke” sounds like something your weed guy would say when the mid isn’t selling (which should immediately make you suspicious anyway, because free weed is always too good to be true).
Either that or it’s Drake’s Joker-style catchphrase as he blows a thick cloud of hookah smoke in your face, disabling your senses before Baka’s rock-sized fist comes flying towards your dome. *Wakes up six hours later in Camp OVO, locked in a studio with a bottle of Virginia Black Whiskey and a blank rhymebook*
“I drunk text J-Lo / Old number, so it bounce back” — Drake, "Free Smoke"
Do texts still bounce back? Is that a thing in 2017? I honestly can’t remember the last time that happened to me. Maybe if it’s a number that’s no longer in service, but don’t phone companies reissue old numbers straight away? I can't count the number of times I thought I was texting a friend, only to get hit with the “new phone, who dis?”
Anyway, if his text really did bounce back like Big Sean from an undisclosed L, then Drake must have been pretty pissed when he spent 19 minutes drafting a heartfelt essay to J. Lo only to see “Message Failed to Send.”
“Textbook, like it’s old school, like in textiles” — Giggs, "No Long Talk"
Textiles is what they call Home Economics in the UK (where I went to school, so I should know), except it’s a whole class centered around sewing terrible pockets onto already terrible shirts. Great if you want to go into fashion design, but not that great if you know you’re just gonna throw clothes out when they get even the tiniest of rips.
Point is, I can’t remember ever using a textbook in Textiles class (or maybe we did but I was too busy trying to put tie dye in everyone’s hair). So either Giggs was Britain’s most dedicated Textiles student, or this is just a rap line that makes no fucking sense. Probably the latter.
“My heart is way too frozen to get broken” — Drake, "Madiba Riddim"
At first glance, this line is perfectly fine, if not a little cringeworthy. Drake is saying his heart is too cold, too hardened by fights at Cheesecake to be broken by J. Lo, Serena Williams or whichever crush he’s currently chasing. But when you sit and think about it for, like, three seconds, shouldn’t a frozen heart be easier to break, in the physical sense? Like how thieves freeze padlocks with a can of compressed air and just smash them open with a hammer?
Apparently, the scientific term for this is the brittle-to-ductile transition, where objects become more brittle at lower temperatures. My in-depth research from page one of Google search results also tells me not all objects become easily breakable when frozen—like a boulder, for example. But a human heart is not a boulder, so it’s safe to assume it wouldn’t take much force to break a frozen heart.
Science one, Drake nil.
“Tat on my ribs like I do not know what permanent is” — Drake, "Gyalchester"
First of all, getting a tattoo on your ribs is not that big of a deal. Maybe it was back in 1974, but these days, everyone and their aunt has one. And if you’re worried about your little rib tat sending the wrong impression, guess what? Wear clothes. Secondly, anyone getting a tattoo without understanding the basic concept of “this won’t come off in the shower and also it hurts like fuck” shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a tattoo gun.
To be fair, Drake’s ribs tattoos aren’t that bad (he’s got 416, Toronto’s area code, on one side and a signed portrait of Sade on the other). It’s those other ones—like his “bbk” shoulder tat, because he's been a huge JME fan since last year, ya dun know—that he should be slightly regretting.
"It’s all Habibis ting, ya?” — Drake, "Portland"
What’s Arabic for “do you hear yourself?”
“Hell nah, never let these n*ggas ride your wave” — Quavo, "Portland"
There’s nothing inherently wrong with Quavo’s hook on “Portland.” Sir Quavious Keyate Marshall has been the best hook man in hip-hop for the last year and counting, and this one doesn’t disappoint. But in the context of a song that also features Drake, a seasoned surfer who literally said, “it’s all Habibis ting, ya?” less than a minute earlier, and Travis Scott, a prolific “creative” who never seems to be at the heart of his creations, Quavo’s “never let these n*ggas ride your wave” line should be the first search result when you Google “irony.”
Unless, of course, it's Quavo unleashing four years of pent-up hostility over Drake riding the Migos’ wave into one of the most genius subliminal disses of recent memory.
“Me and Drake kick like Kid 'N Play” — Travis Scott, "Portland"
It’s hard to think of a Travis Scott verse that doesn’t contain at least one clumsy or cringeworthy line. We could have easily done a “Rap Lines That Make No Fucking Sense” for each of La Flame’s albums. While “Me and Drake kick like Kid 'N Play” is both an uninspired and downright weird comparison to make, the reason this line doesn’t make a whole lot of sense is because Drake makes it very clear on “Free Smoke” that, “I’m not Kid ‘N Play.”
In all fairness, Travis probably didn’t hear that song before writing his verse for “Portland,” but that doesn’t change the fact it’s a terrible line, period. I would love to watch Drake and Travis fight it out over who’s Kid and who’s Play, though.
“Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, so I woke up with my wood hard” — 2 Chainz, "Sacrifices"
Yes, 2 Chainz has one of the best verses on More Life and yes, he’s quietly spent the last 18 months being one of the very best rappers alive. But I just can’t get over the last line on his “Sacrifices” verse. Not that I particularly enjoy picturing my favorite rappers having sex or anything, but it seems strange that Tity Boi would choose to talk about his morning wood rather than what he did the night before with these pretty, trap-loving girls. You’re telling me the guy who once said, “she got a big booty so I call her Big Booty” couldn’t come up with anything more imaginative than “so I woke up with my wood hard”?
Hey Tit, this one’s on the house: “Drench God with the 6 God, point guard and the two guard / Pretty Girls Like Trap Music, so I leave ’em with that lazy eye, no Chris Broussard.”
“Look at them jokers, look at that asshole” — Giggs, " KMT"
Giggs' verse on "KMT" is an acquired taste, but look me in the eye and tell me Cersei Lannister isn't the best metaphor for cocaine since Rick Ross' "Believe It." One comparison that doesn't quite work, however, is "look at them jokers, look at that asshole." Are jokers synonymous with assholes? Is Giggs talking about assholes or actual assholes? (In which case, I'm good.) And why is Giggs using the biggest 16-bar verse of his career telling us to look at any variation of an asshole?
“Batman, da-na-na-da-na!” — Giggs, "KMT"