It's no secret that Drake has a way of riding other's waves. Whether it's a D.R.A.M beat for "Hotline Bling," Migos' flow or whoever's dance moves those were in the video, the 6ix God is definitely paying attention to what's going on at the moment. But while those examples can blur the lines between jacking, inspiration and appropriation, this time around the Toronto rapper straight up stole the artwork of artist and Instagram user Dave Valeza.
In a true showing of pettiness Drake even went as far as to crop out Valeza's name from the piece before posting it to his own account with the caption, "Me and my main ting just coolin." The faux Caribbean "ting" aside, this is a pretty under-handed move by someone in his position given the contemporary social media landscape.
Valeza's own post has a shade under 500 likes at press time, while Drake has racked up well over 414,000. I get it, it's Instagram. But Valeza does deserve credit here, he created something that was then stolen and presented to the world without attribution. Simply crediting Valeza would have avoided the creation of this article and been seen as a welcome cosign, a way of Drake using his power as an artist to empower other artists. Instead, it's simply a furtherance of the "Drake Privilege" that makes the OVO head seemingly believe that any creation is his to interpret and make his own, something he mentioned in a recent interview with FADER.
In an episode of Louis C.K.'s excellent FX show Louie, C.K. confronts Dane Cook about whether or not Cook stole his jokes, which Cook adamently denies. C.K. explains that he doesn't think Cook necessarily wrote down his jokes and stole them outright, but rather Cook heard them, let the ideas swim in his head for a while, and then regurgitated the joke for a much larger audience convinced that he had thought of it himself. In a lot of ways I feel like this also describes where Drake is at now. He's 29-years-old and has done just about everything he can in music, perhaphs his internal creative juices are running dry so he's increasingly looked outward for inspiration and guidance.
But this isn't inspiration, this isn't interpretation, this isn't guidance. This is a millionaire stealing the creation of a struggling artist just for some Instagram likes. So while Drake works to remove his name, we'll gladly credit Valeza. That picture is dope, you should check out his art.
See Drake, was that so hard?