If you clicked on this article wondering if you read that headline correctly, here’s the answer: yes, you did. A university in Canada will be offering a course so you can study Drake and the Weeknd.
Ryerson University’s The Creative School will be offering a course called “Deconstructing Drake & The Weeknd” in the Winter semester starting in January 2022. According to the university’s news release, the course will discuss the lives and musical talents of the two Toronto-born artists, as well as their entrepreneurial ventures.
The class will be taught by Ryerson Professor-In-Residence Dalton Higgins and will be offered as one of The Creative School’s flagship courses for its Professional Music BA program. According to the university, the program is Canada’s “first transdisciplinary professional music undergraduate program.”
Higgins said that it is high time for Canadian rap and R&B icons to be “recognized and canonized, academically or otherwise.” He added that it is important for scholars and historians to “examine the Toronto music scene that birthed Drake/The Weeknd and helped create conditions for them to become mega-successful.”
Higgins has given several lectures on Black music and hip hop at various universities and has also penned six books on the topic. According to Higgins, Drake is “actually a great writer” because the artist uses various literary devices in the lyrics of the songs he writes, like metaphors, similes, and iambic pentameter.
Aside from studying the two artists and the music scene in Toronto, Higgins added that the course will also involve dissecting and deconstructing the lyrics of the two artists’ songs to analyze how they write their songs.
Drake and The Weeknd are both Toronto-born artists, and both have successfully made names for themselves in the music industry. Drake has achieved several career milestones, including four Grammy Awards, eight number 1’s on the Billboard 100 chart, and six number 1’s in the UK.
The Weeknd has also had his fair share of achievements in the music industry. Aside from being an Ethiopian Grammy winning artist, The Weeknd is also an outspoken activist. He pledged $1 million to Ethiopian relief efforts through the UN World Food Programme back in April. Ethiopia has been steeped in conflict as thousands in the country are believed to have been raped, abused and killed.
The Weeknd has also been outspoken about issues in the music industry. An example of this is his boycott of the Grammy’s, which he claims is “corrupt.” The annual awards show has been under scrutiny for some time now due to its secretive voting system and alleged biases against Black and female artists. Because of this, the artist has stated that he would no longer submit songs to the Grammys.
According to Higgins, there is a lot to learn from both Drake and The Weeknd, and he hopes that his class will encourage students to ask more complex questions about life, race, music, and how they all connect to each other.
Registrations for the course haven’t been opened yet, but The Creative School Dean Charles Falzon believes that the course will become packed very quickly as it is already clear that there is much enthusiasm and anticipation for the class.