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Both Drake And Kanye Have Handwriting Like Kidnappers

On The Documentary‘s title track, rapper The Game spits,”If you cross my T’s, I’ll dot your eyes,” revealing that even handwriting can be gangsta. Hip-hop–at its core, poetry with a beat behind it–is understandably tied to handwriting. The coded fonts of graffiti tags effectively turn them into jargon, meaningful only to those already immersed in the subculture. Jean-Michel Basquiat, whose poetry and art is still wildly influential in the hip-hop world, branded his work with stemless E’s. And how can we forget Drake‘s scrawl for If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late? It’s the album art that Twitter user @Burrgos said looked like “a suicide note from a Chick-Fil-A cow.”


Handwriting is fresh on our minds, because yesterday, January 24th, infamously famous rapper, producer, and designer, Kanye West, tweeted out the tracklist to his upcoming album, SWISHKanye’s tweet called SWISH “the greatest album of all time,” and, as evidenced by our neverending coverage, its February 11th release date can’t come soon enough. Unfortunately, some of us, including TIME contributor Nolan Freeney, couldn’t decipher Ye’s Sharpie-manship. As Feeney wrote, “How long did it take to figure out that ‘Wolves’ was not ‘WOLUB),’ as it appears to be here?” Admittedly, I spent a good minute staring at track number two, an unreleased bit of magic that looks to be titled “Fathe Stretch My Wands.”

Drake and Kanye have been trading the rap game crown the past couple of years, and it’s a tough tie to break. In light of their similarly all-caps everything handwriting, we’ve got to ask: who wrote it better? Thanks to graphology, the pseudo-scientific field of handwriting analysis, we might have found our answer in swashes and v-wedges. So grab your plume feathers and inkwells, and put on your calligraphist glasses, as we pit Drake and Kanye’s handwriting against one another.

Drake’s handwriting is undoubtedly distinct, a characteristic that Complex says “allows Drake to look at the world through a one-way mirror,” like a prisoner of his own psyche. He’s not going to confuse enemies’ works as his own. Even though Drake’s font style is, at first glance, a bit haphazard, deeper analysis reveals a meticulousness absent in Kanye’s tracklist. He has taken the time to strike-through spelling errors, rewriting words even though it documents his revision. It’s the mark of a perfectionist–a man who is careful what he publishes, from the bombastic music all the way down to the font.

Using our own extremely limited knowledge of graphology, we came to the conclusion that Drake is hiding more emotions than Kanye. His left-slanted liner notes reveal an embedded sense of guardedness. Consider the crab claw stance required to write consistently at a 13-degree tilt–that’s the type of move you’d pull off in high school when someone was peeking at your Scantron sheet. Long-term, such hand gymnastics could easily lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, but Drake doesn’t care–he’d write through the pain.

If You're Reading This It's Too Long
Drake’s Liner Notes: If You’re Reading This It’s Too Long

Comparatively, Kanye’s handwriting is loud–an aggressive style, reminiscent of the last-minute note that your roommate left on the fridge before they slammed the door to go to work: “CLEAN THE DISHES IN THE SINK.” The letters are serviceable and that’s it. If you don’t want to read what he’s got to say, that’s your own problem. A handwriting expert told DAZED that Kanye’s pen choice–a thick-tipped, permanent marker–“makes a strong impression.” What dominance! It’s not that he doesn’t care about how the world perceives him–he already knows. Kanye’s standoffish attitude has allowed him to develop a private life free from paparazzi and journalistic leeches, who would go so far as to stalk outside his personal home at 4AM, or even write articles drawing conclusions based off of handwritten notes.

However, the similarities between the two rappers’ handwriting show why Drake and Kanye are at the top. Sheila Kurtz, president of ScanMyMan–a website that purportedly reveals inconvenient truths that your SO subliminally left in his scribbled notes–told Complex UK that Kanye’s block print font is a sign of power favored by people who write ransom notes. Meanwhile, If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, from the title to the handwriting, could easily be confused as a kidnapper’s last laugh. These two wildly-successful men are at the top, they’ve got a taste for money, and they know they’ll get more as soon as Views from the 6 and SWISH release later this year. We promise, we’ll give you all the money, just let us hear your new shit.

For everyone’s sake, here’s the print version for SWISH‘s tracklist:

  1. “Nina Chop”
  2. “Father Stretch My Hands”
  3. “Waves”
  4. “High Lights”
  5. “30 Hours”
  6. “No More Parties in L.A.”
  7. “Fade”
  8. “FML”
  9. “Real Friends”
  10. “Wolves”

Stay tuned to Milk for more rapper analysis.

Images via IfYoureTypingThisItsTooLate.com, TimeOut. Main image by Kathryn Chadason.

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