Earlier in the summer, Sprite began printing inspirational hip-hop lyrics on their cans. And, in the last week, they’ve been releasing videos of hip-hop artists talking about what inspires them.
Everyone knows hip-hop originated in urban America, from the school of the hard-knocks. But, what is at times forgotten is that hip-hop is ultimately a tool for success, ambition, and can lift communities and place them on the map. This is what Sprite is doing in its new “Obey Your Thirst” collaboration with ‘The Fader‘. Essentially, these documentaries are short films that give voice to the rappers to speak about what inspired them to rise above their circumstances, and how their communities have influenced them.
Drake is a superstar—the only guy who could dethrone Taylor Swift on the charts with a mixtape. In a rare interview, he spoke with The FADER.
Coming up in Toronto, people told Drake to move to New York if he was serious about making it. Instead, he stayed where he was and made history by proving that if you’re a truly multi-layered artist, you can make it from anywhere. “Do it the way I did it,” he says in the above Obey Your Thirst documentary. “Do it from where you’re at. If you have the music, that’s all it takes.”
Now, at the top of his game, Drake says he competes not with established legends or other top-sellers, but with the countless kids itching to take his spot.
Now that hip-hop’s playing field is more open than ever before, Drake knows
there are countless kids itching to take his spot. Those up-and-comers are now his competition, not any established rapper. “That’s how I try to keep pushing this forward,” he says. “Just to let that kid know that I’m not done yet.” Watch the full documentary above, and stay tuned for three more by Sprite and The FADER, sharing the stories of Nas, Vince Staples, and Isaiah Rashad.
Nas shared his story with The FADER x Sprite. “Growing up in Queensbridge, hip-hop was the most amazing thing I’d ever heard,” says Nas in the Obey Your Thirst documentary, made by The FADER and Sprite. “There was nothing more important to me than having a voice. I wanted to make a big impact on this art form. I wanted to open up a doorway for another generation.”
Considering that these are words coming from one of the most revered rappers of all time, behind one of the most beloved albums of all time in 1994’s Illmatic, it’s safe to say that Nas has succeeded in making his dreams a reality. But how did he make it all happen? In the video, Nas gives up-and-comers some advice, insisting on following your vision regardless of what other people say: “Why do something that’s not you? Trust in yourself and always push the envelope.”
3. Vince Staples
“Nothing matters but where you come from, “ says Vince Staples in his Obey Your Thirst documentary, created by The FADER and Sprite. “Without that, who are you?”
Anyone who has listened to his fantastic, just-released debut album Summertime ’06 knows that he’s not making stuff up for the camera. The record is an intricately detailed narrative, completely rooted in the past, present, and future of his hometown. Norf Long Beach made Vince Staples who he is, and he’s not forgetting that with his music.
As his star rises, Staples remains community-first in attitude. He says that without the support of the people around him, he might not have realized hip-hop was his destined path. Now, he wants to encourage others: “I want to be an example to my homies and say you can do whatever you want to do. It’s up to me to push them and push this community.”