The man of many views, Drake, has recently angered many Dancehall and Reggae fans by removing the unruly dancehall artist Popcaan from the album version of his song titled “Controlla." While he did replace the artist with another great dancehall artist, Beenie Man, what was once a verse turned into a sample, with Beenie Man acting as what Mr. Vegas labeled a "hype man."
Mr. Vegas expressed his anger with Drake in a video in which he claims that Drake is fake for his actions and is attempting to use Dancehall merely because it is "the hottest genre right now."
Coming from a Jamaican background, I could not help feel some of Mr. Vegas's anger because our culture has long been used as a trend. I am not always bothered by it but after hearing the numerous Dancehall samples and high influence over all on Drake's album, while lacking at least one real feature from a dancehall artist, I can't help but feel anger. His use of Jamaican slang also angers me because it has caused many of his fans to adapt the slang as well, thinking it is from him not Jamaica.
Mr. Vegas is just trying to defend Dancehall. A day or two or later, I heard Popcaan uploaded a reaction to Mr. Vegas's video attacking Drake and, to my surprise, he dissed Mr. Vegas in it, stating that he does not know what he is talking about and should mind his business. What Popcaan, and many others, fail to realize is Mr.Vegas is talking about something that is much bigger than Drake. He is calling out Hip Hop on its exploitation of Dancehall and Reggae. Look at the roots of Hip Hop, Reggae is there. Look at the golden age of Hip Hop, Reggae is there. Even look at present-day Hip Hop, Reggae is there. Yet, the Jamaican music scene is nowhere near as popular as Hip Hop is. The issue is that many Hip Hop artist sample the Reggae and Dancehall sound but give no credit to Jamaica or promote the genre's artists.
Mr. Vegas also dropped a diss track aimed at Drake titled "Dancehall Pirate." The song includes some very interesting lines, especially when he praises numerous rappers then excludes Drake. In the interview with DJ Vlad, Mr.Vegas explains how the song is merely a freestyle to bring awareness to the issue he is highlighting. Mr. Vegas knows not to attempt to start a beef with Drake because he understands how the industry works, knowing Drake has a massive fan base that he said can make him end up like Meek Mill.
Mr. Vegas gives great examples of how Dancehall artist, Assassin, has songs with Kendrick and Kanye but nobody knows because he is not credited. Later in the video, he claims that Popcaan is merely hurting the genre by attacking him and siding with Drake, he even goes as far as to compare him and people like him to the claim that Marcus Garvey was sold out by his people for Rice and Peas.
Drake is from Toronto, Canada, an area with a huge Jamaican population and influence. To be honest, using this as a defense for Drake isn't good enough for me because, even if his influence is based off of Jamaican culture in his hometown, he still does not give credit to where that culture in Canada comes from. Either way you look at it, his influence comes from Reggae and Dancehall in Jamaica. Jamaica is an impoverished island and if Hip Hop artists really have the respect for the culture as they claim, then they can easily help the islands economic issues by doing more than just sampling and erasing them from the credits.
Mr. Vegas's video with DJ Vlad, his initial video, and Popcaans video can all be viewed below.