Make It Rain: A response to Drake’s strip club criticism [Article]
Charlotte, NC – A large wad of cash, generally $1 bills, is thrown in the air and pours down like it’s raining money. A hint of ho whisks through the venue as a crowd gathers center stage in awe. “Making it rain” is nothing new and strip clubs have been hosting this “shocking” phenomenon for quite some time… decades. Even the mainstream was exposed, again, back in 2006 through Fat Joe’s Billboard Hot 100 single, “Make It Rain.” It was popular enough to peak at 13 on the chart and is just one of several fairly recent examples to pull from.
Overall, the idea of someone throwing a heap of money at strippers, in a strip club, is nothing new. It’s probably going to happen at a club in North America tonight, and there’s a good chance it’ll happen somewhere in the world tomorrow. You might not agree with it, but it happens. It’s one of many, although much rarer, eccentric things that people do that could be perceived as a waste of money or unneeded expenses. Making it rain is more of a guaranteed waste but sky diving, spray tanning, iPhones, luxury cars… you name it, you don’t really need it. To each his own; I like my fair share of unnecessary commodities.
But if it happens and you’re someone in the public eye like Drake, you’ve suddenly committed a cardinal sin. According to some, you’ve spit in the face of every poor child in the world. You’ve metaphorically decimated animal shelters nationwide and, somehow, simultaneously made a statement about the size of your manhood to at least one middle aged Canadian reporter who is upset that Drizzy didn’t flex his “Canadian moral and intellectual superiority,” as Liz put it.
I figured we could not report that Canadian rapper Drake made it rain again at a club, or we could post about it along with my opinion at a rare moment where I’m feeling extra opinionated. I didn’t really find the Charlotte story relevant, but I did take exception to the level of criticism being dished out.
You see celebrity gossip mag TMZ has reported that Drake recently linked up with Bleu Davinci in Charlotte, North Carolina and the pair ended up tossing around a combined 75 racks before the night was through. There’s a ton of pictures showcasing the event on the TMZ website and it really seems to have infuriated some of Drake’s fans and members of the media. He’s been called pathetic and a poser and his street credibility has been a point of focus — for TMZ, the Toronto Sun and various other outlets at least.
A lot of the critics have encouraged Drake to make the starving children he didn’t feed the primary source of his shame. Others have taken the more greedy approach of asking Drizzy to think of all the student loans he could payback with just a fraction of the loot pictured on the Cameo Nightclub floor. So as to say, “If you’re going to waste it, waste it over here.”
My personal favourite, from the TMZ comments section: “Pathetic: but if you need the attention so badly, use something other than 1 dollar bills. Use at least 2 dollar bills, for street cred.”
What I don’t really get is the level of shock and horror that comes with Drake doing this. No, I don’t think it would have been a bad idea to give that money to the poor instead, or that it wouldn’t have been more morally sound to put it towards a cause in need of support. I highly support people that are in positions of wealth that share with the needy, but the hatred Drake is cooking up is a bit overboard.
Of course, not one of these articles has bothered to mention any of the things Drake has done to give back to the community, back to Toronto. He’s a big supporter of local inner city music programs and has lent his name to various important causes since coming up in ’09. He’s donated $10,000 at least twice in the past few years to the Dixon Hall Music School in Regent Park which offered low-income, downtown families a chance to take music lessons for as low as $3 per session. He teamed up with dancehall legend Mavado to fund the Drake and Mavado Peace Center, a learning center in Jamaica’s Cassava Piece neighborhood, and donated $25,000.
It’s understandable that the Charlotte move would be perceived as irresponsible, but it’s amazing how angry some people seem to be. Let’s break it down. We’re talking about a 25, recently turned 26-year-old, sitting on 25 mill, who had the whole world saying “You Only Live Once” for the better part of 2012. He’s just a few years into super-stardom and hasn’t really been noticeably different than other celebrities when it comes to outlandish spending. He’s loosely living a “you only live once” kind of lifestyle and doing exactly what he says he does in the songs that keep climbing the charts. But now that it’s real, it’s wrong?
He’s young, loves strippers, makes music about strippers, spends a lot of time in strip clubs and has never tried to hide it. He’s living a particular lifestyle and it’s clearly not for everyone. If you don’t support it, don’t buy the albums. But he’s not hurting anyone and he’s entitled to spend his money the way he chooses. At the end of the day, strippers have student loans and children to feed, and the money goes back into the economy to be spent another day. It’s not like he’s burning the money and actually wasting it. Where’s the article about John Travolta’s spending habits when he buys a new plane?
When you’re moving with a YOLO mentality and you’re “on top of the world” — so to speak, it might not be hard to make a decision that you’re going to spend .2% of your bank roll at the club on a whim. Think about that for a second. How could I criticize something I would probably do at least once? In fact I would go as far as saying that I think it’s something everyone should do once but that sadly won’t be the case. So how can we knock the people that can give it a go? Irresponsible? Sure. Fun? Probably. Does it warrant envy? Definitely not. But he’s not doing it every weekend, as far as we know, so his only mistake was letting TMZ in on it. His public relations people are probably used to these types of things by now but I’m sure the headache is still appreciated.
Another point of confusion is why Drake making it rain somehow means he’s trying to show he’s street? Or how it makes him a poser. He’s not pretending to throw money at strippers, he’s actually doing it. And from a cardboard box at that — I think a briefcase or the infamous duffel bag he raps about would have been a bit classier but no one’s perfect. The insinuation that Drake is doing anything other than having fun with his crew seems like a bit of a reach. It’s common knowledge that he likes strippers. “OMG the young multimillion celebrity rapper who likes strippers just wasted a lot of money at the strip club” … stop the fucking presses.
The Toronto Sun published a story by Liz Braun that went as far as questioning how well Drake was endowed because of this show of bravado:
“There’s sad, and then there’s Drake throwing $50,000 in cash around a strip club in Charlotte, N.C.,” wrote Braun. “Sorry, friend, but few things say ‘tiny penis’ like that kind of wretched excess.”
Funny, but uncalled for. She then oddly finds a way to reference Drake’s feud with Chris Brown, despite no apparent connection:
“…so the next question is whether or not the whole thing is a big f— you to Chris Brown.”
Probably not. Was Chris Brown even there? Perhaps this is a generational-gap issue on the reporting side, but this whole thing seems to be misunderstood and blown out of proportion. How does Drake spending money in a strip club translate to adding fuel to the Chris Brown fire? Seriously, where does Chris Brown play into all of this? I believe this could qualify as sensationalism.
The Toronto Sun pieces goes on to echo the TMZ comments about the money being better served as college tuition or meals for the homeless:
“We don’t know what you saw when you looked at $50,000 lying on the floor of a club, but we saw two years of U.S. college (four years in Canada!), meals for the homeless and any number of other more worthy ways to spend it.”
Funny, I thought the same thing of Liz’s coverage of the Oscars as I flipped through photos of the multi-thousand dollar dresses, pricey jewellery and over the top parties. It sure sounds like a classier way to spend $50,000 (way more actually) but good luck convincing me it’d be more fun.
Bottom line, Drake worked hard to get where he’s at and now he’s enjoying his success. Leave the guy alone.
Drake is currently working on his third studio album, Nothing Was The Same.
Written by Jesse Plunkett for HipHopCanada
Photography by Prince Williams for ATLpics
Drake: Making It Rain