What’s With Drakes Jamaican Accent?

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“More tune for yuh head top so watch how yuh speak on my name yuh know?”

I was in between minds about writing an actual review for this album because, the way I write reviews, it would’ve been way too long. Also, I’m shamelessly biased. So I decided to take a different approach whilst still commenting on Drake.

What’s with home boy’s accent? Why Drake speaking patois? It’s actually a really easy question to answer: West Indian culture is STRONG.

I’m 90% sure everyone reading this has a relative overseas. That relative is arguably more Caribbean than you. I’m not speaking about the Bajans that travel for 4 days to Miami and come back inexplicably speaking with a British accent. I mean the West Indians that went to New York in 1989 for a vacation and just refuse to come back. Just over there spreading seed and most importantly CULTURE. These countries have extremely large, vibrant and boisterous West Indian communities. And who’s the most boisterous of us all? “Dem Reggae boys.” Jamaicans come ready built with their own branch of English, so far gone from the source, it has its own name; Jamaican patois.

[Spot the Jamaican]

Drake’s hometown of Toronto is a potluck of different cultures with many different communities, which of course includes West Indian communities. It’s safe to assume he grew up experiencing this culture. Buying Anchor cheese from a West Indian store, being told there’s no more plantain when trying to order from a Jamaican food woman or even sighing when the West Indies dropped a ball in a cricket match. Okay, maybe none of that actually happened. But a lot of Jamaican culture from Toronto’s West Indian communities makes its way into the mainstream or popular culture. After experiencing this, nothing was the same for Drake.

Some speculate that this is just a recent move for Drake to capitalize or coat ride Caribbean music. However, he’s far from the first or only artist to do so. Even The Notorious BIG can be found spitting Caribbean dialect, notably in his track “Warning” with the lyric:

“Cocked it, extra clips in my pocket,

So I can reload and explode on yuh r***hole”

Canadian Newcomer Tory Lanez also embraces the West Indian culture, with many of his most popular hits sampling retro dancehall beats and melodies.

Europe is also famous for Caribbean influences in its music. Not even in it’s Hip Hop spectrum. A notable example is the Dutch DJ team “The Partysquad.” Many of this team’s songs feature dancehall reminiscent lyrics over some very heavy trap and hardstyle beats.

When all is said and done, it’s very easy to trace Drake’s Jamaican accent to his roots in Toronto growing up with all of these different cultures. As for his other accents? Nah. He teef dem. He ain got no British fam. Drake cut the crap!!!

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About The Author

Kofi Jones aka “The Doctor”. Professional DJ from Slash Soundz Entertainment. Finalist in the 2015 and 2016 Stoli Most Original DJ Competition and winner of the 2011 UWI Music Society DJ Competition. Professional limer. Far beyond medicine.