19 April 2019 Posted By : Hershal Pandya

Drake Isn't (Really) a Culture Vulture

Sitting around the dinner table a few years ago, my dad and I got into a debate about cultural appropriation. We’d been talking about a news story that had gone viral about a white couple who’d hosted a Bollywood-themed wedding, and in response to the irritation in my voice, my dad told me he thought I was getting riled up about nothing.

Despite having witnessed the lingering effects of cultural exploitation in India first hand, my dad, nonetheless, held the opinion that this wedding was a flattering celebration rather than a pernicious hijacking of our culture. We talked in circles for about 30 minutes before we eventually got too tired to debate anymore and we dropped the issue.

For better or for worse, this is a reasonably accurate microcosm of how all conversations about appropriation unfold online. Cultural groups are not ideological monoliths, so it’s nearly impossible to form a consensus about what constitutes appropriation in our own communities, let alone within society-at-large.

Viewed through the lens of this societal discord, Drake’s sticky reputation as a “culture vulture” is curious. Despite a lack of consensus about what this term even means, the label has affixed itself firmly to Drake for most of his career, rearing its head in reference to his well-documented forays into different genres and collaborations with buzzing artists.

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