Drake, a.k.a. Aubrey Graham, said he’s “disgusted” with Rolling Stone’s decision to replace his cover on the magazine with that of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. In a tweet that has since been deleted, Drake said:
“I’m disgusted with that. RIP to Phillip Seymour Hoffman. All respect due. But the press is evil.”
Additionally, it appears Rolling Stone’s offense was so severe that Drake felt the need to put an end to all future magazine interviews.
Being on the cover of Rolling Stone is a big deal, and it’s understandable that Drake might experience a warranted feeling of disappointment to learn that his coveted spot was revoked at the last minute. However, of all the reasons to label the press as “evil,” Rolling Stone’s decision to revise the issue in the aftermath of Hoffman’s death is not one of them.
Perhaps Drake fails to recognize Hoffman’s significance in comparison to his own. It’s also slightly ironic that Drake would tweet “All respect due,” while griping about losing his cover spot in an attempt to pay tribute to the iconic actor. Drake’s protest to Rolling Stone’s choice is disrespectful to Hoffman’s death. If Drizzy was truly only concerned with wanting to “give [his] music to the people,” the cover change would be a non issue.
At the end of the day, feeding into Drake’s ego is not more important than remembering a man who is considered one of the greatest actors of a generation. But Hoffman’s relevance to making the cover goes beyond his list of accomplishments both on and off the screen and the unfortunate timing of his death. It comes down to one role: Lester Bangs.
In the wake of his death, critics worldwide were recalling Hoffman’s greatest roles, and his portrayal of legendary rock critic Lester Bangs in Almost Famous was continuously mentioned as number one. In fact, an old colleague of Bangs, Jaan Uhelszki, recalled how scarily accurate Hoffman’s performance was. He was one of the greatest actors playing who was considered the great rock critic.
Lester Bangs made rock criticism look easy. It was his poetry, his language. Bangs’ mindset is what sparked the start of magazines like Rolling Stone, SPIN and the now defunct Creem, where Bangs worked as an editor.
Hoffman was not Bangs, but his personality, struggles, life and death so strongly paralleled that of Bangs. As Uhelszki wrote, losing Hoffman was like “losing Lester Bangs all over again.” Considering Rolling Stone is, above all else, a music magazine, it is the staff’s job to honor something as significant as Hoffman’s death. It is their job to be honest and unmerciful. Although not a musician, what Hoffman represented in both life and death is far greater than Nothing Was The Same.
And this is not a shot at Drake. This is simply a fact.
The spotlight was not wrongfully taken from Drake at the last minute. This particular spotlight never belonged to Drake at all—it wouldn’t have belonged to anyone else that day.
Written by Sean McEntee, WCRX Social Media Editor