Over a year ago, Drake went full grime. The part-time rapper, full-time method actor broke out a British accent, co-opted London slang, and mimicked the hand movements of his UK idols during a freestyle on Link Up TV. It was a month removed from Pusha T’s “The Story of Adidon,” showing the first crack in Graham’s previously impenetrable, success fortified armor, and the momentary loser of the beef had something to prove.
To be clear, Drake proved nothing, but the swing remains entertaining. The nearly 3-minute freestyle felt like a passable shot at Pusha T and a more brutal one at Kanye. For reference here is a smattering of the most incendiary lines:
“I know so much shit that I cannot expose”
“You’re droppin’ some shit but that shit was a bust / They got no direction, they’re followin’ us”
“They wanna link when they got no chunes / They too worried ’bout sellin’ out shoes”
It isn’t, technically, a bad freestyle, but there is something about Drake throwing around words like “paigon,” turning the word “tunes” into “chunes,” and revealing that he isn’t a fan of the game tic-tac-toe that is unfailingly humourous. That he released it again, in full quality, means the joke will likely never get old. The reason for the CDQ facelift of the “Behind The Barz” freestyle is the premiere of Top Boy Season 3, and its accompanying soundtrack. Initially canceled after two seasons, Top Boy was a 2011 British television show centered on London drug dealers. Drake loved it so much he spent the intervening years trying to resurrect the show before it was ultimately taken to Netflix.
“Well, I was watching it on YouTube,” Drake said during an interview with Hey U Guys. “I really became attached to the characters. The story really drew me in. I think there’s so many parallels between Toronto and London, obviously we don’t have the same accent but we speak the same. It reminded me of people that I grew up with or guys that I know and situations that I’ve witnessed. So I really just felt super connected right away. Then it disappeared on me.”