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Drake Releases a Statement About the Blackface Photo

Drake performing at Coachella in 2017.
Drake performing at Coachella in 2017.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella

Drake, whose feud with Pusha T went nuclear yesterday night with the the release of a diss track alleging Drake has a secret child, has spoken out about at least one part of this trainwreck: the photograph of Drake in blackface that Pusha used for album art. Drake took to Instagram Stories Wednesday night to post a statement addressing the issue.

“I know everyone is enjoying the circus, but I want to clarify this image in question,” the rapper wrote, going on to explain that he had been working as an actor, not a musician, at the time the photo was taken. According to Drake, he was attempting to make a statement about the way the film industry treated black actors. The rapper also confirmed that the image was not part of a photoshoot for Too Black Guys—something the founder of the clothing label asserted in his own statement—and credited the idea to himself and actor Mazin Elsadig. Their goal 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.” As for the other issues raised in Pusha T’s diss track, Drake has yet to comment.

Instagram stories are a Snapchat-style feature that allows users to post images that are automatically deleted in 24 hours. They aren’t embeddable by design, but Drake’s statement should be visible until Thursday evening by visiting his Instagram page and clicking on his profile picture. Here is the complete text:

I know everyone is enjoying the circus but I want to clarify this image in question. This was not from a clothing brand shoot or my music career. This picture is from 2007, a time in my life where I was an actor and I was working on a project that was about young black actors struggling to get roles, being stereotyped and type cast. The photos represented how African Americans were once wrongfully portrayed in entertainment. Me and my best friend at the time Mazin Elsadig who is also an actor from Sudan were attempting to use our voice to bring awareness to the issues we dealt with all the time as black actors at auditions. 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.