Drake calls for release of Tory Lanez, proving once more that he’s a rapper for the manosphere

By Abby Amoakuh

Published Feb 27, 2024 at 01:44 PM

Reading time: 3 minutes

Once hailed as a relatable soft boy who managed to have both men and women in their feelings with catchy RnB and classic rap fusions, Canadian rapper Drake is now facing criticism from his fans for aligning himself with the manosphere. Let’s be clear, his fanbase stuck with from through leaked nudes, allegations of predatory behaviour, putting hot sauce in his condoms, and going after superstar Rihanna. However, advocating for the release of Tory Lanez from prison is clearly even too much for them to digest.

On Sunday 25 February 2024, Drake shared a series of photos on his Instagram Stories, including a photo of Lanez with the caption “3 you,” a phrase widely understood as rhyming slang for “free you.”

In case you have been living on the moon for the past few years, Drake’s fellow Canadian rap pal Lanez, was convicted on three felony counts and sentenced to 10 years in prison for shooting hot girl coach Megan Thee Stallion in the foot after a party at Kylie Jenner’s house in 2020. What followed was the boy’s club defending Lanez’s actions on a scale that has rarely been seen before. A lot of celebrities and netizens disparaged Megan and implied that she lied about the shooting on both social media, as well as within their music. The effort was spearheaded by no one else than former Canadian heartdrop Drake.

In his 2022 song ‘Circo Loco’, the rapper turned towards slander and misogyny with the lyrics: “This b*tch lie bout gettin shots, but she still a stallion.”

This line, and his staunch support for Lanez throughout the trial, has understandably upset a lot of his fanbase.

Most netizens resorted to calling the rapper an incel, an online term associated with men who are hostile towards women and one that has been floating around in connection to Drake for quite some time now.

His 2023 album, For All the Dogs (sighs while writing the title) and its 2022 predecessor Her Loss, received very mixed reviews, with critics labelling them as loaded with coded or quite open misogyny.

Dr. Jeanelle K. Hope, an African American studies professor at Prairie View A&M University in Texas, pointed out in conversation with Reckon that these album titles “act as dog whistles to a male audience that is invested in discourse that ultimately seeks to reassert patriarchy.”

It might be difficult to understand, how a successful and attractive man, who not only seems to have no issue getting women but also actively speaks about his womanizer abilities, is branded an incel. However, in this context, the term carries ideological meaning. It speaks to a consistent pattern of behaviour in which Drake has positioned himself as a refuge for lost men and boys, who feel hurt, jaded, and mistreated by women. They look at Drake as their hero for being able to court the women of their dreams, while also reaffirming them in their misogynistic beliefs.

Don’t believe me? Here is the evidence:

During the Miami show for his album For All The Dogs, the rapper noticed a fan holding a sign that read, “I spent all my savings buying tickets for me and my ex, but honestly, nevermind, it’s really Her Loss.”  Drake stopped the show to speak to his fan and said: “What the f*ck is wrong with her?” As the crowd started chanting “F that b*tch,” Drake promised that he would give the fan $50,000 to “flex on her tonight” and concluded by saying “f*ck that young lady.”

@saiyan.patel

tonight was a crazy experience *fuck that bitch* #drake #miami #concert #itsallablurtour #music #song #singer

♬ original sound - saiyan

It was pure, distilled and rampant misogyny, amplified by thousands of concert-goers.

Drake’s first studio album Take Care probably represents the gateway into his music and artistry. I am ashamed to admit that I still love that album. Drake was scathing in his examination of both men and women, the effect of money and fame, and his insecurities, which he laid out without fears of being called corny or lame. This is the Drake, who was in a close friendship with Fenty X Beauty boss Rihanna and strongly defended her against her abusive ex-partner Chris Brown. The Drake, who donated the $1 million budget for his ‘God’s Plan’ video to random people on the street, joking “Don’t tell the label…,” and celebrated his female fanbase with his anthem ‘Nice For What’. I miss him.

This new Drake uses the term b*tch more than he ever has to inferiorise and diminish the freedom, autonomy and self-determination of women. This Drake seems far more interested in presenting men as the victims of their games and what he perceives as pretend victimhood, rather than showing empathy to their situation. It’s a stark departure from who the artist used to be, and represents the end of his emotional “soft boy” or “lover boy” era. Drake is just one of the boys now.

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