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Drake’s affinity for cultural references has been apparent throughout his work, and it’s no different on Views.
While he makes nods to everything from Eddie Murphy’s 1983 movieTrading Places to Vince Carter’s legendary 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest performance, there are several allusions to the 1990s that pop up across the album’s 20 tracks. Aubrey’s ‘90s influences have been well-documented before — from Aaliyah to Andre 3000 — and his connection to that wonderful decade continues here.
Lyric: “MJ in every way, I just don’t fade away”
Drake is not the first rapper to compare himself to Michael Jordan, and he won’t be the last. And he’s doing it for the same reason as everyone else: To say he’s the best. MJ’s signature move was the fadeaway jumper, but Aubrey’s using it to mean something different — that he has no plans of fading away from his spot in the game. Nor will he be making a fadeaway jumper anytime soon.
Lyric: “Like Mannie, like Stunna, man, shit is big time now”
The Big Tymers were a rap group made up of Mannie Fresh and Birdman (a.k.a. Stunna), signed to Cash Money, just like Drake. Their biggest hit was “Still Fly” (which, granted, came out in 2002).
Song: “U With Me?”
Lyric: “It’s like a lot of games bein’ played, how’s it goin’ down? / If it’s on ‘til we gone then I gots to know now / Is you wit’ me or what?”
Not only does Drake lift the above lyric directly from X’s 1998 track “How’s It Goin’ Down,” but he also samples X’s vocals from 1999’s “What These Bitches Want” to open the song.
Lyric: “You tell me that I’m confusin’ / More immature than Marques Houston”
Drake isn’t calling R&B singer and actor Marques Houston immature here. He’s referencing the group Houston was in early in his career, called Immature. They later changed their name to IMx, but that wouldn’t have really worked here.
Song: “Weston Road Flows”
Lyric: “Creepin’ like Chilli without the tender, love, and care”
Chilli is a member of TLC, which got its moniker from its members’ stage names (T-Boz, Left Eye, and Chilli); TLC is also an acronym, of course, for “tender loving care.” He’s not calling her a creep, though; “Creep” was the group’s first chart-topper, released in 1994.
There’s no lyrical reference here — just an actual verse from Pimp. One half of UGK, the Texas native died in 2007, and has been an influence throughout Drake’s career, with Aubrey even appearing on Pimp’s posthumous 2010 song “What Up.”
Lyric: “I think I’d lie for you / I think I’d die for you / Jodeci ’Cry For You’ / Do things when you want me to / Like controlla, controlla”
Drake’s a noted Jodeci fan — in 2013, he released “Jodeci Freestyle” and sampled the group on the next year’s “How Bout Now” — and here he references their 1993 single, which topped the Billboard Hot R&B Singles chart, by name.
Lyric: “I pull up in yachts so big that they try to hit me with boat fines / Hype Williams, ‘Big Pimpin,’ yeah, just like the old times”
Hype Williams has directed a ton of videos, and he worked with Jay Z and UGK on “Big Pimpin’” — which depicted a huge yacht party. The video dropped in 2000, sure, but the album it was on (Hov’s Vol. 3… Life and Times of S. Carter) came in late 1999, and Hype made his name in the ‘90s, so we’ll count it.
Lyric: “My life is on display like Truman”
The public watches Drake’s moves all the time — through his Instagram, the media, his music — but it’s not quite as bad as the dude he’s referencing. The 1998 film The Truman Show starred Jim Carrey as a guy named Truman whose entire life was staged and broadcast for the world to watch like reality TV. Ahead of its time.