Drake’s new album, For All The Dogs, has arrived at last — and with it comes a whole new batch of caption-ready quotes from one of rap’s preeminent quote writers. However, in the past few years, his propensity for dropping groan-worthy clunkers in addition to relatable gems has grown as well — call it a side-effect of being a proud dad, that Drake’s resistance to dropping dad jokes has eroded away completely.
Most rap punchlines have always been a hairsbreadth away from being the worst kind of stand-up comedian-style puns, with the only difference being how willing they are to “commit to the bit” with their delivery, cadence, intonation, and sheer audacity. Mostly, though, it’s a matter of taste; some listeners love it rappers go for a twisted homonym, while others will wish they had a stack of tomatoes handy for convenient tossing.
Drake’s willingness to make himself the butt of the joke comes with similar risks and rewards — and because he’s Drake, easy target extraordinaire, it often backfires as much as it benefits him. And, the increased casual homophobia on this album aside (we need to talk about this, Drake), For All The Dogs is no exception. With the addition of his son Adonis on one of the tracks, the “dad joke” quality of his worst lines is highlighted even more. Here are some of the best — and worst — examples from the album.
5. The song: “Daylight”
The line: “She broke up with him and deleted a post / She said she was vegan, she eatin’ a goat”
I’ll admit it’s not GREAT (we’ve heard so many similar lines from so many other rappers at this point). But it’s still pretty funny, despite the lack of originality. Also, for what it’s worth, Drake’s probably the first rapper we’ve heard say something similar that actually has a reasonable claim on the “greatest of all time” title.
4. The song: “Virginia Beach”
The line: “We ain’t even gotta mention that, any n**** try and trouble you / He gon’ find out that it’s on sight like W-W-W”
I like the homophone of “on sight”/”on site,” along with the reminder that once upon a time, we really used to say the “Ws” in web addresses. It’s also nice to see Drake sticking up for a woman instead of nitpicking her for a change.
3. The song: “Slime You Out” Feat. SZA
The line: “This ain’t the littest I could get on you b*tches / Send wires on wires on wires like Idris”
The Wire is one of the top five greatest shows in the history of television. Any and all references to it are automatically bulletproof and unquestionable. I don’t make the rules. Plus, having recently attempted to send a wire transfer recently, I’m in awe of the man’s patience to put up with all the hoops most financial institutions make you jump through just to send one, let alone “wires on wires on wires.”
2. The song: “Amen”
The line: “You my baby, so I gotta put you in the crib / Same neighborhood where Ashton Kutcher live / I’m just doin’ what that punk should have did”
First of all, the set up on this shows more forethought than a lot of the runner-up one-liners that showed impressive wordplay but less than creative construction. But also, I’m just a fan of reminding more people that Punk’d was a thing that happened — and it was glorious. Celebrities take themselves too seriously these days; bring back television that takes the piss out of them every once in a while!
The line: “N****s talkin’ ’bout when this gon’ be repeated / What the f*ck bro? I’m one away from Michael / N****, beat it, n****, beat it”
Look, if you’re going to drive a pop culture reference this far into the dirt, there better at least be a monumental boast behind it. Anticipating surpassing the King of Pop for the most Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hits in the chart’s 100-year history is one helluva flex.
5. The song: “7969 Santa”
The line: “Got you out here movin’ waste like a belt”
Booooo. This is one of the worst not because it’s stretched past its breaking point or awkwardly constructed. It’s just lazy. Drake has done both better and worse than this, and listeners would rather he tried for one or the other than just settling for this middle-of-the-road stinker.
4. The song: “Slime You Out” Feat. SZA
The line: “You got my mind in a terrible place / Whipped and chained you like American slaves”
Come on, man. This one not only makes the same mistake as the one above, it throws in being in absolutely terrible taste. Then, to make matters worse, Drake’s falsetto is sure to set “all the dogs” in your neighborhood howling. It’s almost as bad as his Blackface incident a few years ago, which at least had the benefit of being satirical (poorly executed satire but satire nonetheless).
3. The song: “Members Only”
The line: “Feel like I’m bi ’cause you’re one of the guys, girl”
WOOF. Drake heard the commotion about his “Girls Want Girls” hook from Certified Lover Boy and decided to double down. This one has the added drawback of being crooned in that unique way that Drake draws out his most inane come-ons, making it extra torturous to sit through.
2. The song: “8AM In Charlotte”
The line: “Savage got a green card straight out of the consulate / Where I go, you go, brother, we Yugoslavian”
Give this one credit for being memorable, but in terms of over-the-top puns, this one has more reach than Victor Wembanyama. The only reason it’s not the absolute worst one on the album is because the worst one immediately follows it.
1. The song: “8AM In Charlotte”
The line: “Formal is the dress code, dawg, so many checks owed / I feel Czechoslovakian”
The fact that Drake ends this line by interjecting “what the f*ck” is utterly, head-spinningly appropriate. Drake… what the f*ck, man? He sounds impressed and appalled at the same time, almost like he’s impressed by how appalling the line was when he said it. Meanwhile, listeners are appalled and impressed that he left it in.