In a recent gatekeeping decision, Rolling Stone magazine decided to place the recently deceased Philip Seymour Hoffman on the cover of an issue that was originally going to display musical artist Drake. As would be expected the rather feminine rapper put up a huge fuss, even though his interview was still published. How so? By using one of todays most powerful media outlets: Twitter. Twitter also happens to be one of the best examples of how the former audience have developed into producers of media themselves, especially people of public fame, whom Americans tend to consider worth listening too and believing. When he was not featured on the cover, Drake immediately posted a series of Tweets which can be viewed here, along with an example of one of the many internet articles that emerged regarding the event.  Gatewatching played a role as numerous features were posted about Drake’s internet grumblings, this is another example of a feature that uses the incident to create a new story.

Not only was Drake upset about not getting the cover shot, he also claims that details were released that he apparently said off record. What’s more, not everything that was said about the Canadian was flattering, the article even discusses the negative attention that Drake has recieved from OG gatekeepers of rap culture:

‘Drake’s coup, building on the example of Kanye West, was to flout prevailing notions about what sort of background a rapper should come from and what kinds of things he should rap about: On one typically candid song, he drunk-dials a former flame and makes an ass of himself trying to woo her. Such vulnerable displays have invited mockery from old-guard hip-hop gatekeepers (including, oddly, Common, who called Drake “soft”) and anonymous online hordes. “There’s these GIFs about me, these stupid stereotypes people have of me as this overly emotional character that cries in his room every night,” says Drake. “There are jokes because of Degrassi, because I’m Canadian, because I make music for women. There are memes of guys crying to my music.” He scowls, then shrugs. “I love it. I heart those photos when I see them on Instagram.”‘

The article also addressed Drake’s role as a gatecrasher, criticizing Mackelmore for his publicized text message to Kendrick Lamar apologizing for winning.


One thought on “Drake”

  1. You make some really interesting points about the effect of gatekeeping and gatewatching on culture and various subcultures. This impact has been especially influenced, I think, by the “citizen journalism” ability that social media, such as Twitter, provides. You seem to be very interested in the subculture of rap in particular. Because of this, I was wondering what you thought the biggest impact of Twitter, and other sites like it, is on rap culture. Furthermore, how do you think things would be different today without it and what do you think would be different if Twitter was around in the days of Tupac and Biggie? Personally, I wonder if the violence of the culture back then that ended in the deaths of so many talented rappers could have been avoided if there had been an online platform to voice opinions without taking it to the streets.

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