Drake releases new single “Nice For What”

Drakes third new single of the year, Nice For What was released April 6, 2018.

Drake’s third new single of the year, “Nice For What” was released April 6, 2018.

Drake has had a phenomenal week. In addition to his 2013 album Nothing Was the Same receiving a quadruple-platinum RIAA certification, his early-2018 single “God’s Plan” has topped the Billboard Hot 100 for the 11th consecutive week, making it his longest-running Number One hit. To celebrate, Drake released his third single this year, accompanied by a music video, titled “Nice For What” on April 6.

Similar to many other Drake songs like “Make Me Proud” and “Best I Ever Had,” “Nice For What” is celebratory of women and particularly of female confidence. The music video especially embodies these themes, starring over a dozen famous women such as Issa Rae, Rashida Jones and Tracee Ellis Ross.

“I felt that the video was very empowering, seeing all these strong female role models looking like literal goddesses,” senior Nathalie Wane said. “I love how Drake really went in a different direction than most mainstream hip hop artists. He promotes a message of appreciation for hard working women rather than bashing on them by calling them hoes or just seeing them as objects.”

The track’s production is heavily influenced by bounce music, an underground subgenre that originated in New Orleans. Drake even shouts out Louisiana during the intro. Fittingly, the song features vocals from prominent bounce artist Big Freedia. This is not only a win for fans of the New Orleans music scene, it’s a win for the LGBTQ community. While Big Freedia does not identify as trans, she identifies as gay and prefers “she/her” pronouns. Representation like this is not often found on the top of the Billboard charts.

“I think it’s sick to see such a popular artist like Drake give a big shout out to the pioneering underground scene of New Orleans’ signature bounce sound,” junior Ethan Andrade said. “As a Louisiana born music producer, it’s super uplifting to see this type of stuff.”

The new single, which samples Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor” from her 1998 album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, features production from Canadian producer Murda Beatz. Cardi B, whose new album Invasion of Privacy was released the same day as “Nice For What,” released a single titled “Be Careful” which samples the very same song. In a very similar fashion to Juicy J’s 1999 record “Slob on My Knob” and its influence on current hits “Plain Jane” by A$AP Ferg and “No Limit” by G-Eazy, “Ex-Factor” has gained a second wind two decades after its release, reincarnated in the form of samples on multiple currently charting hits.

“He took something that’s a classic and made it even more modern,” junior Afatu Wako said. “I like this song better than ‘God’s Plan.’ I like the video better, too. The thumbnail is what really caught my attention.”