Everything’s coming up Aubrey.
On Monday it was announced that Drake Aubrey Graham had broken Michael Jackson’s record for the most American Music awards nominations in one year, and living up to the nickname he gave himself in Forever back in 2009. (Greatest Ever, in case you didn’t know. Which hopefully means he’ll be fighting less at the Cheesecake Factory than he will be celebrating at it.)
Earning a whopping 13 nominations in this, the year of our lord 2016, Drake officially eclipsed MJ’s Thriller (which earned 11 in 1984), and sent the eternal question in the stratosphere: is Drizzy really better than Michael?
In a word? Yes. In a few more words? Here we go.
As a Canadian person and Drake’s close and personal friend (at least in my mind – please do not ask him about me), I can confidently state that Views trumps Thriller tenfold – if only because Michael Jackson’s cover art does not feature the late King of Pop sitting sullenly on the tallest building in Canada. And while we know Drake’s image was photoshopped (because it is illegal to sit casually on the CN Tower’s ledge without a visible harness), it sends a very clear and distinct message: I am the 6 God, and thou shalt honour me. And I will, by valiantly arguing Drizzy’s merits over his history-making predecessor.
So where it took MJ six albums to earn 11 AMAs, it took Aubrey only four to secure 14. And while I’m no mathematician, the algebraic equation looks something like this: “success”. (#math)
While Thriller is still the bestselling album of all time, three decades after its 1982 release (we get it – it’s wonderful), it did not include a collaboration with Rihanna, Future, PARTYNEXTDOOR, Wizkid, Kyla, Pimp C, and dvsn – which Views proudly does. On top of that, Drake’s working relationship with Rihanna soon evolved into a summer romance that played out onstage, as the two appeared at each other’s shows and briefly made us all believe in love again.
MJ’s Thriller collaborations? Eddie Van Halen (Beat It), Vincent Price (Thriller) and Sir Paul McCartney (The Girl Is Mine). None of which stroked the publicity flame by making us all believe in true love again, at least temporarily.
Were Michael Jackson’s 80s-era clothes impeccable? Is his leather jacket still an iconic mainstay of our cultural landscape? Have we all thought about wearing one glove in hopes of establishing ourselves as creative beacons in our increasingly dark and morose world? Sure. But here’s a word: sweaters. Lots of them, worn stateside and courtside, paired with everything from shearling coats to dad glasses, and putting them front and center with his video for Hotline Bling.
Add to this Drake’s OVO store (IRL and online) and the Canadian climate, and Drizzy has not just outfitted himself, but an army. Winter gets cold. We need to stay warm. Which one sparkly glove doesn’t do.
At time of publication, Hotline Bling has garnered 966,331,955 views on YouTube while Thriller has only earned 354,325,435 (sad!), which I’m sure has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that the latter premiered decades before YouTube was even a thing, nor the fact that it actually sold (sold – like, people used to buy music videos, I’m serious) over 9m copies.
But I’m sure if Drake sold Hotline Bling, we would for sure think about buying it, maybe. I’m positive it would cross our minds for a second before we moved on to something else. So there.
Admittedly, Michael Jackson’s choreography went on to inspire Usher and Justin Timberlake, awed audiences, and was praised for its gravity-defying nature, but could he move and shake like this?
Didn’t think so.
Aubrey Drake Graham is a rap artist from Toronto, Ontario, who covers everything from love to work to his enemies to upsetting evenings at the Cheesecake Factory. Guess what Michael Jackson rapped about: nothing.
Before we knew him as Drake, Aubrey co-starred in Canadian mainstay, Degrassi – a TV show in which he played a gunshot victim who was subsequently had to use a wheelchair. He emoted, he expressed, and since then he’s gone on to release longer videos, short films, and deliver his best and most authentic self on SNL. Which never could have happened without this:
Even though I know, for argument’s sake, we’re all pretending that Michael Jackson’s turn in The Simpsons’ 1991 episode Stark Raving Dad was not as life-changing for us all as it actually was. Or, should I say, John Jay Smith.
This article was written by Anne T Donahue, for theguardian.com on Tuesday 11th October 2016 20.26 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010
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