Drake responded to the criticism of an old photo showing him in blackface and wearing a T-shirt with Jim Crow illustrations.
Please stop referring to this picture as “artwork”…I’m not an internet baby, I don’t edit images…this is a REAL picture…these are his truths, see for yourself https://t.co/gd6vRS3HM8 pic.twitter.com/2el58HEZ8F
— King Push (@PUSHA_T) May 30, 2018
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 speaks on “blackface” photos circulating. pic.twitter.com/y3SrOl9DcQ
— Word On Road (@WordOnRd) May 31, 2018
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.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.