It was last Saturday afternoon when my roommate came into the kitchen and asked me if I had heard Drake’s new song.
I hadn’t. She played it.
Now, y’all know I don’t write think pieces.
Y’all KNOW I don’t do this. So for me to bust out the new word doc at 10pm on a school night and set my fingers to type about one single song, means there's got to be something special about it.
It’s officially been a week since my future husband Aubrey, or as y’all call him-- Drake, released his newest single “Nice For What.”
Since then, I've listened to it probably a total of 452,571 times. I listen to it on the metro. I listen to it at work. I listen to it while doing squats at the gym. I listen to it while on line at the Starbucks. I twerk and I dance to it while walking down the street. REGULARLY. ON REPEAT.
And each time, I act like it’s the first time I’m hearing it.
I got put on to NOLA Bounce in 2010 when I interned for Essence Music Festival, so when I heard Big Freedia’s voice on the intro, I got excited. Then followed by the Lauryn sample drop?? I got super hype. Those of y’all who DO really know me, know that for the first 25 years of my life, I wanted to be Lauryn. She was my muse, my idol and who I aspired to be like in my life as a musician.
So naturally, I instantly fell in love. As the beat starts to fade in, and Drake tells us that it’s “something for y’all to cut up to, you know?” I’m like, ‘ok beloved, it better be good’.
Then homeboy says, “Everybody get your muthafucking roll on.”
Not sure if I heard anything for a smooth 45 seconds after that, because when that beat dropped, I was sold. I should have known because my boo Drizzy rarely disappoints. Baby daddy put NOLA bounce and THEE Ms. Lauryn Hill in ONE record so seamlessly? I don’t think I took a record so personally since “Make Me Proud” where he said, “like you went to Yale but you probably went to Howard, knowing you.”
You do know me, bae. You do.
After I gathered myself together, I continued on and made it to the chorus.
“That’s a real one, in your reflection, without a follow, without a mention.”
You really piping up on these Niggas, you gotta be nice for what to these Niggas.”
Fam. I lost my SHIT.
At that point, I was like:
I’m extraordinarily transparent about the disaster that is my dating life. I have good parts too, but more often than not the peace that I get from this shit being the worst, is sharing my experiences with y’all. I am also extremely open about the insecurities I have, what I need to work on, my life goals and ambitions, and what I encounter daily as it pertains to dealing with members of the opposite sex.
Since my life damn near fell apart in 2017, my attempt to re-collect it in 2018 was priority, and dating was the last thing on my mind. I even cut back on my social media consumption by deleting Instagram off my phone and not logging into the app since the New Year.
In late January, more or less accidentally, I began to re consider the idea of getting to know new people.
I was overly cautious, and low key nervous about dating again, but if there's one thing I've learned from 4 years of therapy, it's that I have to bring my whole self to the table each and every time and to be present in the experience.
I ended up encountering 2 different individuals who I thought were cool enough to get to know, but ended up being flakes. In the words of my big sister in my head, Demetria Lucas, “interested men act interested,” and it became clear to me that I wasn’t of top priority.
And even though other people can't determine self worth, sometimes a reminder is needed and appreciated. Consider this: from the time we are little girls, women have been conditioned to be “nice.” To play “nice,” because nobody (read: men) likes a girl who’s mean (read: stands up for herself or makes her needs/wants known, doesn't accept anything less, and willingly walks away instead). Meanwhile these Negus get to stand firm and demand respect and nobody bats an eye. This applies to both dating and life.
Aubrey makes it simple: Who said you gotta be nice to these Niggas?
State your business or move on, sir.
For me, this song couldn’t have come at a better time. Mr. Graham has blessed us with the summer BOP of the century and y'all would be lying if you said you couldn't relate.
"Had a man last year but life goes on. " You muthafucking right.
The video was even more glorious. It’s a short film filled with mostly Black Girl Magic and divine feminine beauty, complete with power such as my faves Issa Rae, Tracee Ellis Ross, and newcomer fave Letitia Wright. I could smell the Shea moisture and the Jergens lotion through the screen.
But of course, without the contrarians, life wouldn’t be interesting. People across Al Gore’s Internet have been debating on whether or not it’s a “women's empowerment song”, for a number of reasons including accusations of light skinned pandering, and cultural appropriation.
They’re also upset because he dropped the record 24 hours after Sis Cardi B dropped “Invasion of Privacy”, her first studio album.
I’m like, I don’t know where y’all reside, but in the world I live in, both can exist. I also feel like this is who Drake is: he likes making songs for women. Wheelchair Jimmy is just that type of Nigga.
He’s corny. And I love him.
He samples different local cultures.
And that’s ok.
Y’all need to learn how to walk and chew bubblegum. (Shoutout to my homie J-Hall)
As for me?
I’ll continue to make this my summer anthem because it’s applicable. Because it makes me feel good. Because it makes me remember, and makes me forget. Because I recognize my power. Because I shake my ass and for 3 minutes and 30 seconds and I feel like I have not a care in the world. That’s exactly what music is supposed to do for you. And I will enjoy it, because as my boo says, It's a short life.
Now. Watch the breakdown: