Yes, we know Drake spends more time outside locker rooms than Draya and Melo combined. And that his hopscotching allegiances span so many soccer clubs, NCAA, NBA, and NFL teams that you could pretty much photoshop any embarrassingly toothy headshot of him onto a body in any random jersey and come up with a moment that’s actually happened in real life. Drizzy’s starry-eyed gaze + hot team of the moment = dude’s sports allegiance in a meme.
But before we deride the Toronto native for his bandwagon-hopping, you gotta take a minute to acknowledge there are some (really shaky, sorta tenuous) natural ties to his rooting interests. His appearances at Kentucky games—in full regalia—make sense; he’s been a John Calipari fan, the coach helmed the team at Memphis...Drake’s dad’s hometown. And Cal reportedly attended Drake’s high school graduation. Sure, he’s buddies with LeBron but an ambassador for his hometown Raptors. Conflict, yes. But unless the Eastern Conference playoffs go wildly awry there shouldn’t be a problem.
Drake takes hits for switching loyalties but those insults fail to take into account that maybe, just maybe, it’s not a matter of Drake glomming onto successful athletes but those same athletes begging to hang out with him. Athletes are groupies, too.
Consider that Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel got OVO tatted on his wrist before they even met. Johnny Football manifested their newly snug bro-dom. In a past life, I interviewed Andrew Wiggins before the start of this season, and the prospective NBA draft pick cited Drake as one of his five favorite rappers. That’s not exactly a reach considering that Wiggins is from Vaughan, the Toronto suburb, where Drake went to high school.
We can never know the full story behind the “supertight” friendships that Drake has struck with many, many athletes. In the end, there isn’t a real justification for a rapper’s lack of loyalty and maybe there doesn’t need to be. What’s certain is Drake’s love for winners and, really, what’s wrong with riding with the victors? As The Boy famously rapped on Draft Day: “Fuck that other side bitch, we stay winning.” In Drake’s world, his allegiance isn’t to the laundry athletes are wearing, it’s to the scoreboard.
Written by Elena Bergeron (@ElenaBergeron)
To check out A History of Drake Bandwagon Fandom, click through and read the rest of this story.