I can’t even front, now that Drake’s beef with Meek is over I have way more respect from him than what I had before. It’s almost like he came out of that a different person.
The summer of 2015 ended the moment Serena Williams lost in the semifinals of the U.S. Open, and in the stands, watching it happen, was Drake. He had come to cheer for Serena amid rumors that the two were dating, and he spent most of the match on his feet, clapping with vigor and making intense faces that were projected onto TV screens all over the world.
When the match ended, Drake became the receptacle for all the disbelief and disappointment that was provoked by Serena’s stunning defeat. Within minutes, Twitter alighted with jokes about the “Drake curse,” and soon the hashtag #BlameDrake was trending all over the United States.
Maybe it would have happened to whomever Serena Williams was supposedly dating at the time—with a historic Grand Slam on the line, the stakes were high, and the need for a scapegoat was profound. But something about the hostility Drake faced after the match felt tailor-made for Aubrey Graham, and not unrelated to the summer-long winning streak he had been enjoying at the time of Serena’s loss. The reaction confirmed what had already started to become obvious: that Drake, a rapper who was once best known for being a Canadian child star working in a genre where he didn’t quite fit in, was no longer any kind of underdog. Instead, he had become a target, the kind of cultural giant who inspires love and derision in equal measure.