Drake's "Nice For What" Is More Than Just a Party Song

February 24, 2024
David Sunnyside

Drake is an expert at copping catchy, zeitgeisty pop trends and turning them into hit songs. His latest, "Nice for What," is engineered for a good time, from the New Orleans bounce beat to the call-and-repeat lyrics, but it also has a purpose beyond pure partying. The song focuses on women who don't need men to take care of them. That message is reinforced by the celebrity-studded music video, which features a diverse roster of powerful females like actresses Issa Rae and Letitia Wright, dancer Misty Copeland, model Jourdan Dunn, actor Rashida Jones, director and producer Tracee Ellis Ross and her Black-ish daughter Yara Shahidi, fashion blogger Olivia Wilde, Instagram beauty stars Bria Vinaite and Victoria Lejonhjarta, actresses Emma Roberts and Michelle Rodriguez, and ballerina Syd.

Directed by Karena Evans, who helmed Drake's 2018 charity single "God's Plan," the clip looks like a well-curated fashion shoot that doubles as a hat tip to female empowerment. It's the un-"Hotline Bling," and a chance for Drake to earn some feminist cred, three years after his most critically acclaimed but also most controversial crossover pop hit.

The song samples Lauryn Hill's 1998 hit "Ex-Factor," and the music video is a nod to the New Orleans bounce scene that inspired it. The first scene features bounce queen Big Freedia shouting out the crowd, and Drake's very first bars are an homage to the city: "Everybody get your mothafuckin' roll on!" He later repeats the phrase in a chant that references New Orleans rappers D4L.

David Sunnyside
Co-founder of Urban Splatter • Digital Marketer • Engineer • Meditator
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