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Meaning of ‘Fair Trade’ by ‘Drake’ feat. Travis Scott

Released: 2021 • Features: Travis Scott

“Fair Trade” hits you with that blend of introspection and bravado that’s classic Drake, with Travis Scott jumping in to add his signature vibe. On its surface, the track is a toast to personal growth and a nod to the trade-offs of fame. It’s about cutting off the dead weight of fake friends and finding solace in one’s own company. Now, let’s break it down, shall we?

Drake kicks off the track feelin’ some type of way, caught between the respect he gets as an OG and the drama that comes with fame. He’s talkin’ ’bout how people are always fishing for the latest scoop on his life – that’s the “tea” – and how despite the threats and hate he gets, he remains unfazed. When he says, “I won’t put no money on his head, my niggas owe me,” Drizzy’s making it clear he’s above petty conflicts and favours loyalty over retaliation.

He brings it home with the hook that circles back to this idea of “fair trade.” To Drake, losing those two-faced friends is a small price to pay for inner peace. It’s a declaration that he’s reached a point where solitude trumps being surrounded by fake love.

In the second verse, the 6 God goes deeper into his personal journey, reflecting on the hardships and the transformations he’s been through. One moment we’re talkin’ about his come-up, the depth of his emotions, next thing you know he’s biggin’ up his mom for overcoming disability and inspiring his grind. It’s this same hustle that has him wondering what happened to the ones that fell off, them cats who couldn’t keep up with his rise to the top. Drake doesn’t hold grudges though – that’s growth, that’s maturity.

Then Travis Scott jumps in with his verse, and it’s like the track shifts gears. La Flame’s part is a hazy, darker trip down his own lane of struggles. He speaks on those “fake friends and skeletons,” indicating he’s got his own set of issues with trust and deceit in the game. He also references how he’s dealing with the pressures of success, seen in lines like “this shit be cavin’ in” and talks about the superficial relationships marked by emojis. That “Purple demon face” is likely about those who show love to his face but have ulterior motives. Despite the chaos, Travis stays getting to the bag, dropping cash on lavish experiences while dealing with the fake industry love.

The song’s bridge and outro dive into a soulful plea, a call for understanding and connection. It’s like Drake’s reaching out from a place of vulnerability amidst his success, longing for something real while navigating the complexities of his life in the spotlight.

In “Fair Trade,” Drake and Travis Scott lay out the trade-offs they’ve made to reach their zenith in the game. They’re talkin’ cutting off the leeches and embracing the solace that comes with self-reliance. It’s a heavyweight collab that’s as much a banger as it is a contemplative look at the cost of fame.

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