Drake may be catching major heat for an unearthed photo of the hip-hop star in blackface, but the motivation behind the controversial pic was actually meant to highlight the representation of race and its role in the expectations of artistic expression, and we're told Drake stands by the message.
A source close to the "Hotline Bling" rapper tells The Blast the photo Pusha-T used for his "Life of Adidon" diss track was taken out of context because it was actually meant to be seen as a two-shot. In one photo, Drake is seen with a jovial expression while the other shows him with a solemn look on his face.
We're told the happy and sad photographs are meant to represent a "powerful duality" on the expectations of race in art.
The shoot originally went down for a Canadian clothing company called "Too Black Guys" and their line of streetwear called "Jim Crow Couture." The company prides itself on representing the black experience in an "unapologetic way."
We're told Drake was proud of his statement, as was the photographer David Leyes, who defended the hip-hop star by saying, "I'm proud to be apart of a strong statement made by a black man about the fucked up culture he is living in."
As for Pusha-T getting permission to use the copyrighted photo, we're told Leyes contacted Instagram when the photo was posted and it was promptly taken down for a copyright violation.
The "Daytona" rapper later revealed the takedown and said it was the first time he had been censored by Instagram.