Dan: Because of his hybrid rap/r&b sound, will any Drake album ever be able to earn the “classic” label among hip-hop curmudgeons? Will he have more longevity in the game than Kendrick because of his inter-genre malleable sound?
Drew: The standard of what makes something “classic” is subjective, evolving, and probably the hardest (and most foolish) thing that an artist could concern him/herself with in the long-term. Drake doesn’t seem to be in the business of determining where he compares to that nebulous standard, but he does want to be remembered for leading in his genre and for challenging accepted practice (while still showing his ability to execute the various conventions of “rap-worthiness” or whatever). As for the Kendrick thing, I have no idea which of these two artists will have more staying power, but I wouldn’t bet against either of them because of how talented they are and how hard they work to find people’s ears with multiple styles and masterful music. Even though Kendrick’s best skill is “rapping,” I don’t think it’s his only skill and he knows that he needs others to be successful at the level he’s beginning to taste now. It will definitely be intriguing to see how he approaches his next album after all this “classic” acclaim.