As you might’ve heard, Drake recently published a poetry book called Titles Ruin Everything with Kenza Samir. The announcement also included a statement about an album to go along with this new poetry collection, whose release date is unknown. Since its launch, the collection has garnered a lot of attention, specifically from other established poets weighing in their thoughts. So far, the response isn’t exactly positive. One such author, Hanif Abdurraqib, called it “…just a book of puns.”
The songwriter-turned-poet isn’t a new transition. Many artists have done it before, from John Lennon to Leonard Cohen, rising to even higher success by doing so. It comes as a surprise that Drake’s poetry is receiving more negative feedback; so many others have done it before him, so why can’t he? Let’s dive into what poets are saying about Drake’s new poetic work.
Is Drake Just Being Silly?
From what I’ve gathered, many of the professional poets that have spoken about Drake’s poetry have laughed about it. It’s hard to take them seriously when there isn’t much content to judge, most of the poems published being only a couple of lines long. Poet Kian Aris states the poems “operate in an excess of white space, a reduced set of images and limited punctuation.” This makes it difficult to take anything of value from Drake’s poems. Abdurraqib further says that the work “masquerades as poetry” rather than qualifies to fit the genre, which makes sense considering how short the poems are.
Drake has the most success with music made for fun: going out, parties, dancing, you name it. It makes sense why it’s now hard to grasp the idea of Drake publishing emotional, vulnerable poetry. His lyrics are made better with their coinciding production. Therefore, the white canvas look of Titles Ruin Everything makes it harder for readers to get his poetry. People want to take it the same way they take his music, yet are unsure if that’s what Drake intended.
He hasn’t responded much to these comments. The only real acknowledgment he made was on his Instagram story, where he posted a meme conveying his thoughts instead of full sentences. There are inquiries about whether the accompanying album will help make sense of these poems, yet it’s unclear as to when we’ll be able to hear it.
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