“Fuck being on some chess shit,” begins Drake in his song “0 to 100.”
Well how about, fuck making me listen to a song for 6 entire minutes. The track is so long, so monotonous, that I thought it was accidentally on repeat until I realized that nope, it it is actually going to take my ears 367 seconds to get to the point.
Which is actually exactly the point, because chess is a game of strategy. It’s about thoughtfulness, outsmarting the opponent, and skill. Kind of like a rap battle. (Raise your hand if you’ve seen 8 Mile!)
But I like Drake, I like his genre-unique reference to chess, and I want to like this song. So in order to get into it — to be able to enjoy it, live it, feel it — I realized, that meant I had to break it down and understand it.
Fuck being on some chess shit
According to the “Internet” Drake is actually not saying the word “chess.” He’s saying “chill.” But that, my friends, is how you win The Game of the Minds — by fucking with your opponent. And by playing with your ears before the track’s barely begun, Drake stole your Pawn and you didn’t even know. He said “chess,” everyone. Trust me.
We got 0 to 100, real quick
A reference to his early days on the playground: before Drake could rap or play chess or acted in Degrassi, he was a child named Aubrey whose greatest claim to fame was counting the fastest. He was the worst to play hide-and-go-seek with because of this, but his quick counting was a foreshadowing into his mathematical mind which would later lead to an underground career in chess.
How’s your brain doing? Still intact?
Oh Lord, know yourself, know your worth // My actions been louder than my words
He’s advising us listeners to seek the counsel of an accountant as he has, maybe invest a little bit of our young savings, begin thinking about that 401k. Or is he? Guys! Focus! No one saves money anymore! He’s trying to distract you by talking about stock options and look — Drake just stole your Bishop.
How you sold albums, still so down to Earth
Said no one ever to Drake.
All up in my phone, lookin’ at pictures from the other night
Here’s Drake’s “Stars! They’re just like us!” moment. He’s letting you know that he too lays in bed at night and holds his phone over his face while scrolling through Instagram and trying to not drop said phone on to his face.
She gon’ be upset if she keep scrollin’ to the left, dawg // She gon’ see some shit that she don’t wanna see
And here’s where he let his mom look at his phone and then experienced this universal moment of combined dread and annoyance:
If I ain’t the greatest then I’m headed for it
Back to the game of chess. His life goal is to beat the elderly men in Washington Square Park whose entire lives revolve around The Game. But he hasn’t beaten you yet. YET.
That mean I’m way up
The 6 ain’t friendly but it’s where I lay up
He’s talking about the 6 train. It’s not that bad but he’s from Canada so public transportation is probably a lot cleaner there.
This shit a mothafuckin’ lay up // I been Steph Curry with the shot
Basketball reference. He just stole your Queen.
Been cookin’ with the sauce, chef, curry with the pot, boy, 360 with the wrist, boy.
Like many culinary masters and fans of the craft, cooking is how Drake winds down.
OVO, man we really with the shits, boy
*It’s EVOO, but I think he just made a verbal typo. That or Rachel Ray might have EVOO trademarked by now and he’s being careful to not get sued.
Really with the shits
Ok so stop eating curry, Drake.
I should prolly sign a Hit-Boy cause I got all the hits, boy
All the hits = all your chess pieces. 0 = bottom, 100 = now he’s here. The song isn’t even close to being over and Drake just took over your King. He already won.
Rapping’s a game of thrones, and Aubrey Graham won’t rest until he’s Khaleesi.
…I literally have no idea what I just said. I’m on the $ugar Diet, remember?