Drake samples Lauryn Hill, loves Jennifer Lawrence on ‘Draft Day’

Drake released a new song, "Draft Day," online on April 1.
Drake released a new song, “Draft Day,” online on April 1.
(Ian Gavan / Getty Images)

Once upon a time, if an artist released a song called “Draft Day” it would be an indication that things were about to get serious. Not so with Drake’s use of the term, as his “Draft Day” is largely an excuse to prop himself up with the ol’ sports metaphor or two. Or three.

Drake unveiled “Draft Day” on Tuesday night via Twitter. It’s a largely off-the-cuff styled rap that gets good mileage out of a sample of the dizzying layered vocals from Lauryn Hill’s 1998 single “Doo Wop (That Thing).” Drake starts with a shout-out to pal and NFL hopeful Johnny Manziel, pokes fun at his own ignorance when it comes to eating oysters and even takes the time to make it clear that he thinks Chicago’s Chance the Rapper has a silly name.

But he means no offense, he raps, as he’s too busy making records and managing his deals. Yet he still, apparently, has time to gush over an Oscar winner.

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The good-guy-gone-rich routine of “Draft Day” is one Drake has been working for a while now, and while it’s alternately silly and uncomfortable to hear the hip-hop celeb rap about how much he’d like to get, well, intimate with “Hunger Games” star Jennifer Lawrence, one wishes he’d taken a little more from Hill’s song than a sample -- namely, the motivation to sing about something, anything, other than lighthearted jabs at more famous, more married rappers.

Whether or not Drake’s line of “just hits, no misses / That’s for the married folk” is directed at Jay Z or not is fine for a Twitter (or locker room) debate, but “Draft Day’s” greatest gift was its excuse to listen to “Doo Wop (That Thing)” this morning. Hill was contemplative and admonishing as she probed the way in which our insecurities and obsessions could lead to more than a few bad life decisions, and she did it without comparing her empire to that of a Middle East oil czar.


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