Drake was booed off-stage when he was brought out as the secret headliner at Tyler the Creator’s Camp Flog Gnaw festival this past weekend.
Booed off Stage
The Toronto song-maker and mogul was booed and forced to cut his surprise set short after performing snippets of hits like “Non-Stop,” “Started from the Botton”, and Headlines, according to the L.A. Times. After getting through some of his set, Drake summoned the crowd’s reaction and received what the publication described as a “wave of boos” in return.
“I’m here for you tonight,” said Drake. “If you wanna keep going, I will keep going tonight. What’s up.” The fans responded by attempting to get him off the stage. Drake followed with a classy exit. “Well, look, it’s been love. I love ya’ll. I go by the name of Drake. Thank you for having me.” And with that he left the stage 20 minutes before his set was scheduled to end.
Is it Frank Ocean’s Fault?
On the surface, this could have just been a mismatch in terms of booking as Tyler’s audience might have simply anticipated someone else who was strongly rumored to be there. The chant that followed Drake’s exit might have hinted strongly at that. “We want Frank,” was apparently what the crowd uttered, according to the report referring to Odd Future crooner Frank Ocean. But is that the only reason why Drake was booed?
Drake Depends on Young Energy
Hip-hop is sometimes described as a young man’s game. Drake entered the industry around 2008 which makes him over a decade old in rap. This is really old for rappers. Drake has managed to keep himself relevant by jumping on the tracks of up and comers. He most recently did this when he appeared on a remix for Summer Walker’s “Girls Need Love.” Drake’s done this throughout his career, and has even absorbed some of these artists into his OVO imprint. The public, along with talking heads caught on to his strategy, and people like Joe Budden have praised and clowned him for it at the same time.
Social Media Rappers Took Over
Aside from piggy-backing off of younger acts, Drake also needs to compete with a different crop of rappers who have made their name off of social media antics and not the music. The Toronto crooner/rapper has always taken pride in the quality of his music and keeps his antics at a minimum. This might have caused a drop in popularity for him with the younger crowd.
The Youth Like Young Artists
A lot of young people I speak to respect Drake, but are they really checking for his music? My young nephew is a rabid Tekashi 69 fan and is more interested up and comers he finds on the internet than any of the legacy acts. When speaking with him and other family members in their early 20s, they mostly mention the names of people who came out within the last year as their favorite artists. And since their age group, 18-25, is the common demographic for hip-hop, they’re going to be what dictates the market and record labels.
50 Cent vs. Kanye Comparison
Either way, rappers like Drake, J. Cole and Kendrick have strong core fanbases that will keep them paid for a long time. However, the booing of Drake at Camp Flog Gnaw could be a changing of the tide moment like when Kanye beat 50 Cent in their album sales war back in 2007.
50 Cent was arguably the biggest artist in the universe at that point in time and Kanye West was on his way to eclipsing him. 50 Cent also represented gangster rap and Kanye was leading the hipster charge. The latter artist ended up selling more and eventually had more influence over the next crop of rappers like Drake and J.Cole. The booing of Drake at Camp Flog Gnaw could be one of those moments. Only time will tell.