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Grandmaster Flash explains why Drake is hip-hop: "He’ll rap on all different styles"

Photos of Grandmaster Flash and Drake.
Grandmaster Flash, Drake. (Shutterstock/Kathy Hutchins/Lev Radin)

Grandmaster Flash has explained why he thinks Drake is most definitely hip-hop.

“What I admire about Drake is he’ll rap on all different styles of beats,” the hip-hop pioneer explained to HipHopDX during a brief interview on the red carpet at the 66th Annual Grammy Awards on Sunday.

"Back in the day, when I was DJing and cutting and a rapper was in front of me, he was rapping on all the beats I played," he said.

Flash, 66, went on to commend Drake for making what he described as a "kaleidoscope of music."

"His style is absolutely excellent," he said. "This is why he’s so big, because he’s not just staying on one particular style of beat; he’s rhyming on everything and that’s dope.”

Asked to define hip-hop, Flash said: "Poetry to the beat of music."

The discussion as to whether Drake is hip-hop or not has been rumbling on since Yasiin Bey, the artist formerly known as Mos Def, described Drizzy's music as "pop" in an appearance on "The Cutting Room Floor" last month.

“It feels like a lot of his music is compatible with shopping, or shopping with an edge, in certain instances," Bey said.

Drake appeared to hit back at Bey in an Instagram story shortly after the interview.

He shared a video of Method Man explaining what he believes hip-hop is and wrote “What Umi say again? Lemme shine my light king, don’t change up now."

The caption was a nod to Bey's 1999 song "Umi Says."

Later in January, Bey then released a lengthy video in which he explained his original remarks about Drake and urged the Canadian rapper to reach out to him.

"You are a very talented MC, but for me, I require more of myself and others than just talent or charm or charisma, particularly in times of urgent crisis," he said.

"What I would like to see in terms of creators or creative people in the world, as it relates to our culture, is for people to connect with us beyond the jukebox or the dance floor," he added.


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