We all love Drake. He’s the mega-successful rapper that we can all relate to the most. He sings and raps about his innermost feelings and insecurities. Many of his songs are akin to uber personal journal entries. It often feels like we’ve accidentally stumbled upon private demos that we weren’t supposed to hear. He’s paved his own lane in hip hop-one full of vulnerability and prolific focus. Though he’s often praised for his skillfully emotional rhymes, he is more often than not ridiculed for his wardrobe choices.
Though his music is very of this moment in its social media-inspired oversharing, the Canadian rapper seems to pull his style cues from the heyday of 90s hip hop. Whether he’s channeling Huxtable-era Cosby in “Hotline Bling” or giving sartorial nods to Naughty By Nature in candid shots, it’s clear that Drake is very in touch with that misbegotten decade of style miscues. And might I add, this guy really loves sweatsuits.
In Rihanna’s new music video double feature for “Work”, Drake aims to get upstaged in many ways. At moments, he seems frozen by RiRi’s frenetic energy as she dutty wines all over him. But from a style perspective, she’s also bringing her A-game with some dancehall-inspired party wear to match the vibe of the song. Drake, like everyone’s favorite drunk uncle, shows up in his best cotton two piece. I’m sure his sweatsuits cost a lot of money. We’re definitely talking premium streetwear here, not Conway. But still, in this outfit, the only accessory he was missing was a Colt 45.
Is it too much to ask for one of the highest grossing rappers in the game to stop dressing like he’s on his way to JV basketball practice? Speaking of basketball, as an executive for the Toronto Raptors, he sure cleans up well when he’s sitting courtside. But that red carpet-worthy exec style doesn’t spill over to any other instances. I’m not requesting for our hip hop heavyweight to lose touch with his core audience and go all boardroom on us. I just don’t want my fellow millennials to regress and start heading out for coffee in their pajamas because of his influence.
Maybe I’m expecting too much. As a rapper, most of his hardcore fans are in it for the music and aren’t glued to gqstyle.com to see if he makes the list of 10 best dressed men of the week. And at his level of success, he probably doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks. It’s probably really comfortable to head into long studio sessions in a pair of sweatpants. After last year’s endless stream of Hotline Bling memes, maybe I should just leave the guy alone.
When it comes to introspection, work ethic, and hitmaking, his fans and peers stand to learn a lot. But as a style icon, unless your aim is to constantly cloak yourself in parody, steer clear of Drizzy’s influence.