Drake Is Under Fire for Appropriating Dancehall

Dancehall icon, Mavado, is accusing Drake of appropriating dancehall on his new track, “Enemy Line.” This is the latest instance of Drake being called out for exploiting dancehall culture.

Last week, Drake seemingly took shots at Mavado on his “Only You Freestyle” with Headie One. He referenced Mavado’s nemesis Popcaan and his home town Cassava Piece in this line: “With Pop Skull in Gaza, but not that Gaza, but still it’s a mazza/N***as want peace like Cassava.”

Mavado’s scathing new single goes after the Canadian artist’s “tough guy attitude” and claims that he wishes he was Jamaican. “You will neva be a yard man,” he sings.

For anyone doubting his shots were aimed at the Canadian rapper, Mavado shared a post to Instagram with the caption: “Remember this. Dancehall a mi play ground,” he wrote. “You are not from Dancehall. You have no Power in Dancehall n everybody know who introduce you to Dancehall so don’t feel like you can come disrespect Gully take that out you brain n don’t dweet again.”

Drake’s dancehall obsession and use of Patois in songs has always toed the line between homage and exploitation. Mavado is not the first person to call out Drake’s culture vulture antics.

Sean Paul previously criticized the likes of Drake for appropriating the culture and getting more chart success that true dancehall artists. “It is a sore point when people like Drake or Bieber or other artists come and do dancehall-orientated music but don’t credit where dancehall came from and they don’t necessarily understand it.”

Take a listen to some real dancehall and stream Mavado’s “Enemy Line” below.