Earlier this month, we brought attention to an Instagrammer who looks a lot like Drake. We see the resemblance, you'll see it, and he sees it, as well. Thats' why the Instagram user in question, Dreamaker504, regularly posts selfies along with side-by-side comparisons of himself to Drake. Well, Dreamaker504—who's name is Nissim Baraness—found our post, Started From the Bottom, Still There: Drake Look-Alike Thinks He's Champagne Papi on Instagram, offensive, and contacted us multiple times to get an interview.
We still stand by our original post. Nissim seemed more offended about the title than anything, which is a play on one of Drizzy's popular lyrics. The article itself was essentially comprised of his Instagram photos, with very little text. The old adage: a picture is worth a thousand words, comes to mind. Yet, Nissim seemed hurt that he was receiving negative comments on his photos—which sucks, but is a consequence to having a public profile on any social media platform these days. Below is our conversation with Nissim, who wants you to know that he's more than what his Instagram suggests. [Note: All quotes have been posted verbatim from Nissim's original email]
Complex: You said the article was "offensive, and misleading in some sections," can you explain what exactly you thought was misleading and offensive.
Nissim: I found many sections of the article "offensive" and also "misleading" simply because of the fact that they weren't true. Just the title alone states that: "Started From The Bottom, Still There." When I first started reading it, it made me feel so pathetic and childish, not to mention the comments that people posted on my Instagram account and the article itself which made me feel bad about myself.
How does one who happens to look like somebody else "started from the bottom"? Following this article, many students in the school I'm going to have begun to call me names like "Gay" and "A wanna be" which is the opposite of who I am as a person.
Why did you remove the content that Complex posted? Many of your pictures on Instagram still show you comparing yourself to Drake (and pretending to be Drake on Omegle). You also thank people that notice the resemblance, and you ask for shout outs. Another publication could easily write the same thing we did with the photos you still have up.
Actually there is another article about me; this one, as opposed to the one posted on Complex, is not found offensive at all as it seems to admire the resemblance and makes it look "Cool", therefore, the comments posted on it do not insult me or make me feel bad about the things said on it. I decided to remove some of the photos thanks to the offensive comments I received following the article.
You also post the headlines to articles talking about you (including ours), do you find anything offensive with what other publications are saying?
No, as I mentioned, there is a way to say things about another individual who you assume you know something about based on his photos. You can not judge an individual without getting to know him first and understand the reason behind his decision to compare himself to somebody else.
So, how would you describe the purpose of your Instagram? You like to take a lot of selfies, is there a deeper meaning?
I am a photographer, just like my Instagram title says, therefore taking pictures is what I like to do, whether they are of me or of something else. I prefer to take a lot of selfies because I believe facial expressions can tell a lot and show more emotion than an unanimated object for instance.
In your bio you say you're a photographer and a writer.
Currently, I am taking photography II, which is more focused on lightings and flash. We work a lot in the studio, using a model or objects to illustrate the three-dimensional form of them which is amplified by the reflection of the light. Usually I write about what I feel at the moment, some of my writings are just thoughts and ideas. I am a fan of poetry, and spend a lot of my time writing about topics I find interesting to talk about. (Nissim's photography)
Tell me what life is like outside of Instagram for you.
I prefer to take a lot of selfies because I believe facial expressions can tell a lot and show more emotion than an unanimated object for instance.
I am a student in Monroe Community College, which is located in Rochester, NY. I am 24, and was born and raised in Israel. I've been in the U.S for only one year, and came here by myself while all my family still resides in my home country. Coming to the states on my own had me face many challenges, including language difficulties (accent and confidence). TalWhich is one of the reasons why the statement "started from the bottom, still there" really got me. I served the Israeli military as an officer for three years, and quickly after I started working and saving a lot to chase my dream as a photographer. Because of the "drama" in the middle east, which got me traumatized at the age of 10, I decided going to school in America would be a better choice for me.
What benefits have you seen from having your Instagram?
I haven't gained any benefits from my instagram, yet. The purpose of me comparing myself to a celebrity is to gain the attention of fans, and make them notice me, not just as a look alike but for the person that I am. I believe that would make me "stand -out" from others as a "look alike" that has more to offer than just his appearance.
Are you hoping to get anything out of it? Attention seems like something you're hoping to get. Would you disagree?
No, everybody likes attention to some degree.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
I would really like my answers to be posted to set facts straight! I've been through a lot in my life, and brought myself all the way to the states just to hopefully become successful one day. My resemblance to Drake might be my technique to gain enough "attention" to my work. I am not a celebrity, and do not wish to lose my identity for any price.