"Don't ever take advice\ that was great advice' You and the six raised me right/ That shit saved my life"
Drake has long been the man responsible for putting the heart into hip-hop, but nothing has struck me quite like 'You & The 6'. Taken from the 'If You're Reading This, It's Probably Too Late' mixtape, Drizzy is at his introspective best, penning an open letter to his mother that will resonate with anybody who overcame tough times growing up.
My own childhood was very lucky. I grew up with two loving parents, and didn't want for much. Still, I have seen single parent families be some of the strongest around and I love how Drake orchestrates that bond - the anecdote about her trying to set him up on a date with her Personal Trainer instead of all the celebrities he's used to is something most 20-somethings can relate to somewhere along the line. It's dismissed in typical Drake long-suffering fashion - "I know you wanna arrange it, you told me she's free Thursday/ And I'm sure that she's an angel, but she don't want this life"
I love this about Drake. At times, he's almost Shakespearean in his desire to stand in the way of his own happiness, revelling in his own frustrations while simultaneously believing himself to be the greatest thing in the world. It's the same dichotomy that makes Kanye such a fascinating artist - the complex battle between vulnerability and peacock-confidence in the face of the worlds media. By painting such an endearing portrait of his childhood, Drake displays the importance of both family and forgiveness - welcoming his father back into the fold, despite his mistakes: 'look how we're living/ I'm content with this story/ who are we not to forgive him?" Indebting himself to his city as much as to his mother, he contrasts the then-and-now perfectly for someone at his point in their career - one foot in the past with eyes firmly planted on the future.