29 October 2023

"IDGAF" by Drake ft. Yeat (2023)

Drake's most-recent album, For All the Dogs (2023), reached number 1 on the Billboard 200, UK Album Chart and quite a few other national music rankings around the world.  But by the looks of things, those achievements were more due to Drizzy's star power than people actually feeling the project.  For instance, as highlighted by MediaTakeOutthe LP only scored 52 out of a possible 100 on Metacritic, thus marking Drake's lowest-ranking album on that respected platform.  And as can be further gleaned from its Wikipedia page, professional critics across the board weren't really feeling For All the Dogs.

The cover art to For All the Dogs,
Drake's album that was released on 6 October 2023.

By the looks of things, that sentiment has also echoed with the audience itself since, despite the undertaking being a chart topper, it hasn't sold particularly well.  In other words, For All the Dogs was released nearly a month ago but, as of this writing, has yet to earn any certifications.  For an average artist that wouldn't really be a big deal, since it tends to take some time for an album to sell enough copies to be certified.  But for a permanent musical A-lister like Drizzy it may be counted as a failure, relatively speaking.

That said, virtually every track featured on For All the Dogs has charted individually, which is an amazing feat considering that only three of them have thus far been issued as singles.  As a matter of example, IDGAF reached number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 (debuting that high on the list) and number 5 on the UK Singles Chart, marking the second-best performing song from the project and even garnering its own Wikipedia page, even though it wasn't released on its own.


I can't remember, in all of the songs I've researched over the last few years, if I've ever come across Yeat before.  He's a rapper who got his start on social media, and musicians being able to blow up via the internet, even prior to signing a record deal, is one of the reasons why the music industry is so saturated these days.  But you have to give credit where credit is due, because it's easier to score that one internet hit as opposed to achieving lasting musical success.  And Yeat, who traces his come-up back to TikTok (and more specifically his 2021 track Gët Busy, a song/video that was obviously influenced by Drake's style) has since dropped a couple of albums, 2022's 2 Alive and 2023's Afterlyfe, which have scored within the top 10 of the Billboard 200.  Also to note according to Genius, IDGAF apparently originated as a Yeat solo track back in 2021, with Drizzy, being a fan of the rapper, deciding to jump on it after it had already circulated underground for a couple of years.

Yeat is of Mexican and European descent and by the looks of things didn't grow up in the 'hood or at least not entirely.  For instance, the secondary school he attended was recently ranked one of "America's Best High Schools", while most notable (American) rappers came from educational backgrounds whereas the institutions they attended were crime infested.  Of course hip-hop artists of today, on a global scale, come from all sorts of diverse histories.  But if Yeat does proceed to truly blow up then, given the nature of the North American rap scene, as with Drake he can probably expect to be criticized for not truly coming from the streets or whatever.  And as for his unorthodox stage name, it is reportedly a combination of the words "heat" and "yeet", the latter of which, according to Cambridge, means "to throw something with a lot of force".


"IDGAF", as you probably already know, is an acronym for "I don't give a f*ck".  Such a disposition, i.e. doing what one feels s/he needs to do regardless of the consequences, is highly idealized in the world of hip-hop - a standard which, it can be said, some artists have even died by.  And we see in the chorus that Yeat is letting it be known that he 'says and does whatever he wants', such as for "popping (Percocet pills) for fun".

Percocet or percs, as it's called colloquially, is a painkiller that's actually the combination of two other drugs, oxycodone and paracetamol, which are also used to relieve pain.  The latter is an over-the-counter medication that I sometimes take myself (for headaches), and I never heard of anyone being addicted to it.  However oxycodone, which requires a prescription, is "highly addictive", and some people do get hooked on Percocet.

Yeat doesn't come off as an addict but more like someone who likes the feeling of popping percs and isn't concerned with the consequences, such as potentially getting hooked and overdosing.  But as also implied in the intro and leading into the chorus, the real source of the rapper's confidence isn't his lifestyle per se but rather his multi-million dollar cashflow.

As for the individual verses, there really isn't anything unusual going on here.  Drizzy for the most part focuses on presenting himself as being street-tough, while Yeat puts more of a lyrical premium on his come-up.  There are a couple of interesting musings here and there, such as the latter implying that he's made a deal with the devil.  But again, in today's rap scene such assertions aren't really anything unusual, and the main theme of the song seems to be the vocalists are letting lessers in the game know not to f*ck with them, since the opps/rivals can't measure up.


Before turning into a full-fledged trap rap, IDGAF starts off with a gentle sample of a 1977 track titled The Tunnel by Azimuth, a jazz trio from the UK that was around during the late 20th century.  My personal opinion is that Drake's verse is okay, illustrating that even at the ripe age of 37, he can still flow to these types of fast-paced instrumentals.  But Yeat's verse is so lowkey that it's hard to differentiate between where it begins and the chorus ends.  Also, it's very difficult to make out what he's saying.  But that is obviously the kind of "mumble" sound that's trending amongst rap fans of today, considering how well this song has performed as compared to others on the album.


The first time I ever heard Drake was on 2009's Miss Me, one of the greatest rap duets of all time.  So comparing that to some of his more-recent songs, such as 8AM in Charlotte and IDGAF, I can see how, compared to Drizzy's earlier works, some fans are no longer pleased.  But there is one last track I intend to have a look at from For All the Dogs, which is First Person Shooter, in hopes that teaming up with a top-notch emcee in J. Cole may have brought out the best in Drake.

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