Giovani Bernard Talks Drake's 'More Life' and Rihanna's Influence | Giovani Bernard

Giovani Bernard Talks Drake's 'More Life' and Rihanna's Influence


Drake's sports fandom is as prolific as his catalog, but luckily for him, it's a two-way lovefest as athletes of all stripes have made him ubiquitous from the practice field to the locker room to the after-party. With the release of his latest album (OK, "playlist") More Life last Saturday (March 18), the Toronto MC/singer/monolith has already inspired record-breaking streaming numbers and praise from athletes across the board.

Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard is one of the album's early fans, and he told B/R why he'll be bumping More Life into next season.

"I'm a Drake fan, definitely. I mean that's what's being played in the locker rooms just about every day. He's on top of his game, and so his music's everywhere: the locker rooms, but also in people's cars, in the club—wherever you go, you hear his voice.

"I was actually just playing it on my Beats Pill in the locker room, here in Cincinnati. Drake's already here! In general, I'm very low-key. I don't like hardcore rap—the, 'Oh I'm about to kill you,' kind of thing? I don't need any of that. It’s more about just sitting back in my car, chilling, listening. Chance the Rapper’s Coloring Book was amazing. I'm a big Frank Ocean guy—[Blonde] was pretty sweet. Also old-school music—my Marvin Gaye, my Sade...I know that's really random, but it kind of tells you my favorite type of music. I’m a super vibe-y kind of guy.

"So for that, 'Do Not Disturb' is a good one, and the one with PartyNextDoor ['Since Way Back']. I'm a big PartyNextDoor fan. He's another guy that's really incorporated that island feel. 'Passionfruit' is great; I like the vibe. Granted, before a game I'm not going to listen to it—that’s when I need my heavy dosage rap. But right now, those kinds of songs are what I lean toward. I'm not playing a football game, so I don't need to get super-hyped up.

"The biggest thing was that he actually committed and did [the dancehall thing]. We haven't really heard much of that in the rap game recently, or at least in the American rap game. He adds this island feel. It's one thing that Drake does really well: He's able to cater to what everybody likes. I think that's why him and his voice are so popular throughout the world, not just in America. That's like in life in general: The more you can do, the better.

"Being Haitian [in the U.S.], listening to Caribbean music is more about the vibe—less about "Oh, I can relate to that lyric" and more about the energy that that music brings and the camaraderie that comes from it. It brings everybody together. That's the main thing about Caribbean music: It's just a big ol' party. Other cultures have those kinds of musics, but I think the Caribbean sound is particularly prominent in that atmosphere.

"To me, the patois is just his way of trying to talk to everybody. It shows his diversity. Whether he does it well or not, I think it's just the fact that he's actually trying it. You don't hear many other rappers trying to do that. He's going outside of the box, and it's working for him thus far. Also, [Rihanna] probably told him a little something about Caribbean music when they had their thing. I'm sure she had some influence [laughs]. That whole group with him, Rihanna and Party, they actually successfully bring that island feel to rap.

"You're not gonna typically hear [dancehall] in the Bengals locker room, but with this album, three or four of those songs have that Caribbean feel to them. Hopefully it will help [dancehall] creep into the locker room. We'll see."


Source: Bleacher Report | Natalie Weiner | March 21, 2017



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