I know what you’re thinking, Drake is a globally revered artist and Quavo just started getting popular; why is this even a debate? Here’s the thing though, Quavo’s been booming recently, landing an impressive 10 songs in the Billboard Top 100 at the same time. With guest-verses from peers and competition going for a hundred thousand; we must ask ourselves, “are Quavo’s features more valuable than Drake’s?”
A very quick search on Billboard will show “Work” as a number-one song on the charts for nine weeks. Drake loyalists would believe that this is exactly where this treasonous discussion should end. Drake has done a great job on his past two album releases, “Views” and “More Life.” However, in recent years, his features just haven’t been as intriguing to the general public. Including “Work,” Drake had 12 features that charted in the Billboard Hot 100 since 2016, compared to Quavo’s 10. Drake’s features also have a slightly higher average billboard score, however, most of those features were with artists that he has at least two previous collaborations with. Quavo, on the other hand, only has four Billboard Hot 100 songs where he had a previous collaborator (Travis Scott), with three of them charting in the Top 10. Numbers don’t always give the full story, so we’re going to explore a case study.
Let’s compare “Congratulations” to “Come and See Me.” I choose these two songs because I believe that they are the best features that each artist has had since 2016. Also, both of these songs represent each artist at their prototypical selves. “Congratulations” was the unofficial official graduation song of this past summer with lyrics like “worked so hard, forgot how to vacation,” and “they ain’t never had the dedication,” providing a nice parallel to struggles and successes of any student. Quavo was doing his adlib-filled thing, only slightly alluding his half-decade long struggle to climb the charts and into the ears of the general public. “Come and See Me,” was classic Drake, referencing some woman that he’s feeling some way about and a few slightly cheesy puns (“just ‘cause he got a heart, don’t mean he got heart”). Each feature has its own merits; Quavo’s displays his happiness with finally making it into the mainstream climate and Drake’s reflects on his difficulties trying to be involved with a girl who he rarely sees. However, Quavo’s patience and eventual elation after reaching success is simply something easier for people to connect with. Most people don’t have the complex and star-studded love life of Drake, but most of his best features talk about his relationships. Due to the general trend of his features, he simply doesn’t show the flexibility to effectively complement another artist’s song. Drake is at his best when he’s the entrée and brings in artists like Sampha or dvsn to work with his established flavors. On the other hand, Quavo is the picture of flexibility when it comes to his features, even holding his own on the dancehall-infused “Know No Better.” Both artists are immensely talented in their own right, but I believe that as of recent months, the talent and value gap between their features is negligible.