Last month, Drake dropped the meme-orable cover to his long-awaited new album: a painting of a dozen pregnant women emojis set against a white backdrop, created by Damien Hirst.
The artwork mostly played for laughs online but its virality earned the kind of audience marketers dream of. Similarly, the record, Certified Lover Boy, received mixed reviews yet proved a huge commercial hit, debuting at number one the Billboard 200 chart and scoring 11 of the top 12 slots on the Hot 100 song list—including the top five.
As Drake himself once put it: “Oh well, I guess you lose some and win some / Long as the outcome is income.”
To celebrate the success, Hirst invited Drake to his London studio recently, where he gave the musician a pair of custom, paint-splattered Nike Air Force 1s. On the souls of the shoes was a message: “For Drake,” read one with Hirst’s signature; “Big <3 Brother!” went the other.
The two each took to Instagram to share pictures of the hang.
They strolled through the streets of London and posed for pictures in front of one of Hirst’s paintings of a cherry blossom—a subject that’s captured his fancy in recent years. Drake, for his part, looks genuinely thrilled to get his gift from the artist.
As GQ pointed out, the shoes probably aren’t the first Hirst artwork Drake has owned. A print of the artist’s infamous 2007 sculpture For the Love of God—a platinum cast of a skull encrusted with 8,601 diamonds—can be seen in the background of this 2017 video tour Drake gave of his temporary Toronto home.
The 2020 video for “Toosie Slide” took us into the musician’s house once more, revealing that he also owns an Andy Warhol Mao painting and two KAWS companions.
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