Drake Dropping a Press Release During a Rap Battle Is the Whitest Thing That Ever Happened This Week

Drake and Anna Wintour attend the Serena Williams Signature Statement by HSN show during Spring 2016 Style360 on Sept. 15, 2015, in New York City.
Drake and Anna Wintour attend the Serena Williams Signature Statement by HSN show during Spring 2016 Style360 on Sept. 15, 2015, in New York City.
Photo: Grant Lamos IV (Getty Images)

Although his ’fro might not nap all the way through—and although he’s been filmed saying the n-word in a quite questionable manner—Drake is a black man. There should be no questioning or doubting of that. He was born black and he gonna die black. His daddy is a literal cat daddy who rocks zoot suits in 2018. That boy black as shit.


But sometimes even the blackest of people can do some white-ass shit. For instance, for discussion’s sake, let’s just pretend that we came to a consensus that Cleveland Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue is the blackest person in America. But if we were to learn that he enjoys placing raisins and peanut M&M’s in potato salad, we could justifiably say, “Although Ty Lue black as hell, that’s some white-ass shit he’s doing.” See how this works? (And honestly, I don’t know why I even asked that question just now because if you don’t see how this works, I’m not gonna explain it.)

Anyway, on Wednesday evening, Drake responded to America’s myriad Pusha T-prompted questions about him with a press release in the form of a notes app. This, to my knowledge, is the first-ever instance of someone replying to a diss track with an artistic mission statement. And while Drake didn’t address (yet) the claims Pusha T made in “The Story of Adidon,” he did explain the genesis and the reasoning behind the now viral blackface photos Pusha T found and used as cover art.

Choosing to explain that this way was an ... interesting decision. One of many interesting decisions Drake is apparently wont to make.

To be fair, Pusha T has placed him in what appears to be a no-win situation. We needed him to explain the photos. But there really is no explanation that would suffice. So instead of giving the type of response we’re used to from him—and literally every other rapper ever—he’s in damage-control mode. This was ... crisis management. Champagne Papi is now Olivia Pope.

Anyway, Drake began his press release with “I know everyone is enjoying the circus,” which is the type of thing that people say when they really want to say, “I really wish y’all would stop making fun of me” and “Y’all should be ashamed of yourselves for daring to make fun of me.” It’s the same type of aggressively passive-aggressive language you’d find in work emails penned by people named Susan or Brad. And this was only the second-whitest part of his statement.


The whitest part came a few sentences later, when he named the other actor in the shoot and saw fit to note that he (Mazin Elsadig) was his best friend at the time. This, in effect, did the following:

  1. Attempted to alleviate blame by making clear that he wasn’t the only one involved;
  2. Released the full name of a person who used to be his best friend to the internet vultures;
  3. Made clear that he no longer fucks with dude—which was just unnecessary to say. Unless, of course, you believe he said that just to distance himself from the blackface photos even further.


In summary, Drake is pretty damn black. But that was some pretty damn white shit.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)


Drake has always been a bitch. I mean someone has to say it and I guess that person is me today.