Drake at a 2014 basketball game

7 Reasons We’re Boycotting Drake

At least until the NBA finals are over.

We learned last week that local radio station 103.7 KISS-FM has decided to take a break from Drake until the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Toronto Raptors and win the Eastern Conference NBA finals. Why? The Canadian-born musician is a Raptors super-fan.

He’s been so loud and insistent in his support, in fact, that in 2013 the team named him a “global ambassador,” whatever that means. And earlier this year they gifted him a $550,000 bespoke blazer embellished with 235 diamonds arranged in the shape of his favorite animal (yes, it looks as bad as it sounds).

At the time that KISS-FM made the announcement, we thought that an outright ban on music by the teen soap opera star turned rapper seemed a bit extreme. After all, he brought us one of the most meme-able music videos we’ve ever seen. He dresses like he shops exclusively at Lands’ End, and we have nothing but love for the Wisconsin company’s chunky knits. Plus, some of his songs are admittedly kind of catchy.

But after last night’s game in Toronto, we’ve officially changed our minds. His courtside antics were so aggressively unsportsmanlike that they inspired a New York Times story in which the author waxed poetic on Drake’s nonstop barrage of insults and his bizarre habit of waving imperiously to Bucks star player Giannis Antetokounmpo “his face expressionless … as if he were a royal monarch,” whenever our beloved Greek Freak had to walk by him.

Anyway, we’ve decided to remove “In My Feelings” and “Started from the Bottom” from our Spotify playlists. And we suggest you do the same. If you need any additional incentive, read on for hot takes from seven of our staffers on why you should at least temporarily shun the former “Degrassistar.

Illustration by Brock Kaplan

From Executive Editor Chris Drosner:

My reservations over the NBA’s courtside seats creeping onto the court have been building for a while now, and Drake’s clown show during this series has pushed me over the top. I get it, you’re a big fan of the team. But so is whomever is sitting in that seat in Milwaukee, or Oakland, or Memphis. If any one of those rich dudes or ladies went onto the court multiple times a game, high-fiving players and putting their hands on the coach, they’d get run out of the arena faster than the Pistons did in the first round.

Also, I get it, you’re an independently famous fan of the team. (Although, sorry man, I only know you through memes and cultural diffusion.) But take a cue from our celebrity fans and just be awkward and gracious on the sidelines, à la Aaron Rodgers and Danica Patrick, or chug a beer or two for the cameras, à la David Bakhtiari, aka The True King of Celebrity Fandom.

From Graphic Designer Libby Lang:

As someone who grew up in the era of “Degrassi” and who was asked to Senior Prom to the song “Shot for Me,” I would consider myself a fan of Drake. That is until he heckled our main man Giannis in the latest playoff game. The Milwaukee Bucks and their running success have me overflowing with pride for this city. So while I would definitely still watch re-runs of the original “Degrassi” (*cough cough* Netflix?), I will be taking my shots for Giannis and the Bucks – sorry Drake, I think the cities that we’re from just kinda ruined things …

From Managing Editor Tom Tolan:

“Hotline Bling” is a good enough reason to boycott him. He’s dancing in a box for most of it – I’d say, close the box, with him in it. He sings: “You used to call me on my cellphone, late night when you need my love.” I’d like to call him on his cellphone late night and tell him to shut up.

Also, even though the song is called “Hotline Bling,” I think he says, “I know when that hotline bling, that can only mean one thing.” The proper grammar would be “it can mean only one thing.”

And he’s credited for popularizing the phrase YOLO, an annoyingly ubiquitous acronym that means “you only live once.” That’s once too often for Drake.

From Digital Editor Karisa Langlo:

On paper, there are a lot of reasons to love Drake: his inspirational origin story, starting from the bottom and culminating “here”; introducing into the vernacular a more efficient way to say “you only live once”; his turtleneck-forward “Hotline Bling” choreography, which did a lot to normalize the way most of us naturally dance at weddings. Even his love triangle with Rihanna and Chris Brown seems, at first glance, like an exhilarating modern-day Trojan War. An enemy of my enemy (which is to say, of Chris Brown, insufficiently-contrite batterer of women), is my friend.

But as it turns out, Drake’s beef with Chris Brown has somehow mutated into a bromance – Drizzy and Breezy actually began following each other on Instagram last fall and are now reportedly recording together for Drake’s forthcoming album. I can forgive some good-natured sports heckling and even some soap opera rapping. But I can’t forgive a Chris Brown sympathizer.

From Editor-in-Chief Carole Nicksin:

Stay off the court and in your seat. Your bogus title of “Global Ambassador” for the Raptors means less than zero in Milwaukee.

Stop talking sh*t to our players. You may think you’re all that, but you are just a heckling clown, like the ones in the carnival that sit in a cage and get dunked. Did someone hear a splash? Oh, that was just Drake, going down.

Don’t even think about playing Milwaukee. As in, never ever.

From Art Director Paul Higgins:

Dear Drake: You are a better cheerleader than you are anything else. Stop pretending like you’re part of the Raptors or the NBA in any way because you are not. But feel free to shake those pom poms for your team because they won’t make it past this round.

P.S. Did you seriously give the head coach a shoulder rub during the game? The actual game? People get arrested for that type of behavior. Who died and made you Buster Bluth?

From Senior Graphic Designer Brock Kaplan:

Drake? Rihanna canceled him in 2011.



Lindsey Anderson covers culture for Milwaukee Magazine. Before joining the MilMag team she worked as an editor at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and wrote freelance articles for ArtSlant and Eater.