Dear Gossips, 

There are two artists dominating music at the moment: Cardi B and Drake. Drake’s God’s Plan is, so far, the biggest song of 2018. It’s been #1 for 11 weeks straight now. Every week there’s a new think-piece or three about why God’s Plan has been so successful. This week Billboard assessed all the reasons God’s Plan is a “pop classic” and what it is that Drake understands better than anyone else in the business about producing and marketing his work. 

As you know, Drake dropped a new song with a new video the other day – with Nice For What, he’s trying to take down himself. It remains to be seen if that actually happens but, not surprisingly, it got off to a very, very strong start with 20 million streams in the United States alone. Within all minutes of its release, social media lit up from all around the world, as people from Spain to South Africa picked up on yet another Drake drop and started mobilising. 

Meanwhile, Cardi B’s first album, Invasion Of Privacy has been critically and commercially embraced and is set to debut at #1. What’s even more exciting is the potential she’s showing on this album. Cardi is cutthroat and sensitive at the same time. She’s in your face but she’s also shy. She’s fierce and she’s vulnerable, painfully vulnerable – and Invasion Of Privacy manages to bring all of those pieces together while still making room for what’s coming next. Because Cardi is actually still getting better. We are nowhere near Peak Cardi. As The New York Times noted this week, “the appetite for her is insatiable”. Not unlike the appetite for Drake. What connects the two is not just how dominant they’ve been lately but also a song. Both Cardi and Drake sample the same song on Be Careful and Nice For What. And not just any song but a Lauryn Hill song, Ex-Factor. From one of the greatest albums of all time, The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill, which will be 20 years old this coming August. Doreen St Felix wrote a beautiful essay published yesterday in The New Yorker about how Lauryn’s work, which has stood the test of time, has informed the work of both Cardi B and Drake, two artists who are so specifically of right now. It’s my favourite thing about the internet this week. 

Yours in gossip,