Lupe Fiasco & Drake's "Blackface" Photographer Defend Controversial Images
Last night, Pusha T came through with the five point palm exploding heart technique. His "Duppy" response, "The Story Of Adidon," left no stone unturned; from Drizzy's alleged bastard lovechild, to his father's flawed marriage, to 40's multiple sclerosis. On top it all was the cover art, featuring a gleeful Drake decked out in blackface, the product a 2008 photoshoot with photographer David Leyes.
Originally, it seemed as if Leyes was distancing himself from Drake, after emphasizing that the shoot as Drizzy's idea. However, when pressed about his involvement by an aspiring seeker justice, Leyes stood by Drizzy and his work, claiming he harbored no regrets. "Hell no!! For sure I took it!!," says Leyes, in response to a user on Instagram. "I’m proud to be part a strong statement made by a black man about the f*cked up culture he is livin in." You can check out screenshots the exchange over at HHNM.
Pusha is a smart dude. There's no doubt he was eager to tarnish Drake's image, and the court public opinion is generally out for blood at all times. There's no telling how the internet at large would react to an image Drizzy in "blackface," even if it was removed from proper context. For starters, the photoshoot featured two juxtaposing images, with the second depicting a morose, thoughtful version Drake. Still, the images have no doubt left many feeling some type way, and there's no telling how Drake will respond to Pusha's merciless assault.
It would appear that Leyes is not alone in his assessment. Rapper Lupe Fiasco has also weighed in with his thoughts on Drizzy's images. While he prefaces by saying "he's not defending," it most certainly feels like he is. In since-deleted Tweets, Lu spoke about the reactionary response to the photographs, and how the public have ignored the surrounding context.
"The one you saw is happy," says Lupe. "The other is dark and sad. Both together actually presents a powerful duality representations and race and its expectations on art."