While Drake is by no means a villain, the controversies surrounding the rapper paint a picture of an entertainer devoid of authenticity.
Drake bought a jet over the weekend.
"No rental, no timeshare," the rapper said in an Instagram post of the plane. The statement meant that the $185 million Boeing 767 Cargo Plane, named and emblazoned as the "AIR DRAKE," is strictly for the entertainer's use.
"Drake's New Private Jet Is Arguably The Biggest Flex In The History of Flexing" read a Barstool Sports headline following the plane's big reveal. Certain Twitter users found the plane to be nothing more than an unnecessary and tacky show of wealth.
Appreciating Drake's stardom is a complicated endeavor. His musical charisma aside, the rapper has been unable to quell accusations of superficiality during his 18-year career. He's charitable on paper, but he often appears disingenuous in his giving.
He's respectful of women for the most part (especially when compared to other men in the industry) but evidently obsessive—he told Rolling Stone that Rihanna was "the ultimate fantasy," and he's made other comments that Rihanna says inevitably caused their fallout. He's a talented musician but has faced recurring accusations of cultural appropriation and hiring ghostwriters. He claims to be a present father in the life of his child, but he's previously expressed that his neglect was to protect the baby from the world, which makes no sense.
While Drake is by no means a villain, the controversies surrounding the rapper paint a picture of an entertainer devoid of authenticity, whose sole objective is to remain famous and relevant, no matter the cost. "The rapper was never more popular than April 28, 2016 – the day before he released Views, which went platinum in its first week and subsequently disappointed critics and fans alike with its astounding mediocrity," wrote Forbes. "Suddenly his woes sounded trivial, his boasts sounded contrived and the perpetual chip on his shoulder sounded bogus." Drake continuously teased Views for over two years, yet following the resounding disappointment in the album, the rapper quickly pushed out More Life less than a year later, a quickly contrived "playlist" consisting of Grime and Dancehall influenced B-sides. Since the release of More Life, Drake hasn't left the public eye for even a moment, demonstrating a desire to remain talked-about, even if his art suffers as a result—which it has.
The issue with Drake's latest purchase is that it feels just as hollow as his recent work. While he is no doubt a frequent traveler, it's hard to shake the feeling that the 32-year-old partially bought the AIR DRAKE because of the clout it would bring. Aside from Jay-Z and Beyonce, not that many rappers have felt the need to own a private jet, let alone a cargo plane, and for someone as secure in his legacy as Drake, the purchase of a customized Boeing 767 feels arrogant and attention-seeking. Additionally, with global warming set to endanger the human race by 2050, Drake's purchase is careless, as it's been shown that celebrities' private jets have directly contributed to climate change. While Drake is one of the most important cultural figures in history, it continues to feel like the mogul doesn't care how he gains notoriety and icon status, just as long as he gets there as loudly and directly as possible.
Mackenzie Cummings-Grady is a creative writer who resides in the Brooklyn area. Mackenzie's work has previously appeared in The Boston Globe, Billboard, and Metropolis Magazine. Follow him on Twitter @mjcummingsgrady.
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