Drake Philip Seymour Hoffman

Even if you only root for celebrities to succeed, the great thing about them is they will always face new obstacles – and often create those obstacles themselves.

Since Drake’s appearance on Saturday Night Live in January, the rapper and sometime actor has ridden the crest of a wave of affection and mainstream approval unlike almost any he experienced thus far in his career. But after a number of tweets that can be accurately described as “bitchy,” the performer of “Started From the Bottom” finds himself fielding criticism about “entitled” behavior, even as he in turn branded the press “evil.”

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After conducting an interview with Rolling Stone for one of the magazine’s upcoming issues, Drake learned that his cover photo was being replaced by one of late actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. Although he later deleted the tweet from his feed, he fired off a public complaint about the swap, saying “I’m disgusted with that. RIP to Phillip Seymour Hoffman. All respect due. but the press is evil.”

While it’s entirely understandable that the rapper is disappointed not to see his handsome mug on the cover of Rolling Stone, suffice it to say that begrudging the magazine its decision to focus instead on Hoffman seems a little petulant. “Disgusted” seems like a poor choice of words, because even given his respect paid to Hoffman, it minimizes the reasoning for the switch.

Moreover, his Twitter comments ooze a sense of entitlement, even if he’s genuinely earned enough success to legitimize the endless boasting that is a foundation for his lyrics, not to mention a spot on the front of one of the music industry’s most venerated publications.

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Meanwhile, Drake resolved an ongoing beef between himself and Kanye West last year when the two chart-toppers embraced at the OVO Fest in Toronto, which Drake helped coordinate. But even contextualized in what Rolling Stone writer Jonah Weiner characterizes as a “deep bedrock of respect,” Drake’s criticisms of lyrics on West’s Yeezus seem poised to cause friction between them.

“There were some real questionable bars on there,” Drake observed. “Like that ‘Swaghili’ line? Come on, man. Even Fabolous wouldn’t say some shit like that.” (Never mind that he managed to take a shot at Fabolous at the same time.)

Despite his insistence that he didn’t talk about Yeezus as part of the interview – a minor but not insignificant distinction, if he said it “off the record” – Drake perhaps inadvertently compounds the controversy by offering a middle finger to the press, which often paves the way for a more adversarial relationship down the line. He tweeted the following earlier today:

But even when you score hit singles with titles like “Headlines,” you still need real ones in the press. Nevertheless, it should be interesting to see how he rebounds from the news, and whether or not his public image will need repair.

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