Mindfulness: Drake AF
I love Drake. It’s not a romantic love for me. It’s more like I like watching you grow kinda love. It’s like, can I be in OVO kinda love. It’s like, Drake you gotta work on your anxiety kinda love. It’s like, we should be friends kinda love. It’s a fantasy fan-hard love. It’s extra but it’s love. Dudes I date are pretty much never into this.
But there are two aspects of this fan-hard relationship I find complicated. The first part is about the way that I consume and interpret stories about him and the second part is about the layering, or the collaging that happens in the music industry which makes it hard to know what is real vs. what was planned out because it sounds good.
So how do I negotiate the love I have for this person (and trust me I LOVE DRAKE) with my personal values of being real moment to moment and unmasking ourselves rather than creating myths and distractions. I basically have to let the Drake stories in with clear awareness of myself and the stories I interpret when I listen to his work. This might sound like I over-think things (which I do) and it is work but I have to do it. When we are impacted by a fantasy we have to be aware of its effect in our lives. We are impacted by a lot of carefully selected stories of other people these days- just scroll down your Instagram feed.
Is this song about the influencer girl, or Rihanna, or both…do they know about each other? Do they care… what about J.Lo? I spent time thinking about this and writing this article. Why? Because I’m a fan. Because trying to figure this out when his album drops is a fun distraction. Who is passionfruit about and how does this story actually play out in real life? All of these things are none of my business but he puts it out there for me to wonder. It’s a tease, a taste and it sells.
But here is where it get’s complicated with Drake and interesting for me (because I have to work on my judgment). Some part of me judges work that is overly produced, perfected and collaged. I will extract this beat, and this sentence, and this night, and I will package it in such a way that you feel something about my life. The bits and pieces are not necessarily about my message or even the song, they just happen to fit well together. You will feel moved in some way. You will feel my romantic side or my angry side or my passion and you will see my humanness. But what happens when you have teams of people behind you managing this process and they depend on you to deliver a product in a certain a way? What happens when personas are created? Personas are just our own projections after all.
More and more we are told we should reveal ourselves (even in business) in order to sell something. But when the revealing is carefully directed then it loses its essence. It appeals to the most amount of people but there is a loss to the true fan because it’s not real if you can’t feel the person. It’s a mask. We wonder was J.Lo even real (I’m laughing as I type this)? Just another coincidental meeting that benefits both parties in different ways. Drake is a huge star. It’s hard to think about what is real anymore. I’m sure he has massive responsibilities beyond my comprehension in the role that he is in which makes him a business as much as an artist. I have a lot questions about creativity and being a business that I bring up with certain friends. The answers are complicated especially if the person is just about to make it big, big time and the invites are rolling in.
I have a painter friend who stops painting when they are doing it from a place of ego or comparison to others artists. They actually stop and check in, so they can come back to the their own feeling and process that is more grounded in the here and now rather than the stories they create. They meditate before they continue.
I’m not sure Drake stops every time he starts writing with his ego. I think he needs his ego too much to survive. There is a loss in that. He can’t do less. He has to plus things, amp things up. We all have a shtick and that might be his.
Once a therapist friend said to me “we can never be totally ourselves when we are in a relationships with others. We have to divorce others in order to be fully ourselves.” This was a conversation specific to my life but I think it’s true in any relationship. I imagine Drake divorcing everyone to be totally himself but I don’t see it happening any time soon.
The second others depend on us we have to change ourselves. It just happens. We are asked to show up in a different way.
So why does collaging or layering matter to me? It matters because it’s harder to feel the person. The spirit of who they are. The overly executed product makes me not trust the story. Yet, Aretha Franklin sang other people’s stories and moved us to tears. Artists tell stories all the time. It’s a performance. Drake is participating in an art form that has always worked.
I consume Drake. I’m the consumer. I wish there was a label that said this song was made at the risk of my own career.
At the end of the day, whether it’s Drake or a tv show or a film, it is our responsibility to monitor what enters our ears and minds. It is our responsibility to decide this feels right or not. The easiest thing is for me to blame the artist.
Lana Lontos is the founder of Big Tree Mind in Toronto. You can listen to her podcast on iTunes BigTreeMind and watch in on Vimeo BigTreeMind. She is presenting a week long psychotherapy, meditation and yoga retreat in Ikaria, Greece August 26th, 2017. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or check out www.bigtreemind.com.