Drake Addresses That Controversial Blackface Photo

Normally, your friends might momentarily ghost you until you were completely caught up in the latest celebrity feud news, but we get it. There’s a lot of weird stuff that’s been happening in entertainment news, and you probably need a review session just to understand all these happenings. This week alone, ABC finally realized that Roseanne Barr is a racist, Becca Kufrin might give the final rose to a transphobic POS, Kim Kardashian is suddenly passionate about prison reform, and we found out that our dictionaries are more woke than the president. Now, as the notorious Drake v. Pusha T. rivalry continues, Drake addresses those infamous blackface photos—and we weren’t expecting this at all.

If you’re still confused about what’s happening between Drake and Pusha T., don’t worry: we’ll get through this together. (Hopefully, so you don’t have to indefinitely mute certain words like “Drake” and “Pusha T.” from your Twitter feed, just to avoid any further confusion.)

Basically, the Drake v. Pusha beef started back in 2006. According to The Washington Post, the two rappers have taken brief hiatuses from their feud, only to periodically insult each other. Like that f*ckboy who infrequently haunts your DMs (just as you were coming to terms with the fact that he ghosted you, again), Drake and Pusha use their lyrics to insult each other—which obviously just provokes their continuous conflict.

In one of Pusha’s recent tracks, he claimed that Drake allegedly has a secret son, Jezebel reports. However, that wasn’t the height of Pusha’s musically driven jab. Yesterday, Pusha released a new song, with some controversial cover art of Drake himself.

After releasing “The Story of Adidon,” the lyrics caused a riff in the Twitterverse. One user tweeted that “The Story of Adidon” refers to Drake’s alleged son, Adonis. “Pusha just explained 'The Story of Adidon' on The Breakfast Club. Adidon is Drake’s Adidas line (named after the kid) and his son will allegedly be featured in the photos," the user tweeted.

Beyond the messages within the song, the cover art—which features Drake donning blackface makeup—caused a bit of controversy on social media, with fans and followers speculating that the photo was used for a clothing line advertisement, or a related promotion. Nevertheless, Drake addressed the reason why he wore blackface and the context behind the photo itself on his Instagram Story on Wednesday.

“This was not from a clothing brand shoot or my music career,” Drake writes in his story. “This picture is from 2007, a time in my life where I was an actor and I was working on a project that was about young black actors struggling to get roles, being stereotyped and type cast. The photos represented how African Americans were once wrongfully portrayed in entertainment."

Drakes adds he and his close friend, Mazin Elsadig, used the photo as a way to speak out against the negative stereotypes and tropes that black actors used to face, and still face today, during and after casting calls. Honestly, it makes sense.

While Hollywood still exploits people of color, particularly black people, for entertainment purposes, the entertainment industry has a problematic history of simultaneously writing bigoted roles for POC. Although healthy and mindful representation for POC is becoming more prevalent in the entertainment industry (thankfully), clichéd tropes still exist, even in some of the more progressive productions.

Although Pusha T. may have used this precarious (albeit, out of context) photo to boost his album sales, like he did with the borderline offensive photo of Whitney Houston’s hotel room, hopefully this controversial blackface photo will transmute into a necessary discussion about representation in the entertainment industry (as well as other industries). And we're pretty certain that Drake won't let this vital convo die down, because he continually discusses race issues and problematic issues that are still ever-present