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Drake is behaving like a manosphere influencer

The rapper has been compared to an incel after giving $50,000 to a male fan who complained that he was dumped by his girlfriend

Drake is known for splashing his cash. The 36-year-old is currently on tour in the US and has spent a fair bit of time handing out cash to his fans. According to XXL, Drake, whose given name is Aubrey Graham, has so far given one fan a Birkin bag worth around $30,000, given another a Chanel bag worth $10,000, donated $50,000 to someone so they can buy some furniture, paid $2,000 for a couple’s honeymoon, and covered the cost of a superfan’s airfare with an extra $10,000 chucked in for good measure.

During a cost-of-living crisis, and at a time when concert tickets are at an all-time high, such behaviour could be seen as altruistic – Drake is just a nice guy giving money to his fans, thanking them for their support. Right?

At a recent concert in Miami, however, Drake’s loose pocket was tinged with something other than charity. In a now-viral video shared on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, Drake calls upon one fan who, according to a sign he was holding up, was dumped after he spent his savings on tickets for the concert for him and his girlfriend.

“‘I spent all my savings buying tickets for me and my ex, but Honestly, Nevermind, it’s really Her Loss,’” Drake said on stage, reading out the sign, which made reference to two of the rapper’s albums. He then added: “So she ain’t coming with you tonight? What the fuck is wrong with her?”

As he continued to talk to the fan, the audience in the arena could be heard chanting “fuck that bitch”. As the chanting continued, Drake then decided to give the man $50,000.

“Alright,” he said, “that’s a little aggressive. But you know what? She’s gonna feel real fucked up ’cause I’m ‘a give you 50 bands so you gon’ flex on her tonight… I won’t say it like y’all said it, but fuck that young lady.”

Drake offering a fan some cash to help his heartbreak might be considered a generous and caring act, but that is not the way this particular handout was framed. Rather, Drake seems to be participating in behaviours far more dangerous. While he may have tempered his language, deciding to refer to the ex-girlfriend as “that young lady” instead of “that bitch”, Drake’s decision to compensate this man for his girlfriend leaving him enforces a misogynistic pedagogy that strips women of their agency and suggests that anytime a woman leaves a man, no matter the circumstances, they are always wrong for doing so.

This mentality is an example of concerning, if often subtle, behaviour by Drake that aligns closely with beliefs held by incel communities and misogynists like Andrew Tate. As one user wrote on X: “This is how Drake upholds incel values while not technically being an incel. He’s giddy to randomly tear down some random woman for daring to leave a man and even rewards her ex as punishment for having her own wants and needs separate from this random guy.”

Drake’s decision to give money to this man doesn’t appear to be driven by sympathy for a broken heart. Rather, it acts as an opportunity to paint this unnamed woman as a villain. There is no way for Drake, the audience, or the people viewing the video on X to know the circumstances under which the relationship ended. It ultimately doesn’t matter: she is simply a bad actor, guilty for the crime of rejecting a man.

If this behaviour from Drake was an isolated incident it perhaps could be forgiven as being misguided. But this isn’t the first time that Drake has strayed into misogynistic territory. On the track “Circo Loco”, taken from his collaborative album with 21 Savage, Her Loss, he seemed to question the validity of Megan Thee Stallion’s allegations that she was shot by Tory Lanez with the lyrics: “This bitch lie ’bout getting shot but she still a stallion”. (Lanez was ultimately convicted and found guilty of the crime and sentenced to ten years in prison.) This prompted a response from Megan, who wrote, “Since when tf is it cool to joke abt [sic] women getting shot!”

There are other examples in Drake’s music of what one writer has dubbed “his history of nice guy misogyny”. While the objectification of women is a regular trope in his songs, there are other alarming moments, too. On the track “Emotionless” from 2017’s Scorpion, he appeared to take aim at what he sees as the vapidity of social media use among young women (“I know a girl happily married ‘til she puts down her phone”). Meanwhile, the bizarre “Girls Like Girls” from Certified Lover Boy not only engaged in the fetishisation of lesbians, but also perpetuated a homophobic rhetoric that queer women can be “converted” by straight men.

There is also the veiled but pervasive theme of male ownership over women and their sexuality that has coloured Drake’s output since the very beginning. Take his verse on The Game’s 2011 track “Good Girls Go Bad” on which he rapped “Where’s all the women that still remember who they slept with?/Where’s all the girls too busy studying to make the guest list?”; or the lyric from “Live From The Gutter” in which he demands a woman “shut your mouth and take what’s coming”. It brings to mind a quote by Andrew Tate: “One of the best things about being a man is being territorial and being able to say ‘that is mine’.”

Perhaps you could write this off as a posturing machismo, or Drake simply continuing a tradition of misogynistic lyrics in music. However, in his personal life, the Canadian has a history of questionable behaviour, too. From his “friendships” with underage girls, his treatment of Sophie Brassaux, with whom he shares a child, and his often strange behaviour towards fellow musicians like Rihanna and Nicki Minaj, there’s something unsettling about how Drake treats women outside of his music.

This casual misogyny doesn’t exist in a vacuum of artistic expression, either. The rise of the so-called “manosphere”, extremist figures such as Andrew Tate and Jordan Peterson, podcasts like Fresh & Fit, and low-rent influencers like Jon Zherka and Sneako have all contributed to the spread of a terrifying ideology that advocates for the subjugation of women.

This “alpha male” movement has become scarily popular, especially among young men, many of whom have become radicalised online by a dangerous rhetoric that celebrates toxic masculinity and encourages violence against women. In fact, a YouGov survey found that over half of children aged between six and 15 have heard of Andrew Tate, with one in eight boys that age saying that they have a positive view of the misogynist’s comment about women.

There are real and violent consequences to the proliferation of this misogyny. In the UK, a 15-year-old girl was stabbed to death by a 17-year-old boy in Croydon, south London, after she stepped in to defend a friend following a dispute that witnesses claim began after the teenage boy tried to give flowers to a girl but was rejected.

What does this have to do with Drake? Obviously, the rapper’s actions aren’t analogous to such outright violence. However, they do contribute to, and align with, a worrying normalisation of misogyny within mainstream culture. His behaviour is another tributary that feeds into a now ferocious river that not only celebrates hatred towards women but rewards it, too.

Drake might not be offering you the red pill, but he can probably tell you how to get one.

We have reached out to a representative of Drake’s for comment but at time of publication have not heard back.

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