In the aftermath of Drake receiving the coveted key to Shelby County in Memphis, Tennessee, a wave of discontent swelled online. Critics called into question the decision to bestow such an honor on the Toronto superstar, with many arguing that the accolade should have been reserved for native acts like Young Dolph, Moneybagg Yo, and GloRilla.
However, Drake’s connection to Memphis is deeper than surface-level observations might suggest. The artist’s ties to the city date back to childhood summers spent under the Tennessee sun as a result of his father being born there.
GloRilla addressed the controversy directly by taking to Twitter to clarify that she had been awarded the key nearly a year ago. “I got this key almost a year ago,” the “Lick Or Sum” musician tweeted, dispelling notions that the city had overlooked its own talents.
I got this key almost a year ago ❤️❤️❤️ https://t.co/BKLM4kr3N5
— GloRilla 🦍 (@GloTheofficial) June 29, 2023
During the ceremony that welcomed the Canadian aritst into the Shelby County family, Chairman Mickell Lowery emphasized the global reach of Memphis music. “You got a lot of Memphis blood in you, and you’re definitely touching the world,” Lowery said.
It’s undeniable that the burgh’s influences reverberate throughout Drake’s discography. A testament to his enduring love for the city, he frequently references his Southern ties. Examples include the 2013 music video for “Worst Behavior” as well as his joint effort with BlockBoy JB on “Look Alive.”
While the controversy surrounding the 6 God’s honor may continue, fans are hopeful that this will spark more mutual recognition between Drake and other Memphis artists. GloRilla, in particular, mentioned that she would be open to collaboration during a recent conversation with Billboard. “Most definitely. We’re gonna try to make it work,” she stated at the 2023 BET Awards.
Hot on the heels of the key ceremony, Drizzy released his debut poetry book, Titles Ruin Everything/A Stream of Consciousness, last week. He also cheekily hinted that another album could be on the way.