I read somewhere that Drake had a song releasing on Friday night. We all know Friday as Cardi B Invasion of Privacy day, so it almost seemed rude for Drake to drop a song, but it’s Drake. After he just gave away almost a milli in the video for “God’s Plan,” I’m willing to give Drake some grace (it still brings a thug tear to my eye when he hands over that stack of money to the young boy and his mother, who cry; they must have been going through something).
Anyway, Saturday morning I woke up to some texts from the homies saying that Drake was back out here cakin’. The song and video for “Nice for What” dropped, and the video has so many awesome women in it being their awesome selves—from Issa Rae to Yara Shahidi to Tracee Ellis Ross to Jourdan Dunn to Olivia Wilde to Misty Copeland to Rashida Jones to Tiffany Haddish to Letitia Wright to Syd to Michelle Rodriguez to Emma Roberts to Zoe Saldana to Bria Vinaite to Elizabeth and Victoria Lejonhjärta. I think that’s everybody.
It’s a video that celebrates all of these women. Over a Louisiana bounce-cheat-beat sample of Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor,” Drake made a jam for women (and clearly me) to repeat in clubs, at home, in the car, or whenever the need for motivation or inspiration hits that celebrates that you don’t really need anybody out here. You have yourself to celebrate!
Hell, I’ve personally already said, “You gotta be nice for what to these niggas” at least 100 times since I first heard the song, because, I mean, it’s true. For instance, I went to the Vans store this weekend to cop some of the A Tribe Called Quest x Vans collabo shoes and they were selling like hotcakes. I got the last size 10s of the “Authentic” with the track list, and there was another cat eyeing them.
I thought to myself, “I already copped the ‘Old Skool’ with The Low End Theory, Midnight Marauders and Beats, Rhymes and Life silhouette lady colors—I could let him get them joints that I really want.” Then I thought to myself, “You gotta be ... nice FOR WHAT? to these niggas” and made it rain in the Vans store as I walked out with my new size 10s. Butta.
The song is that infectious. And it is also why Drake continues to win. Even if you are a hip-hop purist and think Drake represents the softest cotton ball end of the rapper spectrum, the truth is, it doesn’t matter. For one, Drake can actually rap—this is indisputable. He makes hits. He has run the entire gamut of records and accomplishments that every rapper wishes to have.
But even more important and true to Drake, he came out way back yonder on the mainstream side as a rapper the ladies could appreciate, and “Nice for What” continues in that tradition of making music that is dope (the record is ABSOLUTELY dope) that women can ride out to on a Saturday night and feel like it’s specifically for them. It will bang in the club and everybody will have something to yell at their friends after that fourth lemon-drop shot or second glass of the finest house pinot grigio the club has to offer.
And even better for him, not one bit of it feels forced. Drake made a song—and then a video—that seems exactly like some shit Drake would make. Drake is the rapper who seems mad goofy and safe, but that’s his calling card. He can get out there and cake up, and even if it seems a smidge corny, it also seems like smart money, honest money and really who Drake is.
He’s the rapper you can bring home to the parents and they’re like, “I like that boy—he seems genuine, like he has good intentions,” even if he can still manage to fit perfectly on (and rip) a song like “Pop That” alongside Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and French Montana, who are misogyny savant gang gang.
Meanwhile, I watched “Nice for What” with an awwwww, that’s nice, and wow, look at Issa stuntin’ on everybody. Also, can we talk about how Issa Rae has risen in the “Wait, is she bae?” ranks? I think she has. As Drake says in the beginning of the song, “It’s something for y’all to cut up to.”
Cut up, ladies. Cut up. You gotta be nice? For what?
You showin’ off. It’s all right.