The photo was taken by photographer David Lyles, who asked Pusha’s team to take the photo down immediately after it was posted on social media. It was speculated that to was a photoshoot for the Canadian brand Too Black Guys.
On Wednesday evening (May 30), both Drake and Two Black Guys have released statements addressing the controversial photos.
Drake took to his Instagram Story page, explaining the photo was taken before his music career began. While still acting, the photo shoot was done with Mazin Elsadig, Drake’s former friend and an actor from Degrassi: The Next Generation. The shoot was a part of a project to bring awareness about young black actors struggling to get roles and being type casted.
Champagne Papi’s comments comes hours after Founder of Toronto streetwear brand Too Black Guys, Adrian Aitcheson, released a statement to ET Canada revealing Drake was wearing clothes from the collection but the shoot was not tied to Too Black Guys in any way.
“The photo in question was not from a Too Black Guys photoshoot however it did feature clothing from Too Black Guys’ JIM CROW COUTURE/HOUSE OF CROW collection which was released in 2008,” says the statement. “The collection featured several graphics that highlighted the painful and dangerous period of the Jim Crow Era.”
Aitcheson continued, “Too Black Guys has a history of representing the black experience in an unapologetic way. Although this was not an image from any of our photoshoots, we feel that Drake, who is a longtime friend of the brand, was brilliantly illustrating the hypocrisy of the Jim Crow Era.”
“The subtleties of Drake, a young black man, mimicking how white men used to mimic and dehumanize black people may be lost in a rap battle but we should not be distracted from the issues that are still affecting our communities.”
Personally for me I don’t think there is ever a good time to use blackface to deliver a message especially a black man. And from Drizzy’s statement he is embarrassed and not proud of the photoshoot. Yes in his statement he said it was to shed light on how black actors are type cast. But I’m sure he would be fine if the public never saw the picture. The history of blackface and Jim Crow is a black eye on the black community, especially in this day and age.