Nice for What? A Summer ’18 Hit…A Way of Life

At this point, I’m almost positive that depending on who’s reading this, the name Drake is stirring up a series of feelings, which in and of itself is ironic since the Canadian rapper has become synonymous with all things having to do with emotions. All, or many of us, have been watching (or cringing) in anticipation as the man we once knew as “Jimmy” goes pound for pound with VA rapper, Pusha T. The word “problematic” is putting things lightly in terms of what has come to the surface since this generations most controversial rap battle began, but I’d like to take a step back for a moment and remember a time when Drake was still everyone’s lyrical MVP- a month ago.

Just when we thought we’d be left with an anthem-free summer, artists like Cardi B, Nicki Minaj, and the Migos blessed the radio with hits that the streets have been playing on repeat, hate it or love it. The stand out track, however, is undeniably “Nice for What”.  The track hit the airwaves only weeks ago with a complimentary video featuring some of today’s most notable black queens, and since then has been the source of Instagram captions and summer slogans alike.

Who better to deliver a message about bouncing back from a run in with the f**k boys of the world than the king of “I’ve just got a lot of feelings” himself, Aubrey “Drake” Graham. And before I delve deeper into why this song is such a staple, I should mention that the lyrics aren’t just for the college girls. Issa Rae said it best when she said the Toronto born rapper truly understands the demographic, but everyone has engaged in a relationship with someone they should have never been with in the first place. Yes, f**k  girls are a thing too!

“I know you’ve been hurt by someone else. I can tell by the way you carry yourself.” ~ Drake (Take Care) Click To Tweet

Now, one could easily write “Nice for What” off as just another summer jam with a great beat and solid marketing, but to do so would be to completely ignore the value of this work. And to be honest, the one shooting this track down is probably the type of person Drake is blatantly advising the protagonist of his summer hit to stay away from. If you just rolled your eyes at that last sentence, then yeah- you’re exactly who this article is about.

From my point of view, what makes this song such a standout track is the fact that anyone can relate to the lyrics. He’s either talking about you or someone you were involved with. Honestly, you may be involved with that person right now, and if so I encourage you to keep reading. Male or female, you may have found yourself caught up in what our generation has so eloquently named a “situationship”; a romance with a “gray area” so immense you could go deep-sea diving in it and still never reach the bottom.

Hate it or love it, we have all at one point or another been either the giver or receiver of piss poor treatment in a relationship, whether it was within the confines of a solidified relationship, or while both of you were floating in relationship purgatory, also known as the “talking stage”. Text messages have been left on “read”, dates have been canceled at the last minute, and whether we choose to admit or not hearts have been broken. And yet many of us walk away from these difficult relationships under the impression that if we were just a bit “more”, whatever that more means to us personally, then our relationship may have been able to stand the test of time.

If we were just a bit more funny, more good-looking, more sexually open, then that f**k boy or f**k girl in our lives would still be around. For the good of your self-esteem and your hold on reality, I implore you to cut that s**t out because it’s not true. Issa trap!

“Are we actin’ like a couple? I’m just tryna get it straight, cause I’m over here convinced that it’s too early for mistakes. ~ Drake (July) Click To Tweet

We at times, especially early in the dating game, become so enthralled with the idea that someone will change for us that we begin to overlook bad behavior and charge it to the game. We write off the physical and emotional turmoil that these relationships put us through as par for the course. However, when playing the dangerous game of “they can change”, the only person who ever really changes is us, and it’s never for the better.

There’s a painful sense of euphoria that comes from staying in problematic relationships, whether we choose to do so for a few months or for a few years. And even if you’ve never experienced the beautiful nightmare that is dating a f**k boy or f**k girl for yourself, I can almost guarantee you that you know someone who has.

We’ve all been witness to the dangers of falling for someone who never makes the personal decision to fall along with us. They spend most days making excuses for their behavior; an overload of classwork or homework, extended team practices, a stream of prior commitments with friends or family, etc. They’re willing to recognize every priority in the world, but not you.

One or two days out of the month, however, the problematic partner decides to take a day off from their arduous job of doing the bare minimum, and suddenly there’s a moment of reprieve! The attention you’ve so desperately fought for has been delivered, and by the person you want it from the most! Just like that, the battle has been won- so you think! Soon after, the neglect returns, and you find yourself confused, lonely, and sinking even deeper into the quicksand that is your imaginary relationship.

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The question then becomes, why do we allow ourselves to put up with people who treat us like second class citizens? I’ve given it some thought and the answer, at least part of it, may be quite simple. It’s the thrill of the chase! And before you write it off as a groundless opinion, let’s unpack it! The idea of “the chase” has always been framed as the process of going after someone or something you want solely for the satisfaction of saying that you’ve attained it. It’s usually always associated with the pursuer, which we usually always assume is the f**k boy or f**k girl.

This charming young man or woman comes after you with vigor so great you’d think you were a free pair of Yeezy’s and a blank refund check you’re not obligated to pay back after school. Now, you may or may not be interested in the beginning, but sooner or later they succeed in getting your attention. Before you know it, they’ve sold you a dream and you’re out here making weekly payments with interest all the while what you’re paying for doesn’t even exist.

Slowly but surely you start to notice that the person you’ve invested your time, in some cases your body, and in other instances your hard-earned money, has become unrecognizable. Naturally, you begin to miss the person you fell for and somewhere along the way the roles of the pursuer and the pursued transfer. You find yourself hitting them up with the “Good Morning” texts rather than the other way around, you’re looking for reasons to see them despite the advice of your friends who are honestly just trying to put you up on game, and you’re now consciously and subconsciously trying to convince the one who fought so hard for your attention that you’re still worth their time.

Ain’t that some s**t? Welcome to the ultimate role reversal! The mouse has now officially become the cat.

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For those of you who have lived through the trauma that these relationships often create, first, shout out to you! You made it! It isn’t always easy walking away from people who aren’t feeding you physically, mentally, and emotionally when your heart is involved. In the end, however, you learn to take off your rose-colored glasses and look at the world and the people in it with a more objective eye. You start to realize that compliments and text messages aren’t enough, furthermore, you start having demands!

You hold your head up a bit higher and you refuse to settle for someone solely based on their looks and their potential. You stop waiting for your phone to vibrate and realize that you’re at a point in your life, no matter what age you are, where you create your own reality and it doesn’t include trash. So grab your boys or your crew of girls and take that trip to Barbados you’ve been thinking about, cop those Afro Punk tickets, stunt all Summer ’18! And remember whenever you feel yourself being sold a dream from someone who’s perpetually a day late and a dollar short, you don’t have to mince words when you tell them to go catch a brick. Be nice for what?

 

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