The Complexities of Complex.

It was about a month ago that I finally began following Complex on Facebook. I was constantly clicking their articles when friends shared them, or when they showed up in my feed. This was a match that was meant to be. Luckily, it helped me witness the way that Complex stayed on their feet during hip hop’s latest kerfuffle- Meek Mill vs. Drake.

It all started on a fateful Wednesday, when Meek called out Drake for not writing his own raps- he even name dropped the alleged ghostwriter in question. Complex made sure to share information about other Torontonians who had Drake’s back, while they also shared raps by Quentin Miller, the supposed ghostwriter behind the music. The rumours swirled all around the Internet as people took sides- Complex included. The only difference was that they took every side with every bit of news that they shared.

When Drake released his first track, Complex was there with the news. They were also there with Meek’s responses, which seemed to poke fun at Drake. In the next heartbeat, Complex talked about the added value of the feud to Drake’s career, demonstrating that Meek was going to lose. A day later, they wrote about Meek during his set at “Nicki’s The Pink Print Tour”, and mentioned the hype surrounding the rapper and the rap that was to come. When Meek didn’t present a diss track on the Funk Master Flex Show, an opinionated mind at Complex shared their miffed thoughts about what Meek should have done. Complex was also quick to publish an article about what he did do. They were everywhere and anywhere, and spoke about all things relevant to the conversation. Without a clear winner during the beginning of the feud, the magazine made sure to speak to all sides of the beef. That’s when Drake released a second diss track entitled “Back to Back“.

Drake’s second diss track was hard hitting, and a step up from “Charged Up”. When I first heard it, I knew it was straight savage. Without anything but online comments from Meek, and an [un]related video for his single “All Eyes on You“, Meek seemed to be on the losing end of the spectrum. When he released his awaited diss track, “Wanna Know”, it was finalized. They shared Drake’s response right away.

Complex was quick to share the multiple sides to the Meek and Drake feud as they happened, and then shared other opinions alongside the beef. Though “Back to Back” was impressive, the intersectional feminist in me was angry at the way Drake spoke about Nicki- I complained bitterly. There was nothing wrong with Nicki being more successful than Meek at all.  Complex saw the same misogynist undertones that I had seen, even though they had unofficially declared Drake the winner of the beef by sharing consumer sentiment. They pushed their support for the couple further with an article titled “Are We Witnessing the Return of the “Girlfriend” in Hip Hop?”. The author condemned Drake’s “Charged Up” with the following argument:

“Drake’s subtle dig comes with the blow of hip-hop’s hypermasculinity attached: the idea that any woman—even powerhouse Nicki Minaj—could make more money than meek, or have Meek “slipping” is apparently enough for ridicule.”

The way Complex handled the beef had me applauding their capability as a site for credible (and not so credible) hip hop news. By offering so many different opinions and examples, and relevant information, Complex was able to be a go-to source for fans who were interesting in every little detail of the exchange. For those that weren’t concerned with the mundane, short articles had their merit in that readers could take a quick look and catch up where necessary. I wonder if they’re upset that the drama seems to be over!


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