The “Headlines” Video: Is Drake a Vampire?
These new Drake songs, especially “Headlines,” sound like Castlevania music chopped and screwed. The recently revealed album cover for his sophomore full-length, Take Care (due out Oct. 28th), sparked a lot of comments to the tune of “ what?” followed closely by “Where the fuck is he supposed to be?” Indeed, it’s hard to place Drake’s black-velvet-gilded banquet surroundings, replete with Roman Polanski movie nightmare paintings on the wall. Is he in Hearst Castle? A Young Money Illuminati bunker? The Cheesecake Factory PURE Lounge@The Great Pyramid Of Giza? I have a theory: Drake is a vampire.
Just check the video for “Headlines,” released this past weekend. Wearing all black? Weird classical imagery? Terminally alienated from the world? Baseball? Maybe I’ve been recapping too much True Blood, but all of this says VAMPIRE to me. It’s like Drake is an ancient being living in the shuttered Rainbow Room. He is pioneering a new style I termed ’80s Sitcom Dadpire (grayscale, Coogi Sweater goth with club-master transition lenses). He smokes cigars at dinner and in elevators (BLECH), but how do we actually know they are not just comically large clove cigarettes? He even loiters in a parking lot, just like a real goth.
He would slay in a remake of Meatloaf’s “I Would Do Anything for Love” video. Maybe he’s trying to follow in his idol Aaliyah’s footsteps; her last movie role was in the Anne Rice adaptation Queen of the Damned. Goth-ness in rap is generally associated with Horrorcore, all axes to the gut and fatal STDs. But just as there are many genres of horror movie, from extremely graphic and head-squishingly kill-filled to suggestively suspenseful, there can be multiple forms of eerie rap.
With his new album, which features collaborators like The Weeknd and producers like Noah “40” Shebib (Drake’s childhood friend and a fellow former child actor who has the bulletproof indie street cred of having produced Lil’ Wayne’s “Single” and playing a small role in Sofia Coppola’s suburban goth classic The Virgin Suicides), Drake could be the first mainstream witch-hop artist. Given his penchant for darkly revealing lyrics, spare chord progressions, skittering drums, and lavish gobletry, he is becoming music’s reigning Prince of Darkness; October’s very own.