Drake, Canadian rapper and author of highly danceable earworms such as "Hotline Bling," is an internet darling. His nerdy moves and sometimes mom-ish attire, his inspiring and recyclable quotes and his open embrace of momentous feels have made him a meme factory — the question is, why? Or, how — how is Drake able to give his audience what it so desperately needs before that need registers in its collective headspace?
Theory: Drake knows the internet. Intimately. Drake's words are so shareable, so cake-decorateable, because Drake is acutely aware of his ever-present web audience and its inner workings. Internet mastermind or internet incarnate? Let's discuss.
Drake understands what makes trolls tick.
This is because Drake understands both human nature and the web.
Drake gets that the armies of internet trolls who blast strangers online are acting out of insecurity. He knows that when someone says, "98% of the time I can't understand what Drake is saying but I assume that even if I did understand it, it still wouldn't make sense," what they're really saying is, "Damn, I wish I were Drake; why can't I be Drake?" He can take the hate that haters throw his way because he's secure in his knowledge that, at the bottom of things, those misguided few probably just want to be him.
Which makes it sort of confusing when Drake, in turn, trolls people, as he very publicly trolled Meek Mill at OVO Fest in August. But maybe, like other celebrities who understand the internet on a native level because they basically are the internet, Drake trolling another artist is really just Drake trolling us.
Drake knows what the internet wants before the internet does.
"I like sweaters," Drake has said. "I have a sweater obsession, I guess." And because he has a sweater obsession, we, by extension, have a sweater obsession, too.
Case in point: That time Drake single-handedly brought back [a much fancier version of] that turtleneck everyone's mom owned in the '90s by wearing it in his "Hotline Bling" video. The sweater spawned a sweatshirt that sold out faster than you can say "Hotline Bling." Drake knows what the internet wants before the internet knows it wants it.
Drake knows the internet needs to talk about its feels.
"I'd rather tell you how I really feel," the Canadian rapper has said. The internet agrees. 2015 was the year of having all the feels, not least because Drake chose to tell us all about his in "Hotline Bling."
In early 2016, we're still feeling the feels hangover. Because the feels, they never really go away, as Drake well knows. We can sport them proudly on our sleeves or on our chests, shout them loudly to the Twittersphere or cry along with Drake as he weathers the emotional storm. It's going to be super cathartic, guys.
"I just have a thing in my brain that when I'm about to do something that's genuine or authentic, I think of it in song form," he has also said. "I'll be like, 'Yo, this is a human emotion that no one talks about.'"
As Drake is probably aware, there's a whole site dedicated to the strange and universal feels we all have but can't name. It's called The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. So let's start talking, Drake.
Drake, like the internet, never forgets.
"I remember everything," Drake once tweeted. "Juss know." Like the internet, Drake never forgets. Every move we make is logged in his memory forever, as if he were some omnipotent god of the web. Every deleted sext, every Twitter rant — Drake is watching, committing the details to memory, possibly so as to better determine what the internet will want next, or possibly because he can't help it. Drake is the internet.