Drake might be the most popular rap artist alive (except for last week, when Post Malone held that title) but according to Def Jam emcee Dave East, he's more than just popular—he's also one of the best.
"I feel like Drake one of the best rappers in this shit," East told MONTREALITY. "Honestly, like the shit that I heard when he was really rapping, niggas can't fuck with homie. But I just feel like he done won so much with other shit, people probably confuse it. That's a different type of talent, to be able to make shit sound like reggae, make straight R&B shit, and then you can jump on a joint with JAY-Z and go back-and-forth with Hov. I respect Drake's shit to the fullest. I wanna see how he rap with me on a joint."
Over the years, Drake has shifted further and further away from "really rapping" in favor of more melodic, island-tinged pop tunes, but when he wants to rap, East is right—he can spit with the best of them. For proof, look no further than More Life track "Do Not Disturb."
"A lotta people can’t rap, a lotta people not gonna make you rewind them, but you gonna rewind Drake," East added.
While it might seem strange on the surface to hear a lyrically-oriented street emcee from New York like East talk up Drake's talents on the microphone, he's just the latest in a long line of peers who have praised Drake's artistry, craft and influence. In just the past six months, Talib Kweli defended Drake's writing, Chance revealed he studies Drake's work, and Logic credits Drizzy with "opening doors" for so many artists in the industry.