The cult of Drake: 5 reasons why the rapper is a pop culture phenomenon

  • Compiled by Poorva Joshi, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 18, 2016 17:41 IST

As a global tribute festival to rapper Drake comes to the city, take a look at the pop culture trolls and memes he has inspired.

1) Heartbroken memes

Drake’s on-again, off-again relationship with R‘n’B singer Rihanna has inspired many a memes based on long lost love. Memes on websites such as 9Gag and Tumblr have featured Drake as a highly sensitive, hurt man who rants about his romantic rejection at the spur of the moment. Say, for instance, when a taxi denies him service.

Many memes portray Drake as a sensitive person

2) The Ellen DeGeneres interview

Drake appeared in May 2016 on The Ellen DeGeneres Show with actor Jared Leto. DeGeneres, known to play party games with guests, engaged Drake and Leto in a game of True Confessions. Things got a tad too honest when Drake admitted to having hooked up with a fan while on tour and engaging in many one-night stands. Moreover, he admitted to Hotline Bling (his popular track) being a song on a relationship with a prostitute. The video has more than 7 million hits on YouTube.

3) Twitter parody

A paparazzi favourite, Drake has a plethora of photos with a range of meme-worthy expressions. Twitter account @ThingsDrakeDo has struck gold with these pictures, as it tweets self-generated memes on the rapper on a daily basis. The tweets sarcastically discuss a romantic dynamic between Drake and Rihanna and the possibility of a self-indulgent, passive aggressive collaboration between Drake and the most narcissistic musician of our times: Kanye West.

4) Is Hotline Bling Indian?

The song was second on Billboard’s Hot 100 in October 2015. Critically acclaimed for its composition, Hotline Bling was also a massive hit courtesy Drake’s peculiar dance moves in the video. The video is a compilation of shots where Drake walks in a bizarre fashion against green screens. His moves are a cross between traditional bhangra and hip-hop. So much so that his moves have inspired a series of GIFs on social media with Drake dancing to Hotline Bling holding dandiyas, playing tennis, and making rotis.


5) The lip-sync battle

As an ode from one Canadian to another, actor Seth Rogen recently spoofed Drake on the American talk show — The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon. Rogen, during a game called The Lip Sync Battle, performed to Drake’s Hotline Bling, complete with dance moves and the grey turtle-neck sweater. Rogen admitted to being a fan of the rapper and to finding Drake’s public image more amusing than the music he creates.

Know the artist

Drake (real name: Aubrey Drake Graham) is a Canadian rapper, songwriter and singer. A hip-hop and R’n’B singer, he has won a Grammy for his 2013 album — Take Care. He is credited for coining and popularising the GenX phrase, YOLO (You Only Live Once), with his 2011 song, The Motto, and is the face of viral social media memes since his smash hit, Hotline Bling, this year.

Don’t miss

What: DrakeFest will take place on August 19, 8.30pm to 1.30am

Where: Hard Rock Cafe, Link Road, Andheri (W)

Tickets: Rs 1,150 onward on

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