It's unclear how exactly Drake did it. On "Do not Matter To Me", a late song on Rapper's last album Scorpion he recruits Michael Jackson for a duet. The late King of Pop is featured as a feature, and his voice takes over the chorus's duties over a brooding beat that feels tailor-made for a Drake song called "Do not Matter To Me" (19659002), Jackson's estate Commenting on how his vocals made it to Scorpion but trying his voice is not completely unknown. Large Professor filmed "Human Nature" for Nas & # 39; Classic Illmatic with the slogan "It's not hard to say" around and set the pace as a flag in the ground. Since then, Sampling Jackson has been designed to show that you are at the top of your game, a flex of release rate.
Jackson just tasting was not enough for Drake. Instead, he discovered an unpublished song (or an unfinished chorus as well), secured the permission of the Jackson Ensemble, and built a song around it. "Do not Matter To Me" opens like most Drake songs, with dark, atmospheric synths and Drake singing sweetly to an ex-lover. Then Jackson comes in; even with digital trembling added to his vocals, he is unmistakable. While billing "Michael Jackson" would feel like an unnecessary gimmick in almost every scenario, it's almost worth it.
This retrospective style of collaborating with Jackson has happened before, when Justin Timberlake – another alleged heir to the King of Pop mantle – joined him on "Love Never Felt So Good" a single of Jackson's posthumous album Xscape . In this case, Timberlake was invited and inserted into a Jackson album, not the other way around. Drake created the song in a similar way, but "Do not Matter To Me" is all his.
Just one track later, Drake repeats the feat, this time placing Static Major – the late, influential songwriter of Ginuwine's "Pony" and Lil Wayne's "Lollipop" – next to the husband of client Ty Dolla Sign on "After Dark". This means that of the four listed features on Scorpion (there are more subtle and unlisted ones) half is posthumous. It's an eye-catching movement that matches Drake's entire career.
This is not the first time Drake has unearthed material from Static Major: The singer, a tragically talented figure in modern R & B, also appeared in the form of a sample on "Look What You're Done" , Drake & # 39; s Touching Ode to His Family from 2011 Take Care . The sample is not from a recorded song, but a YouTube clip of Static rehearsing in an echo-y space, accompanied only by a piano that producer Chase N. Cashe discovered and chopped off before finalizing it ,
Five years later, on Views Drake dug up an unpublished Pimp C verse for the track "Faithful". The UGK rapper died in 2007, but left music. One of his unpublished verses found his way to Drake, whose passion for everything Houston gives him adds credibility; He dropped it into the song alongside OVO signes dvsn.
Drake strives to find samples that no one else has, weaving them into songs to make them feel like features – collaborations even.
Drake's most persistent, deepest musical relationship outside of his closest associates is his relationship with Aaliyah. Drake's Aaliyah has a tattoo of Aaliyah, interpolated Aaliyah on Scorpion and once started to produce an unfortunate album of Aaliyah's unpublished material.
To say all this: Drake really likes to work with artists who are no longer here. Rapper constantly provide samples of dead artists. Drake does it differently. He strives to find samples that no one else has, weaving them into songs that make them appear like features – collaborations – and not just a clip to create a beat
A cynical reading is what he does shows of his influence (and his bank account); These artists are hard to reach and Drake loves to move. Kanye West has been struggling to be the next Michael Jackson for about a decade, but it's harder to get his estate on his side. Of course that's not all that's going on here. The artists Drake selects seem to be the artist he really believes would work with him if he had been born at another time.
Making an artist like Jackson or Aaliyah, or Static Major, or Pimp C into a song works as a simple prestige move. There is an immediate sense of sadness to the action – a quality that sets Drake apart in his music – but it also ties Drake to a broader historical legacy (in rap, giving someone a quality is as strong a collective as they are coming). By including these voices in his own catalog, he influences how he is talked about when he is not in conversation.
In the curious case of "Do not Matter To Me", the trend lags further than ever. From listening to the song does not sound as if Drake find an unpublished song by Michael Jackson and let it work for his purposes. It sounds like Drake has written a catch for Michael Jackson to sing. The effect is a weird one, closer to Drake, who is the biggest pop star who ever lived, not the other way around. Everything feels scary when you play with death.