I've always taken quite a personal approach when it comes to the subject matter of my lyrics. It's not something I remember making a conscious decision about. It just sort of happened. When I first started writing lyrics I didn't ever imagine that people would actually hear them. I just wrote about what was going on in my life. My relationships play a big part in my life. I've spoken about love and heartbreak quite a lot in my music, and this isn't something that I've forced out, it's just how I felt at the time of writing.
I think that love and romance has always been an acceptable topic for rappers to talk about. From legends like Eric B. & Rakim to Method Man it's been a subject that has been addressed in many rap songs. Even rappers who are known for a 'Gangster' image such as 50 Cent have used Hip Hop to do their best sweet boy impressions in the past, but some rappers definitely get a lot more stick for being seen as 'soft'.
I think it's safe to say that if someone were to do a poll asking who the 'softest' rapper is, Drake would most likely come out victorious. All you have to do is type 'Drake meme' in Google images, and you'll be inundated with pictures poking fun at the soft character Drake as perceived as being. Some of them are pretty funny. I've opted to show the least offensive ones in this blog.
I've been compared to Drake a few times. Luckily, nothing comes up when you type in 'Nick Brewer meme' on Google. Well not yet, anyway. Maybe the day that Nick Brewer memes are born is the day I'll know I've really made it; but I'm digressing. Have I ever worried about appearing 'soft' because of the type of things that I rap about? Maybe. I definitely did when I was younger. From the age of about 12 to 16, I think every lyric I wrote was a lie. I was talking about guns I'd never seen, crimes I'd never committed and gangs I had no affiliation with. All of my mates were doing the same thing. But I could never pull it off, and I didn't even want to rap about stuff like that. I was just too scared to talk about the things I actually wanted to, for fear of not fitting in or being seen as 'soft'.
As I've grown older I've realised that I can only be me, and if I come across as being 'soft' then so be it. I'd much rather be known and remembered as truly being the person I was, than pretending to be someone I'm not in order to fit in. As a person, I'm sensitive, I overthink about things and the people in my life mean a lot to me. So if these characteristics come across in my lyrics, I can't be embarrassed, because I'd have to be embarrassed about the person I am. I believe it's braver to go against the grain than to just fit in, and in such a 'macho' industry as Hip Hop, I think that expressing yourself in a way that might be seen as 'soft' is brave. For all the fun that gets made out of Drake, he is arguably the most relatable rapper out there. He's got this ability to describe feelings that people have experienced in a way that very few rappers can, and I think that's something that should be celebrated rather than belittled.
I've written a lot about the relationships in my life; whether it's my relationships with family members, girlfriends or ex-girlfriends. For me personally, it's never been about trying to make someone feel bad or embarrassed, it's more just about expressing how I feel at that time. I remember I wrote a song a few years ago called 'Sound In A Dark Room' where I went quite in depth about a past relationship. Loads of people told me that it's their favourite song I've ever made, while others have told me they can't stand it. So I feel like it just depends on what the listener's preferences are. Some people don't appreciate hearing about the innermost feelings of others, while others might really connect with it.
That's the beauty of rap music. Rappers are given a blank canvas where they can discuss whatever they want. I can only talk about what I've been through or what I'm going through. I've never been a drug dealer or a gangster, so if I try and talk about that kind of stuff I'm then I'm lying to myself, as well as lying to anyone who might be listening to me. I have, however, been in love, been hurt by people, and hurt other people too. I've learnt from all of these experiences, and so I talk about these experiences in my music. As long as I feel like I can pass on something I've learnt from any of these situations, or express a feeling that I've never been able to vocalize before through my lyrics, then I'll continue doing so. If people see me as 'soft' then so be it. I'd rather be seen as soft and honest than seen as hard and a pretender.