Definitive Proof That I Am Drake’s Most Recent Muse
04.11.18

While I like to think I have approached aging gracefully, what with my healthy amount of disinterest coupled with an increasingly expensive skincare routine, there is one arena in which turning 30 has left me feeling the cruel passage of time: the incredible dearth of going-out songs tailored to my personal needs.

When I was in college and in my early 20s, the world was full of pop songs that got me ready to go out, helped me power through the night and accompanied my taxi rides home after some questionable choices. Once I hit 30, though, I found myself woefully lacking a soundtrack to my social life. Where are the songs to pump me up for a dinner that starts past my normal bed time? A song to play while I take the bus home from birthday drinks at a reasonable hour because I have pilates the next morning? A banger while I look into the terms of my 401k? All that changed this weekend when Drake released “Nice for What”: the 30-something going-out song I’ve been waiting for.

In case you missed it, “Nice for What” is Drake’s new single and video that dropped last Friday (thus enabling me to learn all of the words by Sunday morning). Hot on the heels of the “God’s Plan” video that made me cry on the train platform, Aubrey Drake Graham teamed up again with 22-year-old director Karena Evans to create another instantly viral video (it’s already got 13 million views). When Drake first chimes in after the amazing Big Freedia intro, it sounds like a song about a woman going to the club to de-stress, which it is, but upon closer listen, you’ll discover that there are levels to this song.

As MR Operations Manager Crystal Anderson put it during our recent Drake confab: “‘Nice for What’ is the anthem to end all anthems for women who proudly have entered Auntie territory.” With a few simple lines, Drake has made me feel more seen in a popular song than I have in YEARS. They go as follows:

“Had a man last year, life goes on”

I date way less in my 30s. Now, after a breakup, instead of crying and kissing people in bars, I simply think, “Oh well, more time to read fiction,” and catch up on some short stories rather than putting myself back out there immediately. I award this line 9/10 relatability points.

“Haven’t let that thing loose, girl, in so long”

This is true. I have yet to get close to loose in 2018. I can already feel myself singing this to myself in the mirror a la Issa Rae when I get ready for my quarterly night out. 9.5/10 relatability points, very much feeling that.

“You’ve been inside, know you like to lay low”

Nothing but facts as far as the eye can see. I have been and I do. 10/10 relatability points, extremely feel that.

“Workin’ hard, girl, everything paid for/First, last phone bill, car note, cable”

Do you know how long I’ve been waiting for a song about the delicate balancing act that is personal finance in your 30s? A true bop for a woman who likes to splash out while staying within her allotted Mint budget. 9/10 on the relatability scale, point docked for lack of student loan reference.

“That’s a real one in your reflection/Without a follow, without a mention”

Here Aubrey reminds us that you can take selfies without worrying about follows and mentions. As an old millennial who is not that proficient on social media, I appreciate that. There’s also some garden-variety self love subtext, which I will also happily accept. 10/10 points because I only have 497 Instagram followers.

“Work at 8 a.m., finish ’round five”

More like 10-7, but yes. 10/10 RPs for realistic portrayal of mid-level career hours and the often-flexible end time of the workday. (See also: “Doin’ overtime for the last month”)


As always, Drake knows exactly what he’s doing. By sampling Lauryn Hill’s “Ex-Factor,” he is playing to the crowd who bought the CD at a Virgin Megastore and belted the song with all of their hearts even though they had yet to even hold hands with anyone. He also filled the music video with grown-ass women doing grown-ass women things (i.e. meditating, sitting through meetings, doling out smoldering looks) and also Yara Shahidi, our collective play cousin.

As that lovable Canadian goober and occasional fuckboi skates through our lives, empowering and not-texting women in equal parts, I can’t help but think that maybe this is 31-year-old Drake’s latest dating strategy. I’m not complaining that his newest thirst trap appears to be reverence for the 30-something lifestyle: one where women question their niceties, increase their credit scores, find their best selfie light for the sake of it and turn up on those rare nights we decide to leave the house. I just didn’t expect to feel so seen.

Drake, if you want to go on a 7:30 p.m. dinner date during which I promptly cut it off after two glasses of the second cheapest wine on the menu, feel free to slide into my Insta DMs (I could use the follow).

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  • Cristina

    I watched this video like 14 times Monday. And everyone reaction video on YouTube (which is a world I didn’t know existed). It’s basically the 2018 version of Fancy. I love Drake’s support of women. I love the women in this video. I love the sense of empowerment AS women reflected in the video. And the creative element is insane.
    PS- if you watch any of said reaction videos, it’s really sad how many of the youngins don’t know Lauryn Hill and how many people overall don’t know who Misty Copeland is, I mean COME ON.

  • Patty Carnevale

    Nora this article is 11/10 relatability pts

  • Nikki Bent

    “Where are the songs to pump me up for a dinner that starts past my normal bed time? A song to play while I take the bus home from birthday drinks at a reasonable hour because I have pilates the next morning? A banger while I look into the terms of my 401k?” – you get me

  • nothing has ever spoken to me more.

  • TH

    I’m conflicted – I, too, will never say “no” to a new Drake song, and I, too, put this one on the second I heard this came out. But Drake said some pretty nasty shit about women on Views (notably, he talks about his mom and says “all because of her I won’t do you like I should … don’t make me take you back to the hood ???!!!). Views was an effort to rebrand himself as someone who’d moved on from the baby face who cried over his exes, so I can’t help seeing “Nice for What” as yet another rebranding, very superficial, for the “me too” movement. I don’t trust it and I am reluctant to credit him as someone who appreciates and understands women.

  • Amelia Diamond

    this sentence really got me “he is playing to the crowd who bought the CD at a Virgin Megastore and belted the song with all of their hearts even though they had yet to even hold hands with anyone” my heart!!!!!

  • That last sentence (and all of the previous ones, too!!) is me. This was a true gift to read.

    P.S. When is Nora’s Get To Know Team MR piece coming out are we still doing those I hope soooo

    • Maggie Lanham

      Yess!! Who is this incredible woman?!

  • Crystal

    I cannot say that I have or have not listened to this song on repeat since Friday night. I also cannot say that I requested this song at the Hotel Man Repeller #BermudatoNYC Party on Saturday night. I CAN say that Drake is the worst when he gets ready to be BUT, I can also say that this song is the Auntie Anthem of 2018 and as a woman that “lays low” but also ventures to “makes that ass jump” from time to time, I am here for this song. All of it. every last little but of it. I’m currently looking for my sensible dancing shoes for a day party on Saturday, that will allow be to “let loose” for the first time in so long, yet still be back home in time to watch reruns of Shark Tank on MSNBC. Thank you for this Nora. Mini Auntie’s everywhere applaud you.

    • Amanda Roussel

      all here for “auntie anthem”

    • Adey

      Got off the plane from NYC to the 6 and immediately played this on repean, on the train home. “Letting loose” these days is having my own solo dance floor while making a world class dinner, calling my mom and sisters (discussing the new ‘young’ music a la Drake et al.) and going to bed promptly by 10PM. Auntie’s everywhere clapping for this song (and Nora, your fabulous article summing up the vibes so succintly) HIGH FIVE

  • 808kate

    This article made me identify more with my turning 30 (happened last year, still confused/blindsided) than anything else has for some reason so thank you! I feel seen too lol. Nothing better than a night out that starts at 7PM so I can be in bed by midnight with all of my face creams applied per my usual routine

  • SO GOOD

  • Theresa

    A true bop for a woman who likes to splash out while staying within her allotted Mint budget.

    Love this!!! You go girl!!! Can’t wait to read more

  • Kattigans

    Does anyone else get Lauryn Hill vibes from this song? Its 90’s feel brought to the now without being too literal. Damn, Drake.

    • kay

      you know that is from a lauryn hill song? ex-factor

      • Kattigans

        Ahh yes! Thank you. Had not had coffee yet. Thanks!

  • Abby

    living for this

  • ValiantlyVarnished

    As a woman in my mid-30’s I second this. The first time I heard the song I thought “Drake wrote a song about me?!” Yes I DO like to lay low. Yes I DO my pay for my own phone bill,cable, etc. Yes, I DO arrive at 8 and leave around 5 (more like 4:15- but minor detail). And YES that IS a real one in my reflection – thanks for noticing since my selfie game is a work in progress.

  • Hahaha. This is genius.

  • smillipede

    “quarterly night out”
    “second cheapest glass of wine” sad but so so true

  • Joh

    This is hands down the dopest reading of a song I have ever read- 10/10 real talk.

  • Jose

    Speaking for us tíos, this is a great piece! Thank you Nora!

  • Guusje Ileen

    Drake, if you want to go on a 7:30 p.m. dinner date during which I promptly cut it off after two glasses of the second cheapest wine on the menu, feel free to slide into my Insta DMs (I could use the follow).

    GOLDEN <3

  • Jay

    No way, girl… you got me with the title, cause who does not want to be Drake‘s muse… and I was literally thinking the same when I listened to it. (Watched the video only after reading this though, thanks for that!)

    But maybe we can make a trade:

    You get Drake, I get Kendrick Lamar, and then we hang out with Cardi B all the time? Oh, and do we have a girl to join for The Weeknd?

    (All musc very recommended)

  • Yasmeen Dawoodjee

    LOVED this article Nora – looks like Drake isn’t the only one good at making things relatable. Thank you too!