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Music Monday Prologue : Drake, Thank Us Later!

July 23, 2010

Rapper Drake at GQ 'Men Of The Year' Party

So, you thought we were going to talk about African American English linguistic features.  Not completely. Hip-Hop’s newest sensation, Aubrey Drake Graham, better known as Drake, had a major release June 15th, 2010 with his highly anticipated album Thank Me Later. It debuted as #1 on the Billboard 200, boasting over 447,000 records sold within the first week. This has been his first record to do so, as well as the most records sold for any hip-hop artist in one week in 2010 (until Eminem released Recovery the following week, that is).

Thank Me Later has been described as “confessional”, “moody and introspective” as Drake reflects on his newfound celebrity and relationships with women.

The latest hit to top the Billboard charts from this album is “Find Your Love”. Although the song doesn’t use many African American English (AAE) features, the video for it does include Jamaican Creole (“patois”/ “patwa”). This happens at the beginning of the video where Drake is told by an elder to leave Jamaica and not pursue a woman linked to a ‘baad maan’; and again  in a scene where a couple of men discuss the repercussions of Drake’s pursuit of the woman.  While African American English and Jamaican patois are not the same, they are indeed related as their origins have been connected through common roots.

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