The Language (song)

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"The Language"
Single by Drake
from the album Nothing Was the Same
Released October 29, 2013 (2013-10-29)
Format Digital download
Recorded 2013
Genre Hip hop
Length 3:44
Label
Writer(s)
Producer(s)
Certification Gold (RIAA)
Drake singles chronology
"Pound Cake"
(2013)
"The Language"
(2013)
"Too Much"
(2013)

"The Language" is a song by Canadian rapper Drake from his third studio album Nothing Was the Same (2013). "The Language" was produced by frequent collaborator Boi-1da, along with additional production by Allen Ritter and Vinylz. It also features an outro from Cash Money Records founder Birdman. The song was serviced to mainstream urban radio on October 29, 2013 as the fifth single from the album and has peaked at number 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Background[edit]

In the early months of 2013, there were rumors of a disconnection between Drake and Cash Money Records, which only caught more fire due to him not appearing on the compilation album Rich Gang. On "The Language" Drake addresses these rumors saying, "Cash Money Records forever, I'm always Big-Tyming, bitch/ I came up right under Stunna."[1] In August 2013, Big Sean released "Control" featuring Kendrick Lamar, where Lamar called out a group of rappers he has collaborated with including Drake, also saying he would "murder" them lyrically on a track. That same month, Drake spoke to Billboard, where he responded saying, "It just sounded like an ambitious thought to me. That's all it was. I know good and well that Kendrick's not murdering me, at all, in any platform."[2] In a following interview he acted passively, putting down Lamar's verse as having no lasting significance.[3]

"The Language" was produced by OVO Sound producer Boi-1da, and co-produced by Boi-1da's frequent collaborators Allen Ritter and Vinylz.[4] by In February 2013, the main producer of the song, Boi-1da contacted Ritter and Vinylz to come work on Nothing Was the Same with Drake and Boi-1da. While working with him they created, "No New Friends", "5AM in Toronto" and the instrumental for "The Language".[5] Cash Money Records CEO Birdman also appears on the outro of the song in the same way he appeared on, "We'll Be Fine" from Take Care.[6] In August 2013, Big Sean released "Control" featuring Kendrick Lamar, where Lamar called out a group of rappers he has collaborated with including Drake, also saying he would "murder" them lyrically on a track. That same month, Drake spoke to Billboard, where he responded saying, "It just sounded like an ambitious thought to me. That's all it was. I know good and well that Kendrick's not murdering me, at all, in any platform."[2] In a following interview he acted passively, putting down Lamar's verse as having no lasting significance.[7]

Music and lyrics[edit]

Drake's flow on the song was described as being similar to Migos, known for their hit song "Versace", whose remix featured Drake.[8][9] It was rumored that Drake subliminally dissed Lamar in "The Language" when he raps,

"Fuck any nigga that’s talkin’ that shit just to get a reaction / F-ck going platinum, I looked at my wrist and it’s already platinum / I am the kid with the motor mouth / I am the one you should worry about / I don't know who you're referring to, who is this nigga you heard about?"[10]

Birdman appeared on MTV shortly after the album's release denying that the line was directed at Kendrick Lamar.[6] Then shortly after, Lamar reportedly responded in the BET Hip Hop Awards TDE cypher where he says, ""And nothing's been the same since they dropped Control, and tucked a sensitive rapper back in his pajama clothes"."[2][11] However, it was also rumored Lamar's verse was directed towards Papoose.[12] In a December 2013 interview with Vibe, Drake spoke on the rumor saying:

""It’s a commitment to go there. 'The Language' is just energy. What it was inspired by, I’m sure that, and other things. It’s just me talking my shit. I never once felt the need to respond to that record. The sentiment he was putting forth is what he should have. Of course you wanna be the best. Where it became an issue is that I was rolling out an album while that verse was still bubbling, so my album rollout became about this thing. What am I supposed to say? 'Nah, we’ll be buddy-buddy?' Mind you, I never once said he’s a bad guy [or] I don’t like him. I think he’s a fucking genius in his own right, but I also stood my ground as I should."[13]

Critical reception[edit]

"The Language" was met with generally positive reviews from music critics. Nick Cutucci of Entertainment Weekly named the song, along with "Hold On, We're Going Home" as the album's best songs.[14] of Billboard credited Drake with arrogantly reinstating his spot in the rap game with the song.[4] William E. Ketchum of HipHopDX stated, that Drake "reuses the precise staccato flow from Drizzy’s verse on Migos' "Versace" to stunt on competition."[15] David Drake of Complex described the song as, "unexpected bursts of blunt honesty that suggest, strangely, a rhetorical maturity, if not a personal one."[8]

Andrew Unterberger of PopDust said, "The Language" might not as rich as some of Drake’s more emo tracks, but it’s necessary to keep the balance for Drake, who would surely become overbearing if all he ever sang about was Facebook stalking girls from high school. Plus, it’s fun to hear Drake engage his more caddish self every once in a while–he does sleazy a lot better than he does angry anyway."[16] In a more negative review Thomas Britt of PopMatters said, "“The Language” is a showcase for Drake’s relentless flow, but he does himself no favors by failing to explore any interesting lyrical territory. He rhymes “platinum” with “platinum”. Such laziness might be acceptable were the song not about language.[17]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2013–14) Peak
position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[18] 143
UK R&B (Official Charts Company)[19] 40
US Billboard Hot 100[20] 51
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (Billboard)[21] 13
US Rhythmic (Billboard)[22] 12

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
United States (RIAA)[23] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label
United States October 29, 2013[24] Mainstream urban radio Young Money, Cash Money Records, Republic Records
November 5, 2013[25] Rhythmic contemporary radio

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Drake's Nothing Was The Same: 10 Subliminal Shots And Shout-Outs We Can't Ignore - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV.com. 2013-09-25. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  2. ^ a b c "Kendrick Lamar Drake Diss BET Cypher". Complex. 2013-09-16. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  3. ^ By Sowmya Krishnamurthy (2013-09-23). "Drake Opens Up About Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West at NYU | Music News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  4. ^ a b "Drake, 'Nothing Was The Same': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard. 2013-09-24. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  5. ^ "Interview: Vinylz And Allen Ritter Talk Co-Producing Drake's 'The Language'". Vibe. 2013-09-24. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  6. ^ a b "Birdman Denies Drake Was Taking Shots At Kendrick Lamar On "The Language" - XXL". Xxlmag.com. 2013-09-26. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  7. ^ By Sowmya Krishnamurthy (2013-09-23). "Drake Opens Up About Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West at NYU | Music News". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  8. ^ a b "Drake "Nothing Was The Same" Voice of the Millennial Generation?". Complex. 2013-09-20. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  9. ^ 10/01/2013 17:11:18 (2013-10-01). "Did Drake Make Migos 'Mad' By Copping Their Flow? - Music, Celebrity, Artist News". MTV.com. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  10. ^ Tardio, Andres (2013-09-26). "Birdman Denies Drake Dissing Kendrick Lamar On "The Language" | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  11. ^ "Kendrick Lamar Disses Drake, Calls Him Sensitive and Fake—Listen Now! | E! Online UK". Eonline.com. 2013-08-14. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  12. ^ http://www.xxlmag.com/news/2013/10/kendrick-lamar-diss-drake-papoose/
  13. ^ http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/news/id.27369/title.kendrick-lamar-revisits-meeting-dr-dre-drake-buried-alive-collaboration
  14. ^ Reviewed by Nick Catucci on Oct 02, 2013 @catucci. "Nothing Was the Same Album Review | Music Reviews and News". EW.com. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  15. ^ Ketchum, William E. (2013-09-23). "Drake - Nothing Was The Same | Read Hip Hop Reviews, Rap Reviews & Hip Hop Album Reviews". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  16. ^ Andrew Unterberger (2013-09-16). "Drake's "Nothing Was the Same" Reviewed: "The Language"". Popdust. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  17. ^ Britt, Thomas. "Drake: Nothing Was the Same (Take 1)". PopMatters. Retrieved 2013-10-05. 
  18. ^ "Archive Chart" UK Singles Chart.
  19. ^ "Archive Chart" UK R&B Chart.
  20. ^ "Drake Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot 100 for Drake.
  21. ^ "Drake Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs for Drake.
  22. ^ "Drake Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Rhythmic Songs for Drake. Retrieved January 30, 2014.
  23. ^ "American single certifications – Drake – The Language". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  24. ^ "Single – The Language". Frequency News. Retrieved October 29, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Top 40/Rhythmic Future Releases". All Access Music Group. Archived from the original on October 29, 2013. Retrieved October 29, 2013.