Afterplaying with drake in 2014, herap queenhe showed it again in 2015.
Of course, Drake released his fourth mixtape, "If You're Reading This It's Too Late," in early February, which sold nearly half a million copies in three days, followed by "What a Time to Be Alive" in September. . a co-production with Future that debuted at #1 onBillboard 200 in the EU. UU.. And he found time to release some of the year's best songs, "Hotline Bling" and "Back to Back", before ending 2015 as the global hit.most listened artist on Spotify.
But while Drake was busyfighting with Nicki Minaj's fiancé, managed to surpass him in one of hip-hop's main areas of success: as a featured artist. Minaj performed the song on David Guetta's global sensation "Hey Mama", which remained at the top of the charts.hot billboard 100for most of the summer. She also performed on Meek Mill's “All Eyes on You,” dabbled in a little pop on Robin Thicke's “Back Together” and closed out the year as Spotify's star.best female artistUS United States.
During the year ofpico draco, we could see the effect of itsmidas touchin guest appearances on tracks by other artists. But songs with Minaj as a featured artist were even more valuable, according to Spotify's streaming data for this year. If he "Draco Effect” is real, but it's time we started talking about the Nicki Effect.
That everything Drake touches turns to gold is awell documentedhip hop phenomenon. Adding Drake to someone else's track could take the song or artist from relative obscurity to commercial success. The Weeknd, iLoveMakonnen, Migos and Soulja Boy are just a few of the dozens of artists who have benefited from Drake.coveted co-signer.
"A Drake feature is still one of the most powerful and valuable things you can have in terms of the first look," said Minya Oh, aka Miss Info on New York's Hot 97 radio station, a cultural touchstone for hip. -hop artists. But how powerful is it? And how does Drake compare to other artists?
As it is impossible to quantify the cultural cache (what is the value of ainstagram wink? how much is the drakeendless memeficationworth it?), I started trying to measure this so-called Drake Effect using streaming data from Spotify, one of the clearest indicators of success today.complicated music landscape.
From January to October of this year, a track featuring Drake as a featured artist scored 126% more, on average, than any other track on the albums he appeared on. That means Drake's song (or songs) were played more than twice as often as songs that didn't feature Drake.
Ideally, we could compare Drake's appearances with each artist in Spotify's database, but the query would take months, so let's start with his peers.Young Moneyamigos Nicki Minaj e Lil Wayne.1If the Drake Effect really is as big as everyone imagines, then surely a comparison with a handpicked sample of two other prolific guest artists would see Drake come out on top.
With the help of Spotify data analyst Jomar Perez, we extracted data for every album on Spotify with at least one track featuring Drake, Nicki Minaj or Lil Wayne.2In all, there were 63 albums with Drake, 62 with Minaj, and 192 (get it, Weezy!) that included Wayne in our dataset, as long as Spotify has data available.3When we look at how often songs from these albums were streamed this year, Nicki Minaj's guest effect was even greater than Drake's, with her guest tracks playing an average of 172% more than tracks without her.
(Despite Wayne's illustrious history, his heyday as a houseguest seems to be over: he's exploring otherpassion projects— so we'll focus on Nicki and Drake from here on out.)
Let's get a few things straight: it's safe to assume that if you bring in a featured artist, you expect to make a hit, which isn't always true for every song on an album. Therefore, to more accurately isolate the featured artist effect, we needed to compare the songs on an album with a featured artist against the other tracks on the same album with a similar level of popularity. Spotify ranked all songs on an album based on the number of streams and divided them into four groups: Top 25%, 25-50%, 50-75% and 75-100%.4
Unsurprisingly, around 80% of Drake and Minaj's top tracks landed in the top two streaming groups, signifying the top half in popularity. In fact, there were less than 20 tracks by any one artist on the last two sets (looking at you, Waka Flocka Flame, for "Round of Applause" featuring Drake, and you, Madonna, for the ill-fated "B*tch I'm Madonna" with Minaj). With so few tracks, the last two groups didn't form a very strong data set, so we decided to focus on the first two groups, where the influence of the featured artist would be most evident.
And at the top, Nicki's power is even clearer.
For songs in the top quartile of streams, a performance by Nicki was streamed 46% more often, on average, compared to 25% more often by Drake. But things get even more interesting in the second level, where the Nicki effect is a 55% boost but a Drake feature runs.worseon average than non-Drake tracks across all albums in the same range.
Now, this reverse drake effect in the second group could be due to a few things, according to Spotify, like multiple versions of the same track (i.e. deluxe vs regular) appearing in the dataset, or the same tracks appearing with variations. But it should be noted that we would also see these types of quirks in Nicki's song data, so Drake can't explain this negative effect based on inconsistencies in the data alone.
There's another explanation: it's in some legitimately bad music! Drake appeared on the second part of Justin Timberlake's 2013 comeback, "The 20/20 Experience: 2 of 2", in a song called "Cabaret". Not only is this song bad, especially when compared to some of the best songs on that album, like "TKO" and "Drink You Away", but Drake's versemust be one of his worst.
In recent years, Drake has shifted from guest appearances on albums by superstars like Timberlake to smaller, more obscure acts from around the world likeSBTRKT,shampoooRamriddlz. while thepolicy of your co-optionare hotly debated, it's worth noting that Drake's approaches to cameos couldn't be more different than Nicki's.
"Nicki is designing all of her collaborations to be hits, and Drake is designing his to be hits in less quantifiable ways," said Oh. While Drake seeks out underground artists from niche music circles, Nicki has little interest in anything short of a hit. Oh said, "His operating principle is, 'Is it going to be a hit?'
However, that only makes the Nicki effect more impressive: her guest roles represent an increase in streaming of albums that areoffull of hits. About Justin Bieber's "Believe",” the song “Beauty and rhythm,” which features Minaj, was streamed 70 percent more than the rest of the album's title tracks in the first 10 months of this year. Let's not forget that Drake was also on that album, on "Right Here," but his song got 14% fewer streams than the rest of the comparable songs on the album.
In fact, I would expect Drake to have an even bigger impact on lesser-known albums, as they would likely contain fewer hits. The future is no longer unknown (thanks in part to drake), but on his 2014 album "Honest," Drake's appearance on "Never Satisfied" received 62% fewer streams this year compared to the rest of the top songs on the album.
Drake and Nicki's difference in approach to guest tracks is even more apparent when you look at the larger impacts they've had on our dataset. Nicki's effect on a pair of big hits — "Hey Mama" on Guetta's "Listen" and "Bang Bang" on Jessie J's "Sweet Talker" — was enough to top all the minor effects Drake had this year. A Drake effect on something like "Drama" from Roy Woods' "Exis" is relatively small and can't compete with combining a Nicki effect with existing star power.5
If you're surprised that Nicki surpassed Drake in Drake's year, you shouldn't be. Five years ago, Kanye West assembled one of hip-hop's biggest dream teams — Rick Ross, Jay Z, Bon Iver and a relative newcomer, Nicki Minaj — for his single "Monster." Not only did he surpass three iconic rap legends, but his guest verse on "Monster" remains arguably one ofbest guest featuresof all time.
And in that verse, he warned us, "You may be the king, but watch the queen conquer."