Donkey_Kong_GameplayA drake is a male duck.

To me, Drake will always be the kid in the wheelchair from the new Degrassi series. To the rest of the world he’s probably in the Top 5 List of “Biggest Rappers in the World”. I don’t listen to a lot of mainstream rap, but the last few singles out of Drake are more than just song releases, they become instantly embedded into pop-culture. Endless quoted, meme’d and all over the place. Just off the top of my head I know the melodies and hooks for “Started From the Bottom” and “Hotline Bling”, I’ve never once actively made any effort to listen to these songs.

So imagine my surprise when the latest Drake mega-song came out and it appeared to be an ode to Mario in Donkey Kong, with Drake repeating “Jumpman, Jumpman, Jumpman” again and again. This isn’t just for comedic effect here, my geek brain literally went to “Mario” before it went to “Michael Jordan.” That’s pretty damned nerdy.

So yes, I was briefly under the impression that hip-hop superstars Drake and Future were rapping about an arcade game that came out in 1981 and not about a basketball star who retired in 2006. Much more current.

Then I looked up the lyrics and found out that they’re not even really about Michael Jordan either, let’s have a look. I’m not going to share all the lyrics here, because there are a lot. But first, let’s take a look at what lyrics might actually be about Michael Jordan or even basketball. I mean, other than repeatedly saying “Jumpman”, which, could just as easily be about Mario.

It takes an intro and a full verse to even be remotely about Jordan:

Jumpman, Jumpman, Jumpman, fuck was you expecting? Woo Chi-Town, Chi-Town, Michael Jordan just had text me, woo

Who was I expecting Drake? I was expecting Mario. I guess this to show how cool Drake is by referencing the fact that Michael Jordan texts him. Maybe Michael Jordin texts him to say “hey, don’t use my nickname in the same song where you say ‘Taliban, Taliban I’m gon’ shoot you'”. I’ve gotten ahead of myself, but also I’m not kidding.Here’s the intro to the song:

[Intro: Drake & Future] If Young Metro don’t trust you I’m gon’ shoot you Yeah, yeah Halloween Taliban, Taliban I’m gon’ shoot you Yeah


So, apparently this in reference to one of Drake’s buddies (Metro Boomin) who apparently used to hashtag stuff on Twitter with “Taliban” because, presumably, it’s “blowing up.” But honestly, how out of touch with the world and the general going-ons of the planet to think that it’s ever ok to say “Taliban, Taliban, I’m gon’ shoot you” in a heavy play radio jam? In a song (ostensibly) about a great basketball player no less. Note: I skimmed through Metro Boomin’s Twitter account to one of these hashtags for myself and couldn’t find one in the last 6 months. Maybe Metro got wise to how dumb and ignorant using modern terrorism to get noticed on social media was. Not Drake though, he put those words in his song and they’ll be there forever.

Do we have any other basketball lyrics to look at? Sort of.

Money coming fast, we never getting sleep I, I just had to buy another safe Bentley Spur and Phantom, Jordan fadeaway

This is a lyric about money and how much of it Future must have. Because he cannot sleep because the money is coming so fast. He can also buy multiple Bentleys in two different models. Then, right at the very end of his verse he seems to remember that this song is called “Jumpman” and not “How Much Money Does Future Have” so he throws in a reference to Michael Jordan’s fadeaway jump shot. Because this a song about Michael Jordan you guys.

More basketball!

Jump when I say jump, girl, can you take direction? Ooh Mutombo with the bitches, you keep getting rejected, woo

So far we have a throwaway reference to Jordan’s shot and the fact that Drake may or may not personally know Michael Jordan as our basketball references.

Most of the song (you can look up the rest of the lyrics if you’re really bored) is about money, cars and how Drake and Future treat women. They really haven’t rapped that much about basketball, mentioned slam dunks or even Air Jordan running shoes. Rapping about shoes is a long standing tradition in hip-hop. Your song is called “Jumpman”. This should be an easy mark for some rhymes guys.

I think there’s a lot of Michael Jordan references they can go to here without bringing ANOTHER BASKETBALL PLAYER into the mix. You see, if you can’t take direction, Drake will reject you like Dikembe Motumbo, famous for finger wagging and rejecting basketball players scoring attempts. The way Drake rejects women. Who can’t take direction.

In the 4th verse (Future’s 2nd verse), something even more magical happens. He seems to FORGET THE NAME OF THE SONG HE’S SINGING:

And I had ’em like wow, cup dirty Dopeman, dopeman, dopeman, dopeman, dopeman, dopeman Money on the counter, choppers on the floor

I guess money goes with drugs. But the only real link to Michael Jordan in the song called “Jumpman” was the fact they the rappers keep saying “Jumpman, Jumpman, Jumpman” and then Future is like “fuck it, I’m going to say Dopeman this time.”

For the record, according to Urban Dictionary in this instance “choppers” probably means a fully automatic weapon like an AK-47. This song has 2 references to Michael Jordan, 1 to Dikembe Motumbo, a whole lot of references to how easily Drake and Future attract money and women and multiple references to guns and shooting people and the aforementioned shoutout to the Taliban.

I don’t think any of this really has a point, but holy shit I wish this song was about Mario. And in a way, it’s as much about Mario as it is about Micheal Jordan.

Keith does all sorts of things here on, he works with the other founders on 9to5 (illustrated), co-hosts our two podcasts: The 9to5 Entertainment System and Go Plug Yourself and blogs here as The Perspicacious Geek.

Photo of Drake by: Drew: Drake (The Come Up Show)