Posts Tagged ‘From’

Here’s Why Trans Model Amanda Lepore Was Removed From Travis Scott’s Astroworld Cover

Travis Scott’s third studio album, Astroworld, is on the eve of its release. However, the album art — shot by photographer/director David LaChapelle, who’s worked with musicians ranging from Britney Spears to Elton John — has been at the heart of a controversy regarding accusations of transphobia this week.

On Instagram Wednesday (August 1), legendary transgender model Amanda Lepore shared a photo of the album cover, which featured her in the carnival scene. However, when Travis later posted the photograph to his own accounts, Lepore was absent.

“It was great being part of @david_lachapelle’s incredible photograph of @travisscott’s album cover but I’m curious why I’m not on the picture @travisscott posted,” Lapore wrote. “A girl can’t help it. Too distracting for the eyes. Upstaged everyone in the photograph. Oh well……….. I love @david_lachapelle and @travisscott Love and kisses.”

Now, LaChapelle is responding on Instagram to the growing outrage. “No Amanda was taken out because she just upstaged every one lol,” LaChapelle told one follower.

“Everybody wants to explain everything with some phobia or whatever,” he said to another fan. “This is just a case of something else she can’t just can’t seem to control lol ain’t nothing to do with hating.”

Astroworld drops tomorrow (August 3). Hopefully the album doesn’t conjure up anymore controversy.

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M.I.A.’s New Documentary Traces Her Rise From Refugee To Pop Star

If ever there was a pop star impossible to pigeonhole into one particular box, it’s M.I.A., the musical maverick behind hits like “Paper Planes” and “Bad Girls.” That’s exactly why the upcoming documentary about her life, identity, and career, MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A., is so eagerly anticipated — and on Thursday (July 19), the film got its first official trailer.

The doc, directed by Steve Loveridge, chronicles M.I.A.’s life growing up in civil war-torn Sri Lanka. She eventually fled to Britain with her family at age 11, using art as “medicine” along the way.

“I had to deal with the fact that I was different and I was an immigrant,” the 43-year-old recalls in the trailer. “Music was my medicine. It just blew up so quickly. I lived through war, came as a refugee that is now a pop star. What are the goal posts?”

Along with exploring the roots of M.I.A.’s music, the trailer also delves into the artist’s political and social activism. She’s long been an outspoken (and, at times, controversial) voice for human rights and multiculturalism, and with the Trump administration’s controversial immigration policies currently under fire, her doc is bound to be an essential watch. In fact, she’s already offered to share the project with Trump himself:

MATANGI / MAYA / M.I.A. debuted at Sundance earlier this year and is due for release in the U.S. on September 28.

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The 5 Most Shocking Moments From Drake’s Scorpion

Drake’s new album Scorpion is a sonic fable. It isn’t clear if Graham ever read the story of The Scorpion and the Frog, but the tale of the arachnid who requests a trip across the river on an amphibian’s back perfectly parallels the rapper’s current predicament. Over the course of 25 tracks, he seems to grapple with fighting against his nature or succumbing to it. In the original fable, the scorpion ends up piercing the back of the frog and contributing to both of their demises. Thankfully, it doesn’t seem like Drake is comfortable going out like that.

Drizzy has been here before. On More Life‘s outro, “Do Not Disturb,” he demonstrated a sense of clarity about beef and the way it twists and contorts artistry — “Yeah, ducked a lot of spiteful moves / I was an angry yout when I was writin’ Views / Saw a side of myself that I just never knew / I’ll probably self-destruct if I ever lose, but I never do.” Scorpion isn’t self-destruction, but it does arrive at a time when Drake isn’t quite in control of his narrative.

Scorpion clocks in at 90 minutes, and much of that time deals with the fallout of Pusha T’s Drake-dissing “The Story of Adidon.” A majority of the project’s A Side concerns itself with sending potential shots at Kanye West and G.O.O.D. Music, numerous bars defending his choice to keep his son out of the public eye, and pitching Graham as the eternal underdog.

Below are the most shocking revelations on Scorpion and what they mean in the context of Drake’s career.

  1. He Raps About His Son… A Lot

    Standout Lyric: “I wasn’t hidin’ my kid from the world / I was hidin’ the world from my kid” — “Emotionless”

    As far as baby reveals go, Pusha T emphatically rapping, “You are hiding a child, let that boy come home,” was great for him and horrible for everyone else involved. So much of Scorpion is concerned with correcting the narrative that Graham is — in Pusha’s words — “a deadbeat.” There’s even a line on “8 out of 10″ where Drake spits, “The only deadbeats is whatever beats I been rappin’ to.”

    Elsewhere on the album, “March 14″ finds Drake coming to terms with having a child with a woman he met twice and admitting that he’s only seen his son once. In this case, the reality of the situation is more brutal than anything Pusha T said.

  2. Guess Drake Wasn’t A Fan Of The Kanye Albums

    Standout Lyric: “All sevens, no sixes, rest easy, get some shut eye” — “8 out of 10″

    The genius of a Drake subliminal is trying to identify his intended target. On “8 out of 10,” he seems to throw shade at the five albums Kanye produced in 2018. “Nonstop” sees Drizzy calling out rappers “pullin’ gimmicks ’cause they scared to rap,” which is a two-pronged barb — the first part of the lyric likely references the strategy of G.O.O.D. Music’s release schedule, while the second sounds like an indictment of West using writers like CyHi The Prynce, Chance the Rapper, and even Drake to help with his latest solo album.

  3. Did Drake Just Admit He Dated Bella Hadid?

    Standout Lyric: “My house is full of supermodels just like Mohamed Hadid” — ”Sandra’s Rose”

    Last year, rumors circulated that Drake dated Bella, which was awkward because the model famously dated Drizzy’s OVOXO brother The Weeknd. On Scorpion, Drake drops multiple hints that he may have had a brief fling with Bella. On “Finesse,” for example, he raps, “Should I do New York? I can’t decide,” which is a possible allusion to New York Fashion Week. He continues dropping clues by potentially referencing Bella’s sister Gigi: “You and your sister / Too hot to handle.”

    Something tells us Zayn might have a problem with that particular bar.

  4. The Blackface Controversy

    Standout Lyric: “They always ask, ‘Why let the story run if it’s false?’ / You know a wise man once said nothin’ at all” — “Emotionless”

    Drake already addressed the blackface controversy in a written statement, but the leaked photo still doesn’t sit well with many people. On “Emotionless,” he hints about why he didn’t speak up sooner — though wouldn’t that bar and his aforementioned statement constitute saying something?

  5. No More YMCMB?

    Standout Lyric: “Soon as this album drop I’m out of the deal” — ”Is There More”

    The era of YMCMB might finally be coming to a close. Scorpion has the potential to be the last album in Drake’s contract with Young Money/Cash Money, if his lyrics on “Is There More” are to be believed. And on “Survival,” he even references being “independent,” which might usher in a new era of lucrativeness for the “God’s Plan” rapper.

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BROCKHAMPTON Return From Brief Hiatus With Emotional ‘Tonya’ Performance

BROCKHAMPTON’s June 20 performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon was always going to have a dark cloud hanging over it. It marked not only their first late-night performance, but also their first public appearance since the group parted ways with Ameer Vann amid sexual misconduct allegations.

The group took the opportunity to perform “Tonya” featuring Jazmine Sullivan, serpentwithfeet, and Ryan Beatty. The BROCKHAMPTON members sat on the floor with crossed legs and wore coordinating flannels as a screen behind them played a video of boys playing at the beach. The metaphor of innocence and reminiscing about better times was powerful, albeit not subtle.

One of the more eye-opening moments of the performance came from Kevin Abstract. During his candid verse, the band’s leader potentially alluded to the Ameer controversy, rapping, “I’ve been in my feelings on an island in the dirt / I feel like brothers lie just so my feelings don’t get hurt / I said, I’ll try vacationin’ / I’ll try to run away.” Abstract’s lyrics are similar to a press release issued from the group which stated, “We were lied to, and we’re sorry for not speaking up sooner.”

The performance was also notable because it revealed that the group changed the name of their album from Puppy to The Best Years of Our Lives. It hasn’t been announced when BROCKHAMPTON will release their next album, but it does look like they are returning to the stage, according to Consequence of Sound.

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Chloe x Halle Spill The Life Advice They Got From Beyoncé

Chloe x Halle and Wyclef Jean stopped by the TRL studio and kept it ~100~ about the power of collaborations and partnerships with other artists. So, uh, does either of them want to be my mentor??

Coming from a position that virtually nobody else in the world could relate to, Chloe x Halle shared what it’s like to work directly with and get guidance from Beyoncé, as the duo is signed to her label. The most important part, according to Bey? Wait for the world to catch up and don’t dumb yourself down for anyone. Chloe x Halle’s music might not be traditionally mainstream, but that’s perfectly fine because their real fans will find them.

Wyclef Jean also stopped by and told Sway Calloway the story of how DJ Khaled got permission to sample parts of Santana’s “Maria Maria” when putting together “Wild Thoughts,” last year’s summer smash that featured Rihanna and Bryson Tiller. I think I just lost count of how many legends were involved in the making of one hit song! TRL airs on weekdays at 8:00am ET!

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SZA Is Benched From TDE’s Championship Tour After Injuring Her Vocal Cords

TDE’s star-studded Championship Tour has come to an abrupt — but hopefully only temporary — end for SZA.

On Tuesday (May 22), label founder Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith took to social media to explain SZA’s absence from the last few shows. He revealed that the CTRL singer has been pulled from the trek due to a vocal injury, writing that she’s been ordered to “rest her voice to prevent any permanent damage.”

“We’ve been monitoring her close and this is the reason she missed the Arizona and New Mexico dates,” he wrote. Top Dawg added that the singer will visit a doctor to determine whether or not she’ll be able to rejoin the tour, and promised to keep fans updated on her condition. He and SZA are also trying to find a way to make it up to fans who didn’t get to see her on the missed dates.

SZA retweeted Top Dawg’s statement but didn’t add any comments of her own.

The Championship Tour — which also features Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q, Jay Rock, and more of the label’s talent — kicked off earlier this month in Vancouver. The arena trek is still slated to make stops in major cities like Atlanta, New York, and Chicago before wrapping in Pittsburgh on June 16. Here’s hoping SZA will make it back to the stage for at least a few of those dates.

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Cardi B Reveals The Sex Of Her Baby And 4 More Juicy Revelations From New Interview

Cardi B has always been candid about the pressures of fame, and now the “Be Careful” singer is opening up about potentially going to therapy.

“People used to be like, ‘maybe you should do therapy,’” Cardi stated. “And I used to be like, uh-uh, colored folks, we don’t need none of that. We just go to church, and we pray about it. And then it’s just like… I think it’s a little bit more than that. I don’t want people to think I’m not enjoying this moment, [but] it’s just a lot to handle.”

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Is Cardi B’s ‘Bickenhead’ Her Next ‘Bodak Yellow’? And More Moments From Invasion Of Privacy

Bodak Bar: “I took pictures with Beyoncé, I met Mama Knowles / I’m the rose that came from the concrete in the Rolls”

“Best Life,” featuring Chance The Rapper, is Invasion of Privacy‘s first great album cut. It isn’t as club-ready as “Bickenhead,” as worldly as “I Like It,” or vulnerable like “Thru Your Phone,” but it doesn’t need to be.

The genius of “Best Life” is the way it positions Cardi next to Chance. The Chicago artist doesn’t outrap Cardi like he tends to do and he might not have been able to considering how hard the former Love & Hip Hop actress spits throughout the album. Instead of lyrical competition, the low-key song allows for both rappers to get inspirational while collectively geeking out about how they met Beyoncé.

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Iggy Azalea Shares How A ‘Mental Retreat’ Helped Pull Her Career Back From The Brink

Iggy Azalea isn’t where she once was. The “Fancy” rapper’s fall from grace is well-documented. Fights with hip-hop legends like Q-Tip, tone-deaf comments about appropriation, and battles with her former label Def Jam derailed her career. In a candid interview with Billboard, Azalea describes how a trip to a mental retreat helped her deal with anger issues and reckon with the importance of her mental health.

“I’ve never really sat down and had an honest conversation with professional people,” Iggy said. “It was good to say something to somebody who could give me the tools and information on how to make my life manageable when I’m feeling those things. So it was really useful — I’m glad that I went.”

Later in the interview, the Australian artist voices her hope that the music industry creates programs to help celebrities deal with the pressures of fame.

“I really wish there was more of an infrastructure within the music industry to make sure that the artists have people they can go to,” Azalea said. “Like physical therapists in sports. The teams have people looking out for [players], that make sure they’re okay in every element, and the music business doesn’t have that — they just throw you out there. You get used to it and you’re still successful, but it’s a lot to deal with.”

Iggy also discusses how her “Savior” co-star Quavo, Demi Lovato, and Kesha are the only artists who have been there for her during this difficult time. Read Azalea’s entire interview with Billboard here.

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Dimension 6 // What Would Drake Moving from Jordan to adidas Look Like?

Last month, only days after All-Star Weekend, the sneaker culture was turned on its head when word got out that Drake may be leaving Jordan Brand to join adidas.

The news was first reported as having potential by Sole Collector, only to be confirmed by our own Nick DePaula that talks were very real.

In the time since, Drake has appeared in Yeezy Season Boots (not adi by definition, but probably not kosher with an active Nike contract) and hopped on an N.E.R.D. track — Champagne Papi’s first time formally working with Pharrell.

So, is this possibility a good one? A great one? A bad one?

We look at the love triangle between Drake, JB and adidas from all angles with a sense of the present, past and possible future.

Recent Bidding Wars

Bidding wars between Nike/JB and adidas over top tier talent is nothing new. Most notably, a shift to some occurred when Kanye West left Nike to sign with adidas in 2013. Ironically enough, the official announcement of Drake to Jordan Brand happened shortly after.

Over the course of the 2000s, we saw adidas lose Kobe to free agency and eventually to Nike. Just the same, tennis star Andre Agassi left his storied signature series with the Swoosh to sign with the Three Stripes. In recent years, Agassi has returned to Nike, helping fuel activations and bringing back original branding to his retro line.

Prior to any Aubrey to adidas talks, fellow Nike Inc. endorsers like Russell Westbrook and Odell Beckham Jr. were courted by the German juggernaut with both staying home in Beaverton.

While OBJ was reportedly close to going to adidas — ultimately staying with Nike for record money — the fact that he did not sign with Adi would assuringly free up lots of potential payroll. This lack of signing has created countermoves in the past, as 50 Cent has said much of his fat deal from Reebok back in ’03 came from money they originally allotted for then high school phenom and eventual Nike signee LeBron James.

Could it be the same for Drake and adidas?

Those Who Jumped from the Jumpman

If Drake were to leave Jordan — seemingly in his prime — he wouldn’t be the first.

Most famously, Dwyane Wade left Jordan Brand in 2012 for Li-Ning when both he and the Heat were as hot as could be. Dwyane Wade

Electing more money, a growing market and equity, the move with more growth for business potential in the Chinese market was still considered surprising considering the weight Jordan’s name still holds in the game and the fact the Dwayne was the first official face of the signature series not named Mike.

Prior to D Wade’s departure, Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss eventually parted ways with Jordan Brand following what looked like a fruitful relationship.

During his early days in Minnesota, Randy received a plethora of PEs as well as turf trainers and his own signature models. Like Wade later, he would leave for a brand of lesser stature but also to play a bigger role (and likely get more money). Moss would become the face of PONY Football.

Family Ties

By most measures, Michael Jordan is a good contact to have and a nice ally in your corner.

While Drake’s official business partnership with JB began in 2013, his relationship with the Jordan family very literally dates back to 2009 when Drake and Lil Wayne played Marcus Jordan’s high school graduation party in Chicago.

A man as popular as Drake is sure to have friends everywhere. Still, most people’s friends aren’t Michael Jordan.

Missed Opportunities & Money Left on the Table


Drake in the Air Jordan 8 “Kentucky Away” OVO PE (photo by Elsa/Getty Images via Zimbio)

Talks suggesting Drake’s rational for potentially leaving Jordan Brand point to wanting more money and more creative control. If true, that makes total sense, and with one should come the other.

Over the last few years with JB, the OVO output has been about one collection per year with Jordan, typically hitting around NBA All-Star Weekend and including two pairs of shoes and corresponding apparel. It’s uncertain whether the limited amount of production and once a year allotment is on Drake’s side to keep the OVO brand boutique or if Jordan controls output ala Nike only allowing Kanye so many Yeezy releases.

Regardless, if less is being put out less is being paid. It would appear as JB has upped production in recent years and Nike, Inc. as a whole is looking to do $ 50 Billion in sales by 2020 that they’d want as many owl stamped releases as possible.

While Jordan Brand has effectively positioned Drake around esteemed models like the Jordan 8, 10 and 12 at retail, one would think that if Aubrey does decide to dip they would miss out monetarily on using his influence to make latter models and apparel pop — both categories for growth and need for backing as far as JB is concerned.

Theoretically, it could work. At 31 years of age, Drake grew up on not only the first round of retro releases but also retirement era models like the 15, 18 and XX1 — all of which he wore on tour in recent years. One would imagine that with the right rollout and OVO tagging that Drake could (or could’ve) introduced said silos to a younger market with less reluctance and more energy.

Drake’s duties with the Raptors and known love of basketball makes him an easy endorser for anything and everything Nike/Jumpman, from customized OVO jerseys that are Swoosh stamped to even more All-Star launches.

The latter would be incredibly fruitful for JB, as the 2019 All-Star Game is set for Mike’s current home of Charlotte only to be followed by his former home of Chicago. Having Drake on board for activations, events and product would be rather key for JB in regards to winning All-Star Weekend.

Legacy Impact

OVO x Air Jordan 8
OVO x Air Jordan 8

From the outside looking in, Drake appears to be in the prime of his career in regards to reach and earning potential — probably a big reason a big bag from adidas looks real good. Still, the OVO motto has been more about the long game and less about YOLO. So, what would leaving Jordan Brand look like for Drake’s legacy?

Using Kanye as a case study — though the two are drastically different in regards to their approach to both branding and creating — leaving Nike for adidas has been a home run at this point. Since joining the Three Stripes, Kanye has seen more creative control and output than with the Swoosh, also earning a contract extension and kickback for making non-Yeezy adi models pop.

One would assume that by leaving JB, Drake would be forgoing the chance for fans at any legacy retro product years down the road. That’s probably true, but not for certain.

While Air Yeezy retros with Kanye endorsement will likely never happen, we did see Nike release the coveted “Rocafella” Air Force 1s through Biggs while Jay Z was getting his tour sponsored by PUMA. If Drake, as opposed to OVO as a collective, were to go to adidas individually, is it possible Oliver or 40 could do the same thing with Jordan down the road?

Just the same, if Drake going to adidas ended up being more a stop on his journey rather than the final destination, we’ve seen Andre Agassi return to the Swoosh to resurrect his retros.

The biggest potential hurdle in regards to legacy/branding would be whether or not Drake would hold onto the trademark OVO black and gold tones if he were to depart to adidas. If he reinvents the OVO palette, there’s a lack of continuity. If the tones are retained, there’s constant comparison to previous work.

So, what happens if he does go?

adidas Opportunities in Lifestyle

While the legacy being built with Drake at Jordan Brand makes more sense than most partnerships and still has room to grow, the possibilities with Drake at adidas are exciting and maybe even endless.

Collaboratively, the elephant in the room appears to be Kanye West and the way they could together amplify the adidas brand, the Yeezy sector and the Calabasas collection.

Drake’s strength as a style icon in comparison to Kanye is far different. Drake’s strength is scale, Kanye’s is creation. If Kanye and Drake were to actually put out the collaborative Calabasas/Wolves project that was teased and acknowledged years ago, the neighbors with competing pools could find themselves swimming in a sea of cash.

How so? Less off Apple Music money and more off tour and merchandise opps. At this point, Drake has toured with Lil Wayne and Future to great success. Outside of a pop act, he won’t find a higher profile name to hit the road with than Kanye West.

While these two names alone could crash Ticketmaster — or the Confirmed App if adidas is really trying to get in with regards to a silly amount of sign ups — the Pablo pop-ups wouldn’t even look populous compared to the chance to turn every stop into Calabasas.

Simply put, if screen printed Gildan tees were flying for $ 60 a pop and flipping for far more, could you imagine the merch they’d make and the coin they’d collect if the official tour gear was actually made by adidas?

While the Kanye catalyst is the most obvious, other talent on the adidas artist roster proves intriguing. Drake working with Pharrell in a music capacity conjures concepts of Champagne Papi spitting a double-time flow on a “Can I Have it Like That” type beat or maybe even Skateboard P producing the dual threat to higher R&B heights. Just the same, Drake wearing Human Race NMDs is a good look for P, Drake and adidas.

Even better, could a deal with adidas see the next installment of 747 Warehouse hosting an I Declare War-esque moment where fan turned foe Drake makes good on stage with Pusha T, ramping up the anticipation for King Push?

Money talks and storylines sell. It appears there’s a lot of noise and narratives that could be made with such a partnership.

adidas Opportunities in Sport

Kanye and Pharrell may have the creative edge on Drake, but Aubrey has them beat on actually having some clout in sport.

While Drake’s roll with the Raptors may be different than the one Master P had, the man does actually hoop, but more so he’s connected to the game as a legitimate fan and friend to many athletes.


Make your own at Fan’s Edge

While Coach Cal exclusives for Kentucky would likely dry up, his relationship with Miami seen in the “God’s Plan” music video could make for some major moments and maybe even some gear opps.

Tying Drake to 747 Warehouse, World Cup, ABCD Camp, All-Star Weekend, or basically anything basketball, football or soccer makes much more sense than their current musical endorsers as the brand continues to blur the line between art and sport.

Would Nike & Jordan Be Okay?

Of course they’d be okay, they’re Nike and Jordan! Still dominating the sales reports despite major growth from adidas, Drake joining the other team would likely be major momentum but far from the beginning of the end in Beaverton.

Though some could say late to the party, Nike, Inc. has been extremely strong in recent years in regards to artist partnerships and signings. Just like Drake releasing his own Forums or popping up in a pair of BAPE Dame 4s would be exciting, we’re already seeing the same shock value with Tyler the Creator releasing his own One Stars and lacing up “Shattered Backboard” 1s and Comme des Garçons Air Max 180s.

Travis Scott x Nike Air Force 1 Low

Just like Jordan had the opportunity to the play the limited game with Drake as a foil to Kanye and adidas’ more mass strategy, Travis Scott’s collaborations with both Nike and JB have a chance to fly out of retailers and fly up on Flight Club just the same.

While Nike, Inc. has lost one humongous star in Kanye West and possibly another in Drake, they have younger and more importantly edgier artists in Tyler, Travis and even Kendrick that may not serve the same scale but resonate deeper with the kids that actually set trends.

Final Thoughts

Due to his job title and earning potential, Drake is still more of a ‘brand’ than you or me, but he’s not a ‘brand’ on the level of Nike or adidas and I mean that with all due respect. He’s a person. A performer. An artist. While staying or moving would be largely financial, it’s still his business and the idea that a person should be attached to a fixed image or product is pretty much bullshit (or more accurately just a contract.)

Just like we’ve seen athletes lose shoe deals or move onto other ones, artists are starting to do the same and designers have been doing it forever. Basically, the idea that one icon will be with one brand their whole career is dated.

So, should Drake stay or should he go?

If he stays with Jordan/Nike, they’re going to have to pay him more to keep him and they’re going to have do more together. Popping up on IG in “History of Flight” 13s or wearing Air Max 270s in a music video isn’t enough to make kids wanna buy a shoe mostly because they’re smarter than we were and also because they don’t feel they’re a part of it. For Drizzy on the Jumpman to thrive, they’re going to have to do deeper storytelling and more releases as cliche as that may sound. Moreover, they’re going to have to get more creative as the market is both odder and more competitive.

If Drake does go to adidas, they won’t be getting the next Kanye from a style standpoint but they will be getting much needed momentum as the Boost wave has started to slow. The opportunities to use Drake as a catalyst to help the brand, their Confirmed App and their activations grow seems much more lucrative for both parties than legacy reasons that would cause him to stay.

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