Drake, Kanye take rivalry to the top

Monte Vista rappers compare chart-topping releases

drawing of rapper Drake

Late last summer, well-known rappers Drake and Kanye West released albums that both reached the top charts. Two of Monte Vista High School own musical performers — hip-hop artists Jacob Gabriel, also known as The Real Backspace, and ex-SoundCloud rapper Shaan Dhaliwal — express their views on the two albums. 

West’s album “Donda” prompted many controversies due to its late release and lack of musicality, but Gabrie  believes the album was able to truly highlight West’s abilities as an artist. Songs he enjoyed on the album include: “Jonah,” “Lord I Need You,” “No Child Left Behind,” and “Hurricane.”

Although Gabriel, a senior, had very few negative things to say about Donda, he wished that the album was released on the expected date rather than at its random release time. Gabriel said the quality of the album was very well done, but the inconsesity of the release date affected the excitement for the album. 

However, he did have many good things to say about the album.

“The second I finished listening to both albums I just took out my laptop and started writing,” Gabriel said. “It inspires me to make my own music and it gives me ideas, not by copying the songs but by taking influence.” 

Gabriel said he has always been a big fan of Drake, causing him to have high expectations for his album, “Certified Lover Boy,” but they weren’t exactly met.

“Drake, he’s this legend, this god that everyone looks up to; the album was good… but my expectations were higher so I was a little bit disappointed with it,” Gabriel said. 

Still, Gabriel added some of his favorite songs to his playlist like, “Fair Trade” featuring Travis Scott and Papis Home. 

Shaan Dhaliwal, a senior who used to be a SoundCloud rapper, had similar opinions on the new Drake and West albums. 

“There were some good songs in [“Certified Lover Boy”] but it could’ve been better,” Dhaliwal said. “It had some good features like Jay Z and Lil Baby but I dont think features should carry an album.”

Dhaliwal felt that Drake’s album was lacking in terms of effort and he could have gone for some more unique sounds.

For the Donda album, Dhaliwal said he thought West’s album was better than Drake’s because West is always making something different.

“I liked all the songs,” Dhaliwal said. “I thought ‘Jail’ was good because it was rap with a positive message.” 

He added, “West, he’s not like any other artist so you can’t really expect anything from him, [the late release] didn’t really bother me.”

Dhaliwal said he began rapping in eighth grade, but hasn’t released any music for a few years but still helps his friends with their music. 

This article was written originally for The Stampede, the student newspaper of Monte Vista High School in Danville.