Featured, Pop Culture, Sh*t Bougie Black People Love, Theory & Essay

Black Women Love Drake Because He Reminds Them Of Jesus

Last week, Esquire Magazine revealed that scientists have “discovered” the face of Jesus. Using forensic anthropology, a group of British scientists and Israeli archeologists determined that Jesus most likely looked how…men from the part of the world he was from tend to look. (Duh!) A stark contrast from the blue eyed Jesus with long blond hair found in many artist’s depictions. (And, ironically, the real Jesus looks exactly like the men millions of American Christians are intent on not allowing in this country today.)

He also kinda, sorta, kinda — if you squint your eyes (and you have lemon juice in your eyes) — looks like Drake. A swarthy Drake who worked as a carpenter instead of a child actor on a melodramatic Canadian teen series, but Drake nonetheless. Which comes as no surprise. Because, for Drake’s hundreds of thousands of Black female fans, his appeal derives from the fact that he reminds them of Jesus.

Well actually, this isn’t a fact, perse. More like a single-person (Me!) held theory; albeit one I’ve had for some time. For almost a decade now, part-time American cultural anthropologists like me have been attempting to determine the source of Drake’s appeal. And while my colleagues have repeatedly come up blank, I believe that the Drake affinity mirrors the affinity this demographic generally has for the Son of God. Because Drake does, says, and is many things Jesus would have done, would have said, and is.

Oh, you need examples? Great, because I have many. But because I can feel everyone’s heads spinning right now, I’ll only list five.

1. Drake lyrics are basically things Jesus would say if Jesus was an emo rapper

From Drake’s “Shot for Me”

The way you walk, that’s me
The way you talk, that’s me
The way you’ve got your hair up, did you forget that’s me?
And the voice in your speaker right now, that’s me
And the voice in your ear, that’s me

In this song, Drake asserts an omnipresent presence in this unnamed woman’s life. Which is what Drake does in 80 percent of his music geared towards women.

These are also things God says in the Bible. It’s practically the only thing God says in the Bible. Which, all things considered, is basically a 70 track Drake album.

The way you look, that’s me. The way you walk, that’s me. All the animals and seas, that’s me. Can’t you see?

Even Drake’s current hit (“Hotline Bling”) has some Jesus-ey stuff in it.

You used to call me on my cell phone
Late night when you need my love
Call me on my cell phone
Late night when you need my love

This is no different that Jesus saying “Hey, you needed me when you were sick and depressed. But now you’re all happy, and you don’t pray anymore. Ooh wee, wassup with that? Wassup with that?

2. They’re both Jewish

Not a coincidence.

3. They both had vaguely absent but extremely influential dads

Drake, famously, is a child of divorce. Drake’s dad, Dennis Graham, also spent some time in prison during Drake’s childhood. And, while prison and Heaven aren’t really all that similar (I hope), in both cases, direct contact with the father figure was limited, but the dad was, like, always there in spirit.

Always.

4. They both had relationships with women their friends and fans didn’t really approve of

Just how some of Jesus’s boys and followers didn’t really approve of his relationships with prostitutes and other women of ill repute, many of Drake’s fans don’t seem to approve of his affinity for women who work at strip clubs. Which proves two things: Jesus and Drake have equally petty and hypocritical followers. And “Maliah Michel” is Swahili for “Mary Magdalene.”

5. They’ve both worked miracles in order to transform into who they currently are

When we last saw Aubrey Graham before he was Drake, he was in a wheelchair, his name was Jimmy, and he was getting dumped by his girlfriend because of his erectile disfunction. (Which…is a surprisingly adult — and sad! — subject for a teen television series.) But now Drake is a virtual Crossfit model who seems to be training for the next season of American Ninja Warrior.

This obviously mirrors the life of Jesus. Who was nailed to a cross on a Friday, and then up doing yoga and playing flag football by the next Monday.

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Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a columnist for GQ.com and EBONY Magazine. And a founding editor for 1839. And he's working on a book of essays to be published by Ecco (HarperCollins). Damon is busy. He lives in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes. Reach him at damon@verysmartbrothas.com. Or don't. Whatever.

  • Pinks

    Matthew 11:28Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

    • Oluseyi

      Now you’ve got me completely reconsidering “take my yoke and learn of me,” filtered through Drake.

      Dang.

      • Pinks

        Drake is here to help us grow in our faith.

        • Oluseyi

          Praise Aubrey!

        • GLAMCAM

          He does call himself the 6 Gawd.

    • Why does Drake look like he’s hosting a show on The 700 Club?!

      • Pinks

        To lead the flock to salvation, guhl!

        • I cannot take this picture. Not at all.

      • miss t-lee

        TBN all day.

        • TBN! I was trying to remember the other network but couldn’t.

          • miss t-lee

            My grandmother stayed having us watching TBN as kids when we were over her house…lol

            • Pinks

              I used to stay waking up to that in the middle of the night lol

              • miss t-lee

                OMG yes.

        • I haven’t bothered flipping past TBN since that day I saw Bubba from In the Heat of the Night, Clifton Davis, and Deon Sanders sitting on a stage.

          • miss t-lee

            Wow. This is a wild lineup.

      • And will start selling prayer cloths and healing oils for your soul

      • or like he’s about to officiate a wedding on a beach.

    • Sigma_Since 93

      With those high waters on he looks like he’s preparing to walk on water.

    • cryssi

      “I’m not even Christian, I still went to church that year.” – Drake

  • WHO.APPROVED.THIS.

    But I am eerily here for all of it.

    DEEP LeSigh.

  • Oluseyi

    Drake’s appeal stems from marrying vulnerability to traditional hip-hop machismo. This causes many a hip-hop traditionalist to despise him, leading to trigger fingers turning into Twitter fingers. It causes many women to think they can rehabilitate him, even as he displays progressively more ratchet behavior, because he verbalizes contrition, regret, rationalization and resentful determination to do it again.

    The man is a trife genius.

    As for being just like Jesus… yeah, ok, whatever.

    • OSHH

      His schtick is so obvious.

      • Oluseyi

        Especially since it’s so devoid of maturation/growth. It’s pandering and simple AF… but it’s got some bangers, so I ain’t mad at it as pop musical fodder.

    • Stacie Ford-Bonnelle

      Trife genius! LOL

    • YeaSoh

      Nah I don’t think rehabilitation has anything to do with it at all. Before I got further… was that a serious comment or is this all tongue-in-cheek? Sometimes I can’t tell

      • Oluseyi

        If Drake was responding to this, he’d almost certainly say:
        I meant it tongue-in-cheek, girl… /
        But only if they azz cheeks…

        I do feel like a good number of women think Drake’s case of stripper-thirst is non-terminal, and want to “save him.” You can lead a sinner to the altar, but “every man must work out his (own) salvation with fear and trembling”!

        In summary: “yes.”

        • YeaSoh

          Ok, great. I’ll pretend it isn’t anyway because, well, why not?

          It’s not rehabilitation… it’s because women are just happy to hear a MAN say all things we think y’all say to yourselves. He gave us vindication. And I THINK men are just mad he’s putting it all out there. Don’t act. You men are more sensitive and EMO then half the women in my book club and these b*tches read ALL THREE of the Shades of Grey books… smh

          • Oluseyi

            You’re not wrong, but you don’t quite seem all the way right, either. Men have always said the things Drake says, but they were R&B singers or dudes lacking the co-sign of the hip-hop establishment (which Aubrey himself only won through deft lyricism on his series of mixtapes). When Steve the CS major admits these vulnerabilities in college, y’all gather in the quad and burn his ego in effigy; now Drake says it and y’all talmbout “vindication.”

            By and large, men stopped admitting these things openly because they were ridiculed by their equally insecure male peers and felt emasculated by the women they shared with, which was often more a function of sharing it with women who weren’t interested in them (because you know that young dudes love longshots) than any sort of inherent gender hostility. They become defensive and closed off, and the women who are interested in them wonder why they’re so reluctant to admit their frailties.

            I speak from copious experience, here.

            So the feminine reaction to Drake is overblown due to a perception of genuine novelty or bravery, but besides admitting a fondness for $ex workers and that he has an ego and experiences regret (nnnnooo! reallllly?!), what real vulnerabilities has he shared?

            • YeaSoh

              You’re not wrong, but you, Olu, don’t quite seem all the way right, either.

              Actually, R&B singers from OUR day did say the things the Drake says (without Hip Hop cosigns), but for the generation that he’s actually targeting… eh eh. That generation of R&B singers have been taking a steady path towards quite the opposite. It’s almost like Hip Hop and R&B’s subject matters are switching places.

              *Sidenote* Steve the CS major also thinks quality time is sitting in his dorm room together watching him play video games all day… don’t admit sh*t to me boo.

              Second paragraph… we are in on accord.

              It’s the release of the ego that happens with every regretful admission that’s so gratifying. Many of y’all can’t even do that to our faces. He does it every time I press play… Ahhh… I call it Man Tears (not to be confused with White Tears but in the same family) and I love it. Cry me a river… or ocean.

              • Oluseyi

                Waymint, I replied to this hours ago. Disqus don’t want me to be great, have my e-boo thinking I’m ignoring her!

                Gonna have to re-compose my thoughts.

                • YeaSoh

                  It’s ok, bae… *tear*… *sniffle*

    • He’s the patron saint of the fake nice guy.

      • Oluseyi

        From The Book of Aubrey of Drake, stranded upon the Island of Curve:

        “And Lo, I was caught up in a vision
        And it was revealed to me that lameness hath become mine burden
        For the mantle of Jimmy was perceived as true of me
        And mine voice cried out to Saint Agatha
        How then shall I rid myself of mine v-card?
        And a still, small voice did respond:
        ‘Front.’
        And verily did I enrobe myself in the garments of niceness
        And spake I of feelings, and lack of judgments
        And of sympathy for the girls of Houstatlantavegas
        And thus did they bless me with parting of knees, and I knew them.
        And having taste of the Fruit of the Tree of Trifeness
        I became one with it, and do to this day proclaim its virtues
        That all with no game may approach
        And see how they may enter unto glory.”

        Ok, that’s enough for today. I need to go earn my paycheck!

        • YeaSoh

          Wait… are you saying Drake’s “fronting” is Agatha’s fault? Ooooooh

          Btw, you are an idiot for this lol

          • Oluseyi

            *blows smoke from six-shooter barrel.*

        • Guest

          That took effort.

  • miss t-lee

    Champie are you sleep deprived?

    • PhlyyPhree

      Gotta be

      • Sigma_Since 93

        That or on some powerful stuff to link these two together…..I’m all for it since I almost spit out my coffee at the “Maliah Michel” is Swahili for “Mary Magdalene.” reference. I need confirmation that Maliah washed Drake’s feet by activating her left bootay cheek with some force instead of using her hair.

      • miss t-lee

        I’m waiting for him to tell me “sleep deprived deez”. I know it’s coming…lol

    • OSHH

      LOL.. I can’t stand Drake, musically and or otherwise.

      • miss t-lee

        I could honestly take or leave him.

      • Olamma Oparah

        Jesus had haters too.

    • Oluseyi

      Completely random digression, but my subjective parental experience was that the threat of sleep deprivation is overblown. Here are the caveats:

      • Typically, one parent is the easier sleeper. That parent should assume wake-up responsibility, so the other can get more sleep. I can fall asleep in a minute, so waking up, warming a bottle, feeding the boy and going back to sleep only cost me 25 minutes or so.

      • Some children are more easily placated than others. With my boy, he was either hungry, cold (December birth), wet/dirty or lonely. Satisfy the immediate need and he could go back to sleep. And I could cradle him in the recliner while dozing effectively.

      All of which is to say, Your Mileage May Vary. lol.

      • miss t-lee

        Hey. Hats off to you parentals.
        I’ve only ever been sleep deprived a few times in my life, and they were all completely my fault.

        • Oluseyi

          Thanks. He turns 4 next week, and is a complete joy! ?

      • Pinks

        I’m about ready to punt my son these days. He was sleeping through the night when I was still nursing and all of a sudden now he’s keen to wake up at 430 for a chat session.

        • My daughter does this too. I wake up to “Open your eyes, daddy.” How old does your child need to be that you can say to her “Bih wha?”

          • Pinks

            At least she can speak. This kid is just singing and babbling Dada these days. I did most of the work to get him here and he doesn’t even have the decency to call for mama yet. We’re in worse shape this time around because he’s still in our bedroom. He wakes up, looks over the bassinet edge and sings until I get up.

            • AlwaysCC

              lol both days this weekend i woke up to songs from my toddler’s christmas program. granted, it wasn’t at 430a though…

              • Pinks

                My 5 year old has us singing Joy to the World 10 hrs a day. The baby is just learning how loud his voice goes so he has to test it when I’m knocked out. Jerk.

                • AlwaysCC

                  lmao no meal is complete unless we’ve sung at least one rendition of happy birthday, Jesus.

                • Jennifer

                  Your baby is straight petty.

                  • Pinks

                    The most petty child to ever be born.

                    • Epsilonicus

                      I think mine has you beat. My kid cuts the tv off when I tell him no. He also put his finger in his nose then stuck it in my food. 1 year olds can be such trolls.

                    • Pinks

                      Lmao nah he violated with the finger in your food. Mine is 7 months and trying to walk. Once he does, life as I know it is over.

            • My daughter’s first word was Dada. Then when she was 3, she called me Todd and her mother Honey. Seriously.

              • Pinks

                I think a lot of babies’ first word is dada. supposedly it’s easier to form on their tongues than the M sound. My older kid’s first word was book, go figure lol

              • Val

                “Todd and Honey” That’s so cute. Lol

          • PhlyyPhree

            If she can say “Open your eyes” then she’s old enough to get the “aint no eyes opening round here Bihhhh”

          • Tina

            Two.

      • I stay sleep deprived. I believe that I’m highly functional but the problem is that it makes me mean. Mean cogito is not my favorite.

        • Pinks

          This is my life. I get it done, but I just be having the side-eye for any and everything and everyone.

          There’s always a load to fold, a lunch to be made, a boo boo to kiss, some da mn thing!

          • If you were here I would hug you and we could cry it out together.

            • Pinks

              Coffee game skrong!

              • And it it keeps me regular!

          • Nope. Clothes can wait 4 days to be put away. Throw together lunch in the morning. Say affection affection and gently headbutt your child. You’re welcome

            • Pinks

              4 days is a short time in our house. We’ve continued taking clean, folded clothes out of a laundry bag until the next time we had to take the dirty ones back to be washed lol

              Yesterday he put away 4 bags all by himself by the time I came home from running my errangs. A saint, that man is.

        • miss t-lee

          Yeah. You don’t wanna see me with less than 8 hours. B*tch on wheels.

          • PhlyyPhree

            I’m AVERAGING 4 hours a night on a good week. Which usually means, I get 2-3 on any given night and then there will be one night when I pass out and get 8 hours because I can’t take it. Sigh. Something has to end.

            • My coworkers swear I have an attitude. I’m just tired and they happen to be jerks.

            • miss t-lee

              I had 4 hours of sleep leading into last Friday. It was not a good day.

        • Oluseyi

          My body is ruthless. Once I cross a certain rubicon of sleep deprivation, it takes revenge by having me sleep through all 5 alarms and wake up 2 hours late. Generally, I listen to it, because I’m too old and have too many responsibilities to get fired for consistently being late!

          Aiming to be asleep at 9 tonight. Need to recharge.

          • Pinks

            I always set realistic bed times and very rarely do I actually stick to them. I’m usually trying to prepare for the next day to maximize sleep, then I end up cleaning the house from top to bottom or some other random task and get 4 hours of sleep. One of these days I will learn.

            • Oluseyi

              Yep. Last night I basically fell asleep next to a pile of unironed clean laundry, and with a toilet bowl missing its replacement seat. “There’s always tomorrow.”

              • Pinks

                *daps for the homies in the parental struggle*

              • “…unironed clean laundry.” If this ain’t the most West African thing, ironing clothes fresh out the laundry.

                (Thank goodness my mom got over that before it became my chore growing up lol.)

                • Oluseyi

                  Gotta get ’em before the wrinkles set in!

                • Here We Go

                  People from the horn iron too! (East Side.)

            • Self love helps with that. Clears your mind and gets you to sleep

              • Pinks

                Why would I do that when there’s a perfectly good human next to me? Lmao

          • The only time I’m asleep at 9 is when I pass out after work and take a 3 hour nap when I get home. It’s rough ochea.

            • Oluseyi

              The 9pm shutdown should underscore just how serious the situation is right now! Gonna be mainlining coffee all day today.

            • Pinks

              Sometimes I send hubby that 4:30 text like “You make dinner..I’m straight to the bed when I get it.”

              I give it up to single parents every da mn day, yo. I don’t know how I ‘d manage on my own

              • Coffee. Lots of coffee. Mountain Dew and/or Red Bull to taste. That, and fear of explaining your f*cksh*it to child welfare.

    • Clowney!!!

      • miss t-lee

        Although my boys got their azzes handed to them last night, I loved seeing him back at it!

        • He’s quietly had a few nice games in the last month. They’ve got to find more ways to get Nuk the ball. #fantasypoints

          • miss t-lee

            Indeed.

        • Val

          I was really pulling for your team. I hate the Cheatriots.

          • miss t-lee

            I appreciate that.

    • Yes, yes he is.

  • So I just about died when you called the Bible a 70-track Drake album. But then I got to this –> “And ‘Maliah Michel’ is Swahili for ‘Mary Magdalene'” and keeled over forreal! Please lay some magnolias on my casket and give a donation in my honor to the Black Ex-Students of Texas (BEST) scholarship fund (#staymadabby)!

    • StillSuga

      I feel like this is some Tyler Perry remaking Love Jones type trolling…

    • Here We Go

      Gif game tight.

  • MacMama

    Omg, I love you for this! ?????

  • PDL – Cape Girl

    Really? This entire topic is nooo! Welp, I guess it’s movie time/lunch time

  • Marissa Dawson

    Seeing the similarities between “hotline bling” and “Jesus is on the mainline” http://videos.waywire.com/246X0M36WYKRKTB7-Church_Version_of_Hotline_Bling_108_780_576x0.mp4

    • that immediately popped into my head – when that comparison began.

      *cues Jesus is on the Mainline*

  • There’s no way Jesus came out of the Middle East looking like some scruffy mulatto. Not buying that at all. Also, I don’t understand Drake’s appeal outside of fame. I feel like he probably burns easy if left out in the sun for more than 10 minutes.

    He reminds me of Michael B. Jordan. He’s not an ugly man but there’s something about his face that doesn’t do it for me personally.

    • uNk

      He looks like a thumb thumb from Spy Kids

    • Y’all’s defense got 23 fantasy points for me yesterday. They, Kahil Mack, and Charles Woodson made up for my wide receivers, and QB being on a milk cartoon.

      • Get with the winning team!!!!!!!!!!!

        They finally played a complete game and I was so proud!! I wouldn’t judge you for become a “Playoff Fan” once January hits, just saying.

        • I can’t get on the team but I like what they’re doing. Ted’s hands actually worked for the whole game yesterday.

        • All I will say is J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS!

          • Why don’t you and Malik go have tea and discuss your love for them? This was a Panthers conversation!

    • Jesus probably looked like me honestly.

    • Heat&Warriors

      I often say the same thing, when I see people post MBJ as their MCM I really am perplexed to say the least. I don’t get it but hey to each his own.

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