An update to hip-hop’s most passive aggressive rivalry: in a recent interview with Vibe Magazine, Drake was asked whether he would ever consider making a concept album, to which he responded:
“I feel like the music that I write is utilized in life. It would be tough for me to go in conceptual storytelling. The last great concept album was [Kendrick Lamar’s] good kid m.A.A.d city—still obviously true to his life but very conceptual. Very specific stories that need to be told. I always say hats off to that album, that album’s incredible, what an undertaking.”
Had Drake stopped there, we could probably put a wrap on the Great Kendrick-Drake Beef of Two Thousand and Thirteen. But instead, Drake felt compelled to further explain why he isn’t a concept rapper. Or, more specifically, how concept rappers are just “rappers that are good at telling stories about people that aren’t themselves. There are people that have vast imaginations to go and make up a story just to achieve a point.” As Drake concluded, “I draw off life experiences.”
I’m fine with calling good kid m.A.A.d city a concept album, but the line between reality and fiction isn’t as white and black as Drake makes it to be, plus Kendrick’s album draws off life experiences as much as anything Drake puts out. Hell, Drake still hasn’t addressed Sandwichgate.
Now, if you want to talk about real, actual concept albums, check out Adam Kivel’s list of the 10 greatest ones ever made.