It’s not hyperbolic to say that I really like Drake. Like, I really like Drake. I really like Drake in the best way solely a millennial, Toronto-adjacent, Canadian lady who has requested “Good for What” 10+ occasions on repeat on the membership can. I really like Drake for lots of causes: his humble beginnings on Degrassi, his catchy tunes, his mama’s boy angle, the best way he unabashedly reps Toronto (a metropolis I used to be born in, didn’t grown up in, however will now rep wholeheartedly—due to Drake), placing locations like Weston Street on the map, and his industry-paving methods for Canadian expertise. Earlier than Justin Bieber, earlier than The Weeknd, earlier than Daniel Caesar, there was Drake.
Oh, and he’s not *that* onerous to take a look at, both.
I really like Drake, however I’m over him. Or extra aptly, I’m over his critically problematic behaviour—and I’m lastly able to admit it.
Lately, a 2010 video of the 32-year-old rapper, a.okay.a. Aubrey Graham, resurfaced. Within the three-minute clip, the then 23-year-old is joined onstage at a Denver live performance by a younger lady. After asking the gang to “make some noise for Tia from Denver, y’all,” Drake proceeds to sluggish dance with the concert-goer, earlier than commenting on the odor of her hair and kissing the again of her neck. The gang goes wild. Later within the clip, the rapper wraps his arms round her chest from behind earlier than commenting that he’s “getting carried away,” saying, “I’ll get in hassle for shit like this,” then asking her how previous she is—to which she says that she’s 17.
Drake’s response? “I can’t go to jail but, man!” the rapper exclaims, earlier than incredulously asking the underage teen, “Why do you appear to be that? You thick. Take a look at all this.”
TBH, the video felt bizarre usually, with the gang cheering as Drake pulled down the again of the 17-year-old’s prime to kiss the bottom of her neck. (Hey Drake, keep in mind when Madonna clearly kissed you towards your will onstage at Coachella?) However it’s the rapper’s response to discovering out her age that’s actually troubling, and makes the state of affairs straight-up creepy. Addressing it, Drake says, “I don’t know if I ought to really feel responsible or not, however I had enjoyable. I like the best way your breasts really feel towards my chest,” earlier than kissing her on the cheeks and brow.
Whereas individuals within the crowd cheered in 2010, individuals on the web in 2019 aren’t happy, and neither am I. It’s clear from Drake’s response that he is aware of there’s one thing at the very least just a little off with the interplay, and the age of the concert-goer. However not solely does he trivialize the character of the state of affairs—joking about going to jail and getting in hassle for “this shit,” he primarily sufferer blames the woman, telling her that she doesn’t look her age and chastising her for her curves.
However we shouldn’t be stunned, as a result of Drizzy has been problematic for awhile. In 2016, Nylon ranked his most disappointing moments of that yr. In 2015, The Institution, an internet media website funded and run by ladies, critiqued his categorization of girls as both “good women” or “dangerous women.” The excellence between the 2 is straightforward, characterised by their degree curiosity in Drake. Good women sit by the telephone, ready for the rapper to name, with no company and no lives of their very own, whereas dangerous women—just like the unnamed lady in “Hotline Bling,” who goes out, clothes attractive and events with pals—make non-Drake associated selections and are subsequently unfaithful to themselves. It’s a categorization that additional perpetuates the long-held Madonna/whore complicated.
Whereas some argue that the rapper’s most up-to-date indiscretion (or, at the least, the just lately resurfaced video proof of it) wasn’t *technically* unlawful—the age of consent in Colorado is 17; in Canada, Drake’s house nation, it’s 16—it’s unarguably creepy, and troubling contemplating the rapper’s now frequent “friendships” with underage women, together with 14-year-old Stranger Issues actress Millie Bobby Brown. The duo met backstage at a November 2017 live performance in Australia, going from strangers to BFFs in a scorching sec and documenting their newfound bond everywhere in the ’gram.
In 2018, Brown elaborated on their relationship, telling Entry Hollywood that the pair typically textual content one another, with the 32-year-old rapper offering recommendation about guys. “I really like him. We simply texted one another the opposite day and he was like ‘I miss you a lot,’ and I used to be like ‘I miss you extra,’” Brown stated within the interview, “he’s nice.”
Millie Bobby Brown revealed to @AccessOnline that she and Drake textual content about boys: “I really like him. We simply texted one another the opposite day and he was like ‘I miss you a lot,’ and I used to be like ‘I miss you extra,’ he is nice.” pic.twitter.com/UVBO0u97XD
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) September 18, 2018
Brown’s newest feedback on Drizzy occurred across the similar time Toronto’s very personal was rumoured to be courting 18-year-old mannequin Bella Harris (whom he initially and fittingly met on his Summer time Sixteen tour in 2016, when she was 16, and began hanging out with once more simply after saying the existence of his son). And in line with Nylon, in 2016 Drake—then 29—was reportedly courting a 19-year-old Hailey Baldwin, who he’d recognized since she was 14.
Which truthfully, appears sort of like a sample. Is it plausible that the Canadian singer might be pals with Brown and Harris? Positive. However as some Twitter customers identified, his actions—and these relationships—are sort of… gross.
once we came upon drake, 31, is texting millie bobby brown, 14, speaking bout “i miss you a lot” pic.twitter.com/YkPdIdg4EK
— hunter harris (@hunteryharris) September 18, 2018
Okay however Drake texting Millie Bobbi Brown about boys could be very gross pic.twitter.com/IXrNkfj2X4
— sry i dipped (@colourpill) September 18, 2018
They’re additionally akin to grooming, the insidious strategy of manipulating an individual with the intention of victimizing them—which frequently begins as friendship and is characterised by an influence or age imbalance. “Drake is OBVIOUSLY grooming Millie Bobby Brown,” one Twitter consumer wrote, “…no 30-something yr previous man must be in a 14 yr previous women textual content messages giving her… “courting recommendation”.”
Drake is OBVIOUSLY grooming Millie Bobby Brown.. no 30-something yr previous man must be in a 14 yr previous women textual content messages giving her… “courting recommendation”.
— YT: Wesley Lindsey 🎥 (@Zeitwes) September 18, 2018
On the time, Drake and Milly BB’s friendship simply didn’t sit proper with me. Maybe largely, as a result of it—alongside together with his rumoured relationships with Harris and Baldwin—appears at odds with the rapper’s picture as a healthful mama’s boy and feminist. (Though it’s straightforward to see how all three ladies might match his definition of “good woman.”) But when we’re being trustworthy, I continued to shrug this sense off. As many people do with our problematic faves, I gave him a second probability, and a 3rd, and a fourth, within the hopes that he would show me flawed—or relatively, show me proper and additional validate my unwavering help.
And for some time, Drizzy was saying all the correct issues. In October 2018, he opened up about his son, and the less-than-ideal relationship he has together with his son’s mom—former French grownup movie star and artist Sophie Brussaux—to Lebron James on his HBO present The Store, telling the NBA participant: “I’m nonetheless studying to speak with a lady who, you already know, we’ve had our moments. I do need to have the ability to clarify to my son what occurred. However I don’t have any want for him to not love his mom. I don’t ever need the world to be indignant at his mom. We have now discovered ourselves in a state of affairs and we’re each equally accountable. Now, I’m simply actually excited to be an incredible father.”
He later added, “It doesn’t matter what occurs, I’ve unconditional love for the mom of my youngster as a result of I would like him to like his mom and I’ve to undertaking that power.”
This can be a actual second from @Drake. Assume lots of people on the market can relate to considering they have been going to do issues totally different after which, you don’t pic.twitter.com/JNo6czDPRL
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 13, 2018
In the identical interview, the rapper opened up about his tumultuous and sometimes idealized relationship with Fenty Goddess Rihanna. The 2 artists have been on-again, off-again from 2009 till 2016, with Drizzy regularly professing his love for the singer on-line and onstage (problematic in itself), firmly cementing them because the Selena/Bieber of the R&B world, the couple followers demand as our OTP—whatever the pair’s precise emotions or compatibility.
Chatting with James and co-host Maverick Carter concerning the discrepancy between his state of affairs now and what he envisioned for his household life, Drake stated, “As life takes form and teaches you your personal classes, I find yourself on this state of affairs the place I don’t have the fairy story, like, ‘Oh, Drake began a household with Rihanna and that is like so good.’”
YES. *This* is from the Drake everyone knows and love. *This* was Sandra’s son. *This* was the 6ix God. *This* was proof of maturity and private progress!!
However because it seems, woke feminist Drake is pretend Drake. For somebody who raps lots about love and appreciation for ladies (*ahem* the aforementioned banger “Good for What”—an anthem to badass ladies getting it achieved and revelling of their monetary independence) his private actions don’t completely align. Simply someday after his look on “The Store,” the rapper continued his ongoing “bros make up tour” by bringing all-around trash human Chris Brown on stage at his October 13 tour cease in L.A., the place the 2 carried out Brown’s 2017 hit “Social gathering.”
For a fast refresher, Brown and Drake have been in an on-and-off beef since 2010. In 2009, Brown was charged with felony-assault of his then-girlfriend Rihanna, after he bodily attacked the singer the night time earlier than the GRAMMYs. (Brown, the gentleman he’s, has since primarily blamed Rihanna for the incident.)
“I acquired the utmost respect—I feel this man’s probably the most gifted human beings on the planet,” Drake stated to the gang when introducing Brown. To see Drizzy, the espoused feminist and professed romantic, throw his help behind a person who horribly assaulted the alleged love of his life? It felt like a betrayal, not solely to Riri, however to ladies all over the place. Drake doesn’t help all ladies, simply those that serve his wants. It might seem that by dumping him, Rihanna has landed herself within the “dangerous woman” class, and based on Drake, meaning she’s not value his respect.
Drake’s place as my problematic fave made it simpler to help him, simpler to search for the positives and simpler to make excuses: However… he loves Rihanna! However… he’s besties together with his mother! However… “Good for What”!
However… I simply can’t do this anymore.
The stakes are too excessive. As author Sandra Track identified in October 2018, Drake’s curiosity in impressionable younger ladies is “a systemic concern in a society which has a surplus of males in energy, in addition to an abundance of girls who’ve ambitions to be seen, to be understood, to achieve energy themselves inside the present societal construction.” And, she says, it’s a state of affairs that lends itself to various levels of abuse. It’s one thing that may’t be missed, particularly within the present local weather and particularly for ladies who aren’t well-known, as Music considerably prophetically asks: “So what concerning the different younger ladies this type of factor occurs to who, in contrast to Brown and Baldwin, aren’t within the public eye?”
Final weekend marked the debut of Lifetime’s Surviving R Kelly, which options heart-wrenching interviews with a number of ladies who say they have been abused by the R&B singer. During the last 25 years, Kelly has confronted costs of kid pornography and has been accused of holding ladies—predominantly Black ladies—towards their will at his Atlanta house in what a BuzzFeed investigation described as a “intercourse cult.” The six-part docu-series has garnered a mean of two.1 million viewers because it aired, the singer’s lawyer, publicist and an government assistant have resigned [though his lawyer says it is for reasons unrelated to the allegations]and Kelly is reportedly underneath investigation in Georgia
Let’s get one thing straight, R Kelly is arguably pure evil. The allegations towards him, and the complacency of these round him—which allowed his predatory behaviour to proceed for many years—is horrendous. Drake’s behaviour is just not anyplace close to that degree. However, that doesn’t imply it isn’t problematic, and doesn’t imply it shouldn’t be addressed.
For the primary time in historical past, ladies are lastly being heard. Our voices, our bodies and tales are being validated. In consequence, it’s now extra necessary than ever to name out dangerous behaviour wherever and every time we see it, faves apart. Letting Drake—or anybody else, well-known or not—slide can be doing a disservice to survivors, and to anybody weak to abuse. And as we’ve discovered, complacency comes at an unforgivable value.
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