Drake responded to the criticism of an old photo showing him in blackface and wearing a T-shirt with Jim Crow illustrations.

The 2008 photograph surfaced as the cover art for Pusha-T’s diss track “The Story of Adidon,” in which he alleges that Drake is confused about his biracial identity and has a secret child. After accusations that the image was edited, Pusha tweeted, “this is a REAL picture…these are [Drake’s] truths.”

Drake went on Instagram to give context to the image with a statement that began, “I know everyone is enjoying the circus, but I want to clarify this image in question.”

He made clear that the photo was not in association with a lookbook shot for Too Black Guys, as previously reported. The images were taken when the Toronto native was focused on his acting career and was “working on a project that was about young black actors struggling to get roles, being stereotyped and type-cast.”

The pictures were captured by photographer David Leyes, who asserted the concept was Drake’s idea. The rapper closed his statement by saying, “This was to highlight and raise our frustrations with not always getting a fair chance in the industry and to make a point that the struggle for black actors had not changed much.” A sentiment rapper Lupe Fiasco shared after seeing the images.

Drake was playing the role of Jimmy Brooks on Degrassi at the time the pictures were taken.