Bun B Credits Drake with Making Rappers Feel Comfortable Being "Open"

"I think this kid was trying to be very open with everyone, as open as possible."
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Bun B, Drake, 2019

Happy birthday to Drake's opus of a mixtape So Far Gone. To celebrate the anniversary, Bun B sat down with Billboard to talk about the project's legacy. Of note, he remarked on how the tape showed other rappers they have the opportunity to be open and emotive in their music.

"It definitely was a game-changer," he said of the tape. "This was a relatively new artist, but he has strong features and that obviously comes with relationships and friendships with a lot of different people. There was a clear distinction very early of where he wanted to go, and how he wanted to be seen. Most mixtape guys, they’re young to it and they don’t really understand it very well, so they’re just trying to rep their hood and come off in the way they come off. I think this kid was trying to be very open with everyone, as open as possible. If you look at a lot of artists after that, they’re open about their experiences, their life, and they’re trying to let you in a little bit more."

What Bun B is identifying is a phenomenon wherein Drake made it "cool to be a pussy," or rather, let young men know that they can be in touch with their emotions and still go hard. While Drake definitely had a hand in this in 2009, we can look even further back to '08 and Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak as a seminal album in this canon of feeling.

Regardless of who did it first, the note still stands that this music creates an important space for men to feel and express their feelings, as opposed to repressing them and putting on a tough persona. 

We have a ways to go, but these roots in the music certainly help.

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