Drake’s latest track has its moments, not without flaws
drake • “0 To 100 / the catch up” • cash money
Anytime a new single drops from Drake, it’s big news. The World Wide Web has been abuzz with the news of Drizzy dropping “0 to 100/ The Catch Up”. Remember when a little joint by the name of “Started At The Bottom” dropped via Soundcloud? Eventually, that single peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100, ending up one of the bigger hits of 2013.
That said, this guy (me) wasn’t impressed when “Started At The Bottom” dropped. Even though I’m onboard for the most part today, it still falls short of the glory of better Drake tracks. “0 to 100/ The Catch Up” is ambitious to an extent, yet in some respects, feels like glorified braggadocio over six minutes. Don’t call it an epic fail, nor call it a masterpiece, as “0 to 100/The Catch Up” is…well it is something.
On “0 to 100”, Drake essentially states he can ‘bring the heat’ quickly – so quick in fact that you won’t know what hit you. Essentially on the first part of the two-part song, Drake is flexing, bragging confidently about his success. “They be on that rap to pay the bill sh*t / and I don’t feel that sh*t, not even a little bit… my actions been louder than my words n***a,” spits the MC with conviction within the opening lines of the verse. He doesn’t end his assertive, biting flow there though.
He asserts “Oh Lord, I’m the rookie and the vet / shoutout to the b-tches out here holdin’ down the set,” a clever play on word, namely with bitch (a female dog) and the veterinarian. Still, even for the untouchable Drake, you have to question some of the rhymes, like the predictable punch when Drake claims “I should probably sign to Hit-Boy cause I got all the hits, boy” or the cliché, super pop cultural reference to Forrest Gump (“Ugh, I run this sh*t, they like ‘Go Forrest / Run Forrest, go Forrest”).
After a lengthy verse – which is combination of what seems to be minimally two verses, the hook finally materializes: “I go 0 to 100, n***a, real quick / real quick, whole squad on that real sh*t…” Even with Drake’s elaborations throughout his verse, there is a sense listening to the hook that Drake really isn’t saying much or offering much new. Mostly, there are plenty of iterations of sh*t, n***a – you get the idea.
Part two, “The Catch Up” is ‘softer’ you might say – more of the moody Drake listeners have grown accustomed to. Don’t get it twisted – Drizzy is still cocky and confident, but he also seems a bit self-conscious: “Imagine how I feel to watch another n***a at the top / you know that if it wasn’t you, you would be dissin’ you, dawg…” The mix between self-confidence and self-consciousness continues, whether it’s the self-conscious “Maybe I keep movin’ forward and they’re just stagnant…” or the extremely confident “Cause if I run in the game in these, man the seams are splittin’ / no pun intended but they’re smellin’ defeat in the air / headed where nobody took it, who meetin’ me there?” Even by the end of Drake’s verse (prior to the James Blake outro), Drake keeps things open-ended: “Cause I’m only 27 and I’m only gettin’ better / If I haven’t passed you yet, watch me catch up now, for real”.
Ultimately, “0 to 100” is all about Drizzy being thinking, knowing, and questioning his elite rap status. He knows the criticism is jealousy because he considers himself to be among the best MCs, and he continues to evolve and grow stronger with time and experience. Is it a winning track – umm…not quite. The concept makes sense, but whether a six-minute track was required to illustrate that point is up for grabs. Sort of Drake’s attempt at ‘god status’, it certainly falls short of the epic “Rap God” (Eminem) and is much lengthier than Kanye West’s “I Am A God”. That said, “0 to 100/The Catch Up” has its moments. Still, don’t label it as Drake’s best – he’s done better.