Why Is Drake Moving Like A London Roadman?

Drizzy's been watching the British drama "Top Boy" but this affinity for UK culture runs deeper.

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Complex Original

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How did Drake celebrate the news that he now has more Hot 100 singles than The Beatles? 

Well, he probably put the kettle on and settled down with the gritty TV drama, Top Boy. Late last night, Drizzy took to Instagram and posted a shot of Ashley Walters' character from the Hackney-set series, with a caption that read "Real bod man #Dushane." Arguably the biggest rapper in the world right now shouting out a fairly low-budget TV series starring Asher D and Kano? Cut to everyone in the UK losing their shit.

Drake's past use of slang like "gyal," "ting," and "wasteman" have caused a similar stir, leading many to believe that—deep down—the Jewish former-actor just wants to be a South London bad boy. However, what hasn't been addressed is that this language is a product of the sizable West Indian diaspora that's settled in London and Toronto.

The dissolution of the British Empire in the Caribbean brought a wave of Caribbean immigrants to both Toronto and parts of London in the 1960s. The influence of these immigrants and their descendants can be seen and heard in street and youth culture in both places, from Toronto's forefront grime MC Tre Mission (also initially derided for "begging" UK slang/style) to the sounds of Asher D and his So Solid Crew.

Drake's apparent affinity with the UK can be traced as far back as 2011, when he randomly tweeted a shout-out to rapper Sneakbo, and later revealed Sneakbo's influence on Take Care. On "Cameras," many might not have noticed that the hook—"How you mean, how you mean, thought you knew about the team"—is a loose reference to the Brixton rapper. While Drake's ability to spot and incorporate influences from various American cities (Atlanta and Houston, in particular) is well known and appreciated, but his forays into the UK are, for some reason, always met with good old British cynicism.

Drake said he found out about Brixton rapper, Sneakbo, after watching London gang documentaries on YouTube.


Earlier in the year, Ashley Walters confirmed Top Boy would not be returning for a third season, despite great viewing figures, more great reviews and being left on a cliff-hanger. Who's to say this Drake-inspired spike in interest won't be enough for the suits at Channel 4 to put a third season into production? Maybe they need a bit of funding? Well, we can think of a very successful fan who might be able to cut a cheque.

This story originally appeared on Complex UK.

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