Yesterday night, dancehall legend Mr. Vegas put out a seven-minute video calling out Drake for being “fake” for appropriating the dancehall culture, and not giving the artists he’s influenced by the proper credit.
“He uses 40-50% dancehall tracks on his album because he realizes this is the hot thing right now,” he said in the video. “Because when you check the Billboard chart right now, it’s like eight or nine dancehall-influenced songs on the charts right now.”
Ebro In The Morning had to get him on the phone to clarify his statements, and get to the root of the issues.
“It’s not me taking shots at Drake,” Mr. Vegas explained. “It’s a basic understanding for a culture that I’m a part of and I’ve been a part of since I came into dancehall music. This is not hating or anything like that, but I’m stating the obvious.”
On calling Drake fake:
“Someone would have expected at least you’d have treated the dancehall community or the artists on your work – you can show on your work how much you respect them and hear about the community, not throwing people on your record on the end of your record when the record is almost done, turning Beenie Man into an intro artist, like a hype man basically. You’re not even on the proper listing of the other people. Like on the “One Dance” record where other artists are sampled, it says featuring such-and-such, but on the record that the Jamaicans are sampled, no one can even see their names. So when I look at it, I’m like yo – if you were really into our culture and into the artists that you say you have respect for, at least you would have put some respek on their name on the album!”
He further elaborated on why it’s so important:
“Drake has millions of fans around the world. So then you imagine someone sees ‘Drake featuring Rihanna and Popcaan’? Now his fans are going to go look and see who is Popcaan! You see what I’m saying? […] You would have expected this person who always says they love dancehall and they love the culture would be supporting the acts from that culture and giving them a platform where their music could go further. […] If you’re gonna say you’re down with this culture and you’re so down with this culture, at least one would expect if you’re gonna do a record, you’re gonna put the artist on the record properly.”
On helping push dancehall:
“This is not about just Beenie Man or Popcaan, this is about bringing a culture forward that everyone is saying, ‘This culture is dead!’ Dancehall is dead. It’s not being played at radio. […] We’d love to see dancehall music going further than just New York, that is what my point is about. When a Drake or a Rihanna or anyone who has a big machine behind them do a dancehall record, Justin Bieber, anyone can do a dancehall record and it goes to the top. When a dancehall record is from Jamaica and we take it to other markets outside of New York and maybe Hartford and very rarely Miami, we have a problem to get it on. So I’m saying, if you are gonna come to this culture and you publicize your love for the artists and you big up Popcaan and all these things, then you’re gonna put them on. At least you would have put them on and at least put them on properly and give them an opportunity to create a name for themselves outside of their base market, that’s all I’m saying. What is so wrong with giving someone proper credit?”
Check out the full interview below. Do you agree with what he’s saying?