Long-Form Essays

Neckbeard Aubrey ain’t Shit

Photo of Aubrey 'Drake' Graham in blackface make-up as he smiles coonishly in bright green clothing.
(David Leyes / Too Black Guys, 2008)

“How could you ever right these wrongs/
When you don’t even write your songs?”

– Pusha T, “Infrared”

Yes, I call him “Neckbeard Aubrey”. Even before he foolishly came at Megan Thee Stallion, I’ve never understood his appeal?

I remember this fool from Degrassi, where he was neither the most appealing actor, nor the most interesting character – even after he got shot in the back. The first song of his I recall hearing was the Timbaland track “Say Something”, which would define my attitude toward Neckbeard from that point forward: there may be some hot beats and the other vocalist might set it off, but that lazy Canadian is the most useless element of on any track he’s on.

In the decade-plus that followed, my no-radio-havin’-ass was only aware of his music on the periphery. He’d guest-verse on the track of someone I did like (eg. Kendrick, Cudi, a pre-MAGA Kanye) or vice versa, and I’d instantly forget he was ever there. Somehow, he became a bigger and bigger star, mainly due to a female fan base (primarily Black) that was easily taken in by emotional bullshit.

And that’s what I didn’t get – were these ladies actually listening to his bullshit lyrics? The hook of “Forever” is all about how women are so stupid that all you gotta do is her she’s “the one for me” and her panties will fall right off. “Hotline Bling” is about a stalker ex who refuses to accept that he’s been dumped. That’s not my interpretation, that’s the actual point of the song. At least when Sting did it, he was trying to process feelings of going through a divorce; Neckbeard Aubrey’s punk ass was dribblin’ lyrics that were celebrating toxic behavior towards women.

The last time I gave a shit about one of his projects.

Oh, right… his lyrics. He’s notorious for the fact that he doesn’t write them himself.

Given hip-hop’s genesis in spoken-word poetry, ownership of lyrics has always been a touchy subject. Hell, I can remember when a pre-rape-accusation Snoop was criticized for his cover of Slick Rick’s “La Di Da Di” and Biz Markie’s “Vapors”, but it paved the way for the Eric Sermon-Redman cover of “Rapper’s Delight”. At least in those cases, the homages were open and not passed off originals; that’s a world of difference from Dr. Dre having (nearly) all his lyrics written by others MCs, including Snoop.

Neckbeard is not only notorious for having others write his lyrics, he infamously used a Blackberry to read pre-written lyrics of his so-called “freestyle”. The existence of his ghost-writers was also a catalyst behind his beef with Meek Mill. Y’all can criticize Diane Warren all you want for callin’ out Beyoncé and her 50 songwriters, but traditional singing isn’t as inherently tied to songwriting the way rap is. So, when an MC gets big for using someone else’s lyrics, it’s gonna seem like theft (unless you’re pre-MAGA Kanye).

So, let’s see… he’s a no-talent hack who performs ghost-written lyrics about how women being stupid enough to sleep with him. Any redeeming qualities? Let’s see…

  • Well, he’s never taken a political stance on anything, lest he alienate his fanbase. Guess that’s out.
  • He’s a deadbeat dad who had a secret baby, refused to pay the mom child support, then planned to use the baby as a publicity stunt for a cancelled Adidas campaign. Your hero, ladies.
  • He re-ignited a longstanding beef with Pusha T because Push mentioned the baby thing in the diss track “The Story of Adidon”. Neckbeard claimed Push got the info through skullduggery, but it turns out that Neckbeard’s own producer leaked the info to a girl he was boning.
  • He boasts of being label-mates with Nicki “I Love Rapists” Minaj and MAGAsshole/fellow deadbeat dad Lil Wayne.
  • Chris Brown… Chris Brown…. fuckin’ Chris Brown…

Long-story-short: y’all probably know that Chris Brown viciously beat the shit out of Rihanna when they were together. For reasons I cannot fathom, this did nothing at all to Brown’s marketability; in fact, the incident (and all the spousal abuse he’s done to subsequent girlfriends) seems to have somehow made him an even bigger star over the past decade or so. He’s occasionally beefed with Neckbeard, but the two present themselves as BFFs in public.

The 2019 NBA Finals. Aubrey 'Drake' Graham, clad all in black, stands in terror as he's approached by Golden State Warriors member Draymond Green.
I do so love this image of Neckbeard terrified that Draymond Green would slap him. (Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images.)

You may wonder how or why that is after Neckbeard dated Rihanna for a while. Well, it did cross Neckbeard’s mind to maybe, probably not do a track with the guy who beat the shit out of the woman he’s lusting after. But in the end, Neckbeard shrugged his shoulders, took a “bros before hoes” attitude, and is now Brown’s biggest public proponent (something Kendrick Lamar is also guilty of).

Ladies… tell me again why you love Neckbeard’s triflin’ ass?

But that’s not the worst of it.

For those who aren’t aware: Neckbeard Aubrey likes ‘em young. Really young. As in “his-constant-sampling-of-Michael-Jackson-and-R.-Kelly-should-be-a-big-red-flag”.

Let’s just call him what he is: a fuckin’ groomer – he likes to “befriend” underage girls, “coach” them about relationships when they’re still impressionable, and then attempt to date the girls once they do reach the legal age of consent.

That’s the literal definition of sexual grooming, and he’s been doing it for years.

And that, dear reader is why I’m not all that surprised that his latest album features lyrics in which he attacks Megan Thee Stallion.

For those that don’t know: the sex-positive rapper from Texas was shot at in 2020 by her then-(ex?)-boyfriend, Canadian rapper Tory Lanez. He shot at her feet and told her to “dance”, like in an old western. She now has bullet fragments lodged in her feet and Lanez is facing a criminal trial.

Here’s her version of what went down (complete with Biggie sample).

Since I used the term “Canadian rapper”, can you guess whom Lanez counts as a close friend and confidante? The same douchebag who calls Chris Brown his BFF (‘cause he just loves to hang with abusers, don’t he?). I won’t link or embed the song here, but Neckbeard Aubrey goes full misogynoir: criticizing Megan’s body and claiming she lied about being shot at by his good buddy Tory. The song is just one of several poorly-thought-out publicity stunts meant to promote the new album.

Needless to say, people were shocked. I wasn’t. Whereas Kanye slowly devolved into the self-hating MAGAsshole he is today, Neckbeard Aubrey has been this way from the start. He’s spent his entire overrated career coasting off the fandom of the very Black women for whom he openly shows his disdain.

The saddest part is that it won’t hurt his career at all. When Kanye committed the ultimate public “no-no” with his horrific anti-Semitism, no one (besides me) asked why his anti-Blackness didn’t get the same reaction. Neckbeard Aubrey won’t face any repercussion for attacking a prominent Black woman in public.

If his poor choice of friends is any indication, his career may just benefit from this shit.

Now, as a palate-cleanser, here’s “W.A.P”:

And what do YOU think?

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