Meaning of “Red Button” by Drake
“Red Button” is one of the tracks that was released as part of Drake’s project “For All the Dogs Scary Hours Edition”, aka Scary Hours 3, on 17 November 2023. The album, being an expanded reissue of Drizzy’s “For All the Dogs” (2023) LP, contains 29 tracks in total, i.e. 24 songs from the original playlist coupled with six new additions.
And concerning these newer tracks, “Red Button” has generated headlines due to the Drizzy namedropping a couple of other A+ musicians therein.
First is Taylor Swift. Drake recognizes her as “the only ni*ga” in the music industry who he genuinely has respect for. Or put otherwise, she’s the sole artist who could compel Aubrey to release an “album just a little later” than originally planned, so that its sales won’t be adversely affected by coming out at the same time as a Swift album.
So another way of interpreting this assertion is along the lines of Drizzy expressing his belief that Tay Tay is the only musician who can outsell him. But as for the “rest”, the rapper does not consider them to be viable commercial rivals.
A few bars afterwards, Drake makes some interesting statements against Yeezy, aka Kanye West. As we at Song Meanings and Facts have documented numerous times in the past, these two emcees have had a notable beef in recent years, which at times has found its way into songs, such as this one.
And in that regard, Aubrey has definitely come off as being the more aggressive of the two, as if he favors picking on the relatively-peaceful Kanye.
But Graham uses the opportunity of “Red Button” to express his side of things. And simply put, he presents Yeezus as someone who has a tendency to occasionally ‘call a truce’ for political purposes but doesn’t really desire to have peace.
And every time he does so, i.e. squash the beef, Drake, being the younger and more naïve of the two if you will, gets gassed into believing that he and Yeezy are finally good, only to later “realize that everything [is] premeditated”.
So basically, Drizzy is asserting that West has the tendency to play with his emotions. And whereas he does not give any specific examples of how Kanye has done so, he may be alluding to the fact that sometimes the Christian-minded West also lets his lower man get the best of him and proceeds to attack Drake in public.
Also to note, near the end of the track’s sole verse, comedian Larry David is mentioned. Drake does so, in a roundabout way, to point to the fact that he owns a Phantom, i.e. a luxury Rolls-Royce or, put more simply, a ridiculously-expensive car.
And with the above in mind, “Red Button” is by and large braggadocious. For example, the title basically serves as a metaphorical way of Drizzy touting his formidability not only as an artist (with the “red button” reportedly being a reference to a music studio) but also as an adversary. Or as implied, when he decides to bring it, none of his rivals, musical or otherwise, are able to compete.
Credits for “Red Button”
Georgia-based rapper Lil Yachty is credited as both a writer and producer of this song, as is Ovrkast. And its other writers are Drake and Di Melo.
“For All the Dogs Scary Hours Edition”
Out of the six new “For All the Dogs Scary Hours Edition” tracks, “Red Button” appears first on the album’s playlist (though 24th overall).
Drake’s label OVO Sound issued this track in conjunction with Republic Records.