The past few days have been hugely important for the Drake fans among us. They’ve been even more hugely important for the Nintendo game-loving Drake fans among us.
The weekend was a major event for the latter group because, as Kill Screen editor Clayton Purdom noted this morning, it’s the second time this year that the Canadian musician has rapped about his feelings over a beat born from Nintendo:
In case you’re not up to speed on recent events in the life of Aubrey Graham: last week Meek Mill, a semi-famous rapper and current jealous boyfriend of Nicki Minaj, started attacking Drake on Twitter and accusing him of not writing his own lyrics for some petulant reason. Drake remained silent about these accusations for a few days before dropping a handful of new songs on his record label’s YouTube channel. “Charged Up” got the most attention because it’s a diss track responding to Meek Mill. But “Cha Cha” is the song that might sound a tad more familiar to Super Mario fans. It samples the stage select music used in Super Mario World’s secret Star Road levels:
Technically this doesn’t count as a wholly original sample, since “Cha Cha” is just a remix of D.R.A.M.’s original song of the same name. But at the same time, Drake deserves some recognition for his video game deep cuts. Earlier this year on the mixtape If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, he sampled David Wise’s song “Haunted Chase” from the soundtrack to the 1995 game Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy Kong’s quest:
...for his song 6 God:
Is it just a coincidence that the biggest rapper in the game right now would use two different Nintendo samples in two different releases in one year? Maybe, probably, almost definitely. But that doesn’t change the fact that the 6 God rhyming over frenetic music from a Donky Kong chase scene is awesome because it works. Drake’s over-confident drawl clashes with the tinny staccato rhythms of old-school Nintendo beats in a way that’s aurally and thematically dissonant but soothingly pleasing to hear at the same time, much like the rapper himself.
The Mario Kart-playing Drake believer in me likes to think that Drizzy’s next album is taking so long because he’s still having trouble finding a final gold star or two.