Drake Addresses Controversial Blackface Photo Amid Feud with Pusha T
Pusha T may have leveled many scathing accusations against rival Drake in his headline-making diss track — including the claim that he has an illegitimate child he’s ignored — but there’s one point the Canadian rapper wants to clear up.
On Wednesday, the 31-year-old star issued a statement regarding the controversial blackface photo of him that Pusha used as the cover art for “The Story of Adidon,” explaining that the picture was meant to represent the challenges black Americans face in Hollywood.
The image was taken by photographer David Leyes back in 2007, when Drake (né Aubrey Drake Graham) was starring on Degrassi: The Next Generation.
“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 stereotypes and type cast,” Drake wrote in a statement shared to his Instagram story.
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Drake had collaborated with “best friend at the time” and fellow Degrassi cast member Mazin Elsadig.
“The photos represented how African Americans were once wrongfully portrayed in entertainment,” he wrote. “[We] 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.”
Hours after the release of “The Story of Adidon,” Instagram removed Pusha’s reposting of Leyes’ photo because “a third-party reported that the content infringes or otherwise violates their rights.”
“First time this has happened to me,” Pusha, 41, wrote on Instagram, sharing the message from the social media network.
His photo of Drake — an image intended to correspond with Pusha’s claim that Drake grew up insecure about his mixed race heritage — still remains on Twitter as of Thursday, where Pusha links to Leyes’ website.
“Please stop referring to this picture as ‘artwork’…” Pusha said in the tweet. “I’m not an internet baby, I don’t edit images…this is a REAL picture…these are his truths, see for yourself”
Drake has not yet responded to many of the other accusations Pusha made in “The Story of Adidon,” including the aforementioned alleged illegitimate child.
Pusha claimed that Drake fathered the baby with French former adult-film star Sophie Brussaux. “You are hiding a child, let that boy come home,” Pusha raps, claiming Drake is playing “border patrol.”
This isn’t this the first time the rumor has circulated.
Back in May 2017, Brussaux — who was spotted with the rapper that January following his split from Jennifer Lopez — claimed she was three-and-a-half months pregnant with Drake’s child and hired two major New York City attorneys to begin the proceedings to prove paternity and seek child support, TMZ reported. She also told TMZ that she had text messages from the rapper asking her to get an abortion.
“If it’s in fact Drake’s child, which he does not believe it is, he will do right by the child,” Drake’s rep told PEOPLE at the time. “She’s just another woman in a long line of women claiming he got them pregnant.”
Brussaux apparently gave birth to a son on October 24 (Drake’s birthday), according to her Instagram account — which has since gone private, Vulture reported. Drake has yet to speak out about the child’s birth.
RELATED: Whitney Houston’s Cousin Slams Kanye West for Using Photo of Her Drug-Covered Bathroom
Meanwhile, Pusha is not without controversy of his own.
He and producer Kanye West were slammed for using a photo of Whitney Houston’s drug-strewn bathroom as the cover for his album Daytona.