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Free Agents: Why Drake should sign Lil Wayne to OVO

Friday’s release of Scorpion marked the end of what I personally believe is many things for Drake. One thing that seems to be official is the fulfilment of Drake’s contractual obligation’s with Cash Money records. On the final track of the album’s “A Side” (cough, cough good side), Drake rapped

“Yeah, soon as this album drop, I’m out of the deal”.

If Drake does indeed decide to not renew his deal with Cash Money. A deal that stretches way back to 2009, then it would mark the end of an era. The timing of the ending of this era could not be better.

Earlier in June Drake’s mentor and former biggest rapper in the game, Lil Wayne finally reached a settlement in his long standing legal issues with Cash Money/Universal and Birdman, and was awarded $10 million. Even though he certainly deserves a bigger piece of the Cash Money pie, he at least has peace of mind and with that peace comes freedom.  With Wayne now a free agent what better place than to take his talents from South Beach and move up North. No not to Cleveland but to the 6. Yes, Lil Wayne should sign to Drake’s OVO label and here are 4 reasons why:

1. Their history/chemistry

Lil Wayne and Drake’s musical relationship stretches back to just over a decade ago when Drake was only known to North American teens as a goofy former child actor. Upon being introduced to each other by Jas Prince Jr, and Wayne initially not being convinced, the two would go on to form a musical partnership that would revolutionise Hip Hop as we know it. From early classics such as “Ransom” “Stunt Hard” and “Forever”. To early 2010s hip hop staples such as “Right Above It”, “The Motto” and “I’m On One”. To their most recent collaboration, a stellar remix of Jay-Z’s “Family Feud” in which Drake rapped

“I’m thinking of paying Wayne what Universal owes”.

The musical chemistry between the two is evidently as strong as it’s ever been and certainly has room for more classics.       

2. Wayne is in need of a serious intervention… and re-invention

Over the course of his nearly quarter century long career, Weezy has managed to successfully reinvent himself many times. From initially entering the game as the youngest member of The Hot Boys. We have witnessed Wayne transform into the the sole survivor of the original Cash Money era to go onto become the best rapper alive. To then go onto to transform into an otherworldly being, aka “Martian” and finally return to earth as a skinny jean wearing skateboarder (arguably his worst gimmick). Unfortunately, since the last iteration we’ve witnessed Wayne morph into a mere shell of himself over the last 6 years with only flashes of brilliance every now and then of his late 2000’s Hey Day.

Another reinvention is much needed and is possible even in this latter day phase of his career. Lil Wayne is pushing 36. Around the same age 2 Chainz was when he dropped the Tity Boi name (who told him to use that name in the first place?) back in 2011/12 and went onto to become the scene stealing rapper we know and love today. Heck, even Jay-Z has re-invented himself multiples times over the past two decades. Proving that there is still room for old heads and free agents in the young mans sport that we call Hip Hop.

Imagine the new collaborations that would come with this new found freedom, Cardi B? (Although I doubt Nicki would appreciate that). The possibilities are endless.

3. OVO SOUND Needs Tuning

Drake has had made many successful business moves over the course of his phenomenal career including the creation of his OVO SOUND label. The label has managed to put out 6 number 1 projects since its inception in 2012. Although impressive the only issue is that these projects have all come from Drake himself! The label head. OVO sound is much like Rocafella Records was for Jay-Z, a vehicle for him to put out his music with the other artists on the roster hardly getting any shine.

I mean sure the label has had a moderately successful act in PartyNextDoor and has other talented artists like Majid Jordan, however the label is still yet to find it’s true breakout act. It is yet to find it’s Kanye. What better way to give the label a boost than to bring in an already much established act like Lil Wayne? Having a rejuvenated Wayne on the roster would help boost the label’s profile and Wayne could possibly pass game to Drake and help him mold an artist into a breakout star. Something he has more than enough experience in. Which brings me to my final point.

4. Drake owes it to Wayne

If there is one thing Lil Wayne does not get enough credit for, it is being arguably one of the only two Rappers in history to successfully turn one of their protégés into legitimate superstars in their own right. Lil Wayne has managed to created two bonafide superstars in Drake and Nicki Minaj. Many would argue that Drake is bigger than Wayne was at his peak. Let me put things into perspective for you, the biggest album on the planet on this very day ten years ago was Wayne’s Tha Carter III. Ten years later it is the 5th studio album of his Lil homie Drake. Wayne’s legacy has managed to live on even 6 years of him being removed from his Prime. That can not be taken away from him. Heck he even managed to create a star out of Tyga to some extent (I’m probably going to get corned for writing that).

Too often we see rappers start labels after becoming superstars but fail to replicate that success with their own artists. The only other rapper to have done that is Eminem with 50 Cent.  Other than him and Wayne who else has done that? Nobody. Yes, and before you say it, Jay-Z did not put Kanye on, Dame did. Jay did sign Cole but other than one or two album appearances, Cole was pretty much left to fend for himself and cultivate his internet buzz into mainstream success. Sometimes I even forget J Cole is on Roc Nation. Dr Dre has put on many artists in his legendary career. Many of who are considered the greatest of all time but Dre is seen as a producer before he’s seen as an artist. 50 Cent was so hot that even his weed carriers managed to go platinum however none of them truly became superstars. Game was more of a Dre artist so he does not count either.  So I will ask again, what other rapper than Em and Wayne has achieved that?… Yeah I thought so.

I am not taking away from Drake’s undeniable talent by saying he would not be where he was today if it was not for Wayne. Yes, J Prince Jr technically “discovered” him. Yes, in another lifetime it is possible that If Wayne had not met Drake, Drake could have still go on to become successful, but we are not talking about what if’s here. We are talking about facts and the fact is Wayne gave Drake the platform to become the biggest rapper in the game when he held that title. For that reason alone, Drake owes it to Wayne to help give his career a much needed resurgence. I doubt Drake would actually be able to give Wayne half of his $100 mil net worth to pay “what universal owes”, but he could at least do him a solid by signing him to OVO and reintroducing him to a new generation of Hip Hop listeners. How great would it be to hear Young Lion and Young Angel on some 40 and Boi 1da beats in 2018 (“I’m single” is one of Wayne’s best songs)? Plus, imagine how salty Birdman would be. Let me know your thoughts.

“Ay yo plheboi I don’t appreciate you two betraying me. YMCMB foreva”

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Words by Nifty Noel

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