Do You Only Drake Because You Are Supposed To?
You witnessed the birth of a culture. You saw the rap section of the store go from half a dozen cassettes, to half a billion songs at your fingertips ready for streaming. You saw Chuck D fighting the power. You knew Rakim was the God Mc before Source Magazine was giving out the coveted Five Mic album rating, and surely before some blogger tried to convince you that the kid with a funny haircut and strange vocal effect made the music you need to make your life complete.
Yet, when your nieces and nephews or the younger guy at the gym asks you if you’re feeling Drake you are compelled to say…yes. His voice annoys you. You don’t like ANYTHING you have to hear 100 times a day. The artist from Canada you want the world to love is Kardinal Offishal, hell even Maestro Fresh Wes! Atleast you can sleep at night knowing your favorite rappers with the real lyrics will never co sign Drake, until they co-sign Drake. They also like Drake now?
Your response always comes with a disclaimer. Something just won’t let you like him all the way. You clarify “I’m not the biggest Drake fan…I just respect his hustle”, or “I don’t really… you know ride down the street listening to it but he’s got some joints…” During a recent on-air rant New York City Hip Hop radio veteran Funk Master Flex dissed Drake’s usage of reference tracks and ghost writers and was adamant that Drake shouldn’t be considered for Hip Hop’s top five. He questioned how things operate in Canada, but he made a point just as Joe Budden did in his beef with Drake to clarify that he was a fan of Drakes music. Will you be viewed as out of touch and stuck in an era if you don’t like Drake? I mean why don’t you like him? He’s harmless? He makes songs for the ladies? You are a hater.
It turns out that if you don’t know why you like (or dislike) Drake, your willingness to blindly do either can be explained by examining the results of a study by scientists at the University of Leeds. The research showed that it takes a minority of only 5% to influence a crowds direction. Humans have a flock mentality like sheep or birds with the majority seeking to be led by a small minority of individuals.
“There are many situations where this information could be used to good effect,” says Professor Jens Krause of the University’s Faculty of Biological Sciences.
“At one extreme, it could be used to inform emergency planning strategies and at the other, it could be useful in organising pedestrian flow in busy areas.”
“We’ve all been in situations where we got swept along by a crowd,” Professor Krause explained. “But what’s interesting about this research is that our participants ended up making a consensus decision despite the fact that they weren’t allowed to talk or gesture to one another. In most cases the participants didn’t realize they were being led by others at all.”
The University of Leeds scientists are referring to migration and other PHYSICAL movements of a group of human beings, but can this herd mentality be applied to a Rap artist’s so called movement?
Research dealing with the Psychology of music preference from a variety of countries and cultures shows that a person’s personality category indicates what kind of music they will like. These five categories are listed as follows, open to new experiences, extroversion, neuroticism, agreeable, and conscientiousness.
Hip Hop appeals to the extroverted character, Jazz and other genres that some ears find too complex to follow appeal to the open to new experiences personality type. A person characterized as agreeable, is more likely to have a more intense emotional reaction to a song they’ve heard of the first time. Anyone who’s ever had a band or rap group can attest to the difficulty being keeping personalities in harmony not so much the music.
In a microwave society where the 5 second wait before being able to skip the YouTube add accumulates into two minutes of frustration daily it’s hard to tell why an artist becomes popular. Did the label buy his or her spot at the top? Maybe it was some strange algorithm they cracked when masterminding the SEO (search engine optimization) for their website? Did he put in the work on the road, and build his fan base up one small town at a time? Did she really sing that or is she really just a clever studio trick. Maybe your personality type is magnetically attracted to Drake’s music. Could 26 million followers be wrong?
Lawrence “King” Collazo is a Yaheard Contributor from Buffalo Ny.
Livestream of the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo, where seas of people cross the street around the clock.