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Meaning of the song ‘Middle of the Ocean’ by ‘Drake’

“Middle of the Ocean” by Drake is a profound exploration of the rapper’s personal progress, the struggle he’s faced in his rise to fame, and his lifestyle. Traversing the highs and lows of his journey, questioning his critics, and referencing experiences in the hip-hop scene, Drake delivers a complex narrative layered with cocky bravado, critical insights, and an appreciation for all he’s achieved.

The song starts on an introspective note, with Drake allowing us into his glamorous world. Staying at Missoni room at the Byblos, referencing a luxurious hotel, Drake compares the turbulent ups-and-downs of his life to a boat rocking on the ocean, an homage to late R&B singer Aaliyah’s hit “Rock the Boat”. The rapper admits his life has drastically changed from before, referring to his humble beginnings in Toronto to his current jet-setting lifestyle. His global fame is metaphorically referred to as a cargo jet flow, Drake’s metaphor for his worldwide reach and influence.

“The first martini is an espresso” and “Casual sex, I’m like, “Fuck a dress code”” alludes to the opulence of his life, but also hints at the alienation he experiences. A raw Drake slams critics from his neighborhood who don’t understand his music, arguing that they are ignorant to the broader art form of music outside the confined stereotypical style of rap.

Her Loss

The following verse sees Drake reflecting on his past relationships and the intricacies of his love life, referenced through metaphors like “EmRata here fresh off divorce”. He flaunts his successful career, painting a picture of a wealthy lifestyle, buoyed by references to designer brands and famous personalities.

Drake then addresses the critiques he has faced since his arrival in America. The line “No chance the kid’ll make it here like vasectomy” is an effective metaphor showcasing how many doubted his potential to stick in the industry, comparing it to the sterilization process men undergo to prevent having kids, highlighting that critics thought his chances were nil. However, Drake celebrates his perseverance, again emphasizing his prosperity with lines like, “I send the label bills, bills, bills”.

The ‘Middle of the Ocean,’ is a metaphor expressing his isolated position at the top of the game, away from the hubris and close to introspection. There’s a realization that while his might be a privileged life, it can also be desolate. Drawing the parallel of his position in music with being stranded in the middle of the ocean, he highlights how success can feel isolating.

This track is another testament to Drake’s ability to deliver an introspective, raw chronicle of his life and experiences. His mastery of metaphors, and clever wordplay, combined with a fearless, assertive flow that is downright contagious, create an empowering hip-hop ballad, drawing in listeners into his world to savor his journey and observe his triumphs and tribulations.

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