Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Drake ft. Michael Jackson – Don’t Matter To Me

Turns out Fucking Drake + deceased pop legend still = Fucking Drake.


Stephen Eisermann: It was only a matter of time before Drake went full problematic, but it’s still disappointing to listen to him spew misogyny dressed as well-meaning drivel. No, you can’t tell a girl what vices she can or can’t have and no, you can’t threaten to hit a woman only to pat yourself on the back for not doing it. You especially can’t do these things on a song so offensively boring, with a feature from post-humous Michael who sounds a little too much like The Weeknd doing an impression. 

Katherine St Asaph: Drake does with Michael Jackson what he did with Aaliyah: source a marquee posthumous singer, while rendering that singer’s voice so unrecognizable there’s no point besides the gimmick. If your Michael Jackson sample is this distorted and ragged, like someone re-drew the waveform on an Etch-a-Sketch, why not just get The Weeknd? If that’s not possible, and it may well not be, I hear Jason Malachi is available. You’d never be able to tell it was him; the sound has so much infidelity Drake probably wrote a song about it. The rest is the usual: a great, subtly insinuating production, with Drake on it.

Andy Hutchins: Drake using a Michael Jackson sample — is it a sample when the vocals are unreleased and would have otherwise stayed that way, or a collaboration with a ghost? — when he presumably still has one Abel Tesfaye’s number made sense in context on Scorpion as a flex, if one that was less creatively inspired and less impressive than getting to warp Mariah’s “Emotions,” and as part of the brooding segment of what should’ve just been a separate R&B album cut out of the bloated full project. Outside of that context, it sounds very strongly like Drake has dragooned the spirit of Mike into floating atop the toxic miasma of controlling and gaslighting that Aubrey keeps as his personal little black rain cloud for no reason but to prove he can, with Jackson’s vocals here sounding imitative of The Weeknd’s most plaintive wailing — impressively, more so than Abel’s vocals usually sound like an MJ impression. Those vocals aren’t the nadir, either. There’s a bright line from Drake rapping “Sweatpants, hair tied, chillin’ with no makeup on / That’s when you’re the prettiest, I hope that you don’t take it wrong” to him chiding the mother of his son that “That’s not the way you get over me”: It’s that arrested adolescent arrogance when it comes to women — not the self-obsession, not the clear remove from most of reality, not the whining, and not the corniness — that has made one of the world’s most talented artists a consistent bummer whose bright spots like “Nice For What” feel like aberrations. This is quintessential Fucking Drake, the guy whom it is wisest to avoid; fucking Drake, it seems, is also not worth it. 

Jibril Yassin: #justiceforabeltesfaye

Ramzi Awn: A great example of a song begging for too many opinions. It’s pretty. But they really did a botch job on Michael’s voice. 

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: It’s not even interesting grave-robbing.

Crystal Leww: Scorpion is terribly boring, and even the ghost of one of the greatest pop stars ever won’t save it from itself at its lows. I’m glad that Drake got a vocal coach though.

Thomas Inskeep: Well, nothing says “I’m king of the world” like showing out with a previously unreleased Michael Jackson vocal: yes, Aubrey, you’re fairly well-off, aren’t you? (I’m sure Cash Money actually paid the bill, but that’s kinda beside the point.) But here’s the thing: this doesn’t actually work. MJ comes in like a spectral presence, the epitome of a ghost, and it actually sounds like he’s just there to impress, not for any real musical reason. Which of course is likely the case. Meanwhile, Drake’s whining about women again, and I really couldn’t give a shit. What a waste of something that could’ve been special.

Tobi Tella: Congrats to Drake for managing to get a posthumous MJ feature- too bad it’s so hard to find him under all that reverb. Other than that it’s a generic Drake song, something we already have far too much of in 2018.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: Drake sloppily shoehorns a Michael Jackson verse into the most Drake-sounding song imaginable, produced by 40 and Nineteen85 no less. Much to my surprise, it’s Drake that sounds more palatable than MJ, which is amusing given that Drake recently surpassed him in terms of Top 10 hits amongst male soloists. In essence, it’s the biggest ruse of Drake’s career, and I’d simultaneously give it a [0] and [10]. I’ll never listen to it again.

Alfred Soto: Thanks to the warmth of the MJ sample, “Don’t Matter to Me” is less alienating than the average Drake single — an odd thing to write, for MJ recorded rather alienating music himself. But Drake still sings as if, like the poor woman he spurns, he’s doing recording engineers a favor.

Lilly Gray: God, this was boring! It lacks even the schaudenfreude that one should be able to enjoy when stacking up Michael goddamn Jackson against Drake. I had to force myself to not zone out. This was a trial. A trial! 

Taylor Alatorre: Congratulations, Aubrey, YOU’RE WINNER! You get the big boy prize for being such a big and popular recording artist! Started from the bottom had to grind for this view! But before you go writing that Rock Hall acceptance speech, just be aware: Pitbull and Akon have one, too. (Oh, there’s a song here? Yeah it’s fine I guess.)

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4 Responses to “Drake ft. Michael Jackson – Don’t Matter To Me”

  1. was there a point when drake wasn’t full problematic

  2. I’d argue he skirted with problematic but did a good job of playing it down; that all went out the window now, though.

  3. holy shit @ the pic

  4. @katherine: There’s probably an argument that he was mostly a harmless Little Brother impressionist pre-So Far Gone, but one would need to listen to two mediocre mixtapes from more than a decade ago (one featuring Drake’s first real ghostwriter!) to be sure.